Oh What Fun it is to Ride in a Mom Powered Sleigh

Being a parent and working full time is full of challenges. You don’t have all the time you want for either of the passions in your life. Sometimes, you need to shut out the pressure and deadlines and spend quality time with your kids. Thanks to the nudge of Winter Bike to School Day, my son Everett and I did just that today. We dusted off our gear that been shelved since the deep free and got back on the bike. It was cold out. It was snowy. It was icy. We were running late. And it was FUN!

We were both excited to test out the Xtracycle EdgeRunner so generously lent to us by Coast In Bikes in Milwaukee.  Outfitted with a front studded tire, it made 5 out of 6 rides up the icy, steep alley that I have had to walk my normal bike up for months. We did not slip at all but with all the snow it felt like a sleigh. My son loved climbing up on to the back seat and getting to ride facing forward or backward with the hooptie. He also provide extra safety by signaling turns along with me. In serious winter weather, I love that the Xtracycle EdgeRunner has a smaller back wheel and thus lower center of gravity than other extended bikes AND that you can stow any extra gear you might need. This is a great family or cargo hauler and a steady steed for the bike stable.

We made the 2.6 mile trek with snow swirling about and great views of the winter wonderland that is hidden in Milwaukee’s center along the Milwaukee River. We looked for animals and tracks, only seeing bike and foot tracks. Although no fox prints were found, we enjoyed singing “What Sound Does the Fox Make” and transportation themed christmas carols with gusto. This ride was so much more valuable to me than the ten minutes I could have saved if I had driven. With or without kids, we all can benefit from slowing down, looking around, and hoping on the bike, especially in a snow storm.

Today, Winter Walk and Bike to School Day helped get me back on the bike and reminded me that a bike is  a tool for not only connecting communities but families too. Giddyup!

What is your set up for keeping the whole family biking in winter?

 

 

About Jessica Binder, Program and Policy Director

The second staff member hired for the Milwaukee office 10 years ago, Jessica created and runs Bike Fed’s statewide Safe Routes to School Programs, Bike Camps, and adult bicyclist and motorist education programs. Jessica lives in the Riverwest neighborhood with her husband Christian and son Everett.

5 thoughts on “Oh What Fun it is to Ride in a Mom Powered Sleigh

  1. nice story, how did you feel taking streets before you got to the trail with your son on the back? I’ve thought about doing something similar with my daughter but I cringe at the thought of traffic flying by with her on back (its one thing when it’s just me but another with precious cargo)

    • Case,

      The studded tires really help give you more choice on route selection and you can stick on lower speed, residential streets and avoid arterials. Without studded tires in the winter, I stick to major roads because they are the only roads fully cleared of snow but moving more slowly with a cargo bike, side streets are great and then you don’t have to worry about your precious cargo.

    • I have a Yuba Mundo cargo bike that I cart my dog in all the time. I’ve found that motorists tend to slow down more often and more readily when you’ve got precious cargo in the back (funny how I’m not considered precious, but my dog is).

      At the end of the day, you’re pretty safe on a bike, but if you bring your children along, you’ll probably end up being safer.

  2. I was wondering who I passed on my Xtracycle during the snow storm! Nice review for a very nice bike. My daughter is still riding on the back of mine to school daily. Winter biking is so much fun and it’s always nice to see another cargo bike in Riverwest.

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