Our Family Bike Fleet
Why We Have More Bikes Than Family Members
One thing that we enjoy doing as a family is riding our bikes around the neighborhood. There are more than 12 miles of trails and this does not include the sidewalks along the streets.
The biggest challenge we have is getting a bike for everyone to ride. Our daughter has special needs that have prevented her from learning to ride a bike independently so far. But we continue to experiment with various ways around this issue.
She is old enough now that we are trying a tandem bike this summer, so we have an additional bike in the garage for now.
In the summertime, we ride to the pool. During the school year, the kids ride their bikes down the street to school. Many shops and stores are a five minute bike ride away as well.
Other times we like to ride to one of the local parks to burn off some of the kids' energy or explore the trails to see if we can spot some wildlife.
It is a fun and inexpensive way to spend time together outdoors.
All of the pictures were taken by me unless otherwise noted.
How Our Tandem Bike Arrived
We ordered the bike online and had it shipped to us. It arrived three days sooner than promised, which we were very pleased about.
It took me about an hour to put together. It was mostly assembled. The handle bars and seats needed to put on as well as the front wheel, fender, and pedals. Minimal tools were needed - about 3 different allen wrenches. Here is the bike before the first test ride.
Kulana Lua Bikes on Ebay
Our tandem bike is a Kulana Lua made by Pacific Cycle (formerly Schwinn). If you are looking for an entry level tandem bike to try out, this one won't break the bank. We have put a lot of miles on ours so far and it works well. At some point, I want to upgrade to a tandem bike with gears to make it easier to pedal when going very slow (or when my partner decides to stop pedaling :).
How We Got Along Before The Tandem Bike
My daughter was small enough that up until recently we could put her in this bike cart and go for a ride. But she grew to a point where even I could not haul her this way. And it was not a great experience for her anymore either.
The only thing we did not like about this cart was that dirt and water kicked up by the back tire of the bike would end up in the cart. There is a net that would stop any big stones but not the fine grit. There is also a plastic layer that can be unfolded as well, but that usually made the cart too hot for my daughter to be comfortable. She like the feel of air blowing in her face!
Some Comments About My Bike
Looking at the picture above, you may be saying that it certainly would have helped ease my burden to have a bike with gears. But since I already had this bike before we got the cart, I stuck with it. I would have much rather had one of these bikes!
My Daughter's Other Bike
While we use the tandem bike to go on family bike rides, we also have my daughter ride on a 'typical' bike with training wheels to keep moving her towards riding independently.
She is getting better with each week, particularly gaining strength in her legs for pedaling and learning coordination for steering and braking.
Over the last several months she has taken a liking to this bike and riding it. A lot of her friends ride their bikes, so she wants to be like every other kid.
We found a good bike and a set of training wheels that will work with the bike and not stand out or look too different for my daughter's liking. The bike is an Electra Little Betty model.
UPDATE - My Wife's Now Former Bike
As referenced above, we bought an extra coupler to put on her bike so that we could hook the bike cart to her bike or mine. You can't really see that in these pictures since it is so small and attaches on the rear of the frame with the axle of the wheel.
This is a Schwinn Legacy model.
Meet The New Bike - Almost
We tried this bike for a few days, but it didn't make the grade. The handle bars were not long enough, causing my wife to have to lean forward a bit. That was not comfortable on anything more than a short ride. So this bike was sent back even though it does look nice, for a girl's bike that is.
This bike is a Schwinn Clairmont model.
And Here Is The New Addition To The Bike Fleet
This bike is on its probation period. So far the reviews from my wife are good. The handlebars are long, allowing my wife to sit more upright and comfortably. The bike is nice and light as well.
The only downside at the moment is that there are no fenders, so puddles can leave their mark. Maybe I will have to find a way to make some fenders. Anyone know how to make fenders?
This bike is a Phat Sea Wind model. That's right, I said Phat.
My Son's Bike
This bike is a Schwinn Sidewinder model.