Moms on Bikes Series: Hallie Evans

Many locals know Hallie and and Nate from the beautiful works they create at Allamakee Wood-Fired Pottery. (Check them out on Facebook!)

Today you get to see another side of Hallie that involves cycling!

How do you transport your child? Seat or Trailer? 
We use/d a Burley for our kids (Noah, 6 and Finn, 2). We just upgraded to a 16" wheel bike for Noah, so he rides on his own when we go, for short rides. For long rides, we don't take the kids anymore, since they're too heavy and too big to both fit in one trailer. We would like to try a ride along bike for Noah and the other one of us could pull Finn in the trailer, but just haven't wanted to spend the money on one.

What added precautions do you take when transporting a child? (How do you keep your child safe and what do you avoid?)
Have them wear helmets! And, of course, we wear them too. Ride a lot in no/little traffic areas to get used to riding with cars, too, before going out on the highway or something. We will wait awhile on that with Noah.

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?
Bigger paved shoulders on the roads...but I know that won't happen!

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, no close calls yet...knock on wood!   

What are tips/suggestions you have for starting a bike riding routine with your child?
Biking should be fun...don't overdo it, or make your child ride longer or more than they want to. Go slow! If they keep at it, you can all ride together some day! And, bring snacks and water for the ones in the trailer!

For people wanting to incorporate children into bike riding, what products/accessories would you recommend for a parent and their child?
We love the Burley trailers. That's really the only thing, accessory wise that we use. Our main thing bike wise is to get good ones! You don't have to spend tons of money, but go to a bike shop, or see if you can buy a good brand from a friend who has kids that have outgrown their bikes. Since Nate was a bike mechanic for a couple years, he saw way too many bikes straight from Wal-Mart and the like that were downright dangerous in the way they were assembled.  Plus, they don't work as well, and won't last as long.  

What are tips/suggestions that you have for teaching your child to learn to ride on their own?
Noah had great success in riding a Skuut bike first, and learned to balance well with that, before moving on to training wheels. Make sure the kids have a bike and helmet that fit them...yes, they'll need several before they stop growing, but no one is going to feel comfortable on a huge bike that they can barely get up on.  Again, go slow!

What do you enjoy most about including your child/children in terms of bike riding?
I love that our kids can see us enjoying being on our bikes and having fun exercising.  It's so important to be active and as fit as you can be, and since kids love to be active anyway, it's a great thing to keep up. It's just a given for our kids that riding or running are a part of our lives that happen no matter the weather (we run through the winter, and cold and rain!).  Noah can now ride with us while we run, which is so great! You just do it, and that's that. And, it's just fun to do something together outside. I am much looking forward to later on when we're all going for a real ride. By then, they'll be waiting for their slow parents, I'm sure!