Moms on Bikes Series: Sarah

Continuing on with Moms on Bikes we meet with Sarah! She tells us the lessons she's learned and the tips/tricks that worked for her and her children.
Sarah has her own blog that chronicles her bike riding adventures, you can find it here: sixcoopers Check it out! :)

How do you transport your child? Seat or Trailer? 
All four of my kids are old enough to ride their own bikes. We also have a tandem, which is fun for all of them and makes longer rides easier for my youngest, as she can't quite keep up on a longer ride. Before they were old enough to ride on their own, I pulled two at a time in the trailer.

What added precautions do you take when transporting a child? (How do you keep your child safe and what do you avoid?)
We always wear helmets. I have reflective gear and lights for evening riding. I try to avoid biking with my kids when people are generally trying to get to and from work. Only my oldest (13) is allowed in the road, and even then we generally stick to low traffic roads and most trails.

What is one thing you would like to see different about bike safety/transport in general that would make you feel safer transporting your child via bicycle?
I think if people actually obeyed the existing traffic laws, we would have far fewer problems. Our biggest issue is people making a right hand turn into an intersection when we are crossing and have the right of way. 

Have you ever had any close calls while biking with your child? If so, what happened and what was the outcome? Were you fearful to ride with your child again? How did you overcome?
No, we haven't had anything truly terrifying happen fortunately. 

What were the biggest challenges you faced with biking at different stages of pregnancy?
I didn't bike at all when pregnant. 

Did you stop biking at all during pregnancy? Why?
I stopped biking to work almost immediately. At the time, biking to work was the only biking that I did. There was a fair amount of traffic, and it just didn't seem to be worth the risk when I could easily drive.

What products do you recommend as a bike riding mom and why?
Anything you can find to make your child more comfortable on a bike is probably a good purchase. Once my kids started riding longer than an hour, we purchased bike shorts and jerseys, bottle cages for their bikes, and better seats. Cuts down on the complaining. 

What are tips/suggestions you have for starting a bike riding routine with your child?
In the Des Moines area, there are so many bike trails. We just load up and go explore whenever we have time for fun. Our favorite rides are in the summer evenings along the Clive Greenbelt to see the deer and stop at the parks. We also like to bike out to Dallas Center and jump in the pool or get ice cream. It's usually not just riding; we almost always have a park or some other fun destination in mind.