Two weeks ago our family experienced a momentous occasion: our 6 year old daughter learned how to ride a bike!
The joy! The excitement! The pressure! [Confession time: Although I did my fair share of bike riding as a child, it promptly ended when I got my learners permit at age 14.] And so, when my
little big girl learned to ride and immediately began insisting I get a bike so we could all ride together, I was a little. . .hesitant.
It didn’t take too much prodding from two very determined girls, however, to convince me that getting a bicycle as well as some sort of trailer/carrier made a lot of sense for our family. We live in Richardson [which we love], a very accessible and pedestrian friendly city. From our house we can and frequently do walk to the library, the park, Tom Thumb, the local school playground, Dollar General, as well as many other local and fast food restaurants.
After searching craigslist and researching the internet, we finally decided on a bicycle with both a two-seated trailer AND a removable child seat for the back of the bicycle. Now we could ride as a family around the block if my 3 year old wanted to ride her tricycle, and we could also go for a ride to the park during the day if the distance was too great for her to ride said trike. [And YES the first few times I rode that bike I was embarrassingly wobbly.]
So, what should you do if you want to look at becoming a biking family?
1. Find a bike! This can be a lot more difficult than it sounds. Richardson Bike Mart [visit the link here] is a fantastic place to buy bikes, baskets, bells, and about anything else you can think of that is bicycle related. For our family, however, we decided to make sure that the biking “stuck” before making a large investment. Craigslist to the rescue!!
2. Find a trailer/carrier for any siblings. We again looked to craigslist [just remember to be careful when buying from strangers!] and found a two-seat Trek bike trailer which also converted to a jogging stroller. With a weight limit of 100 lbs., this could even hold my 6 year old and 3 year old together if I needed it to. After careful consideration we also bought a child seat for the actual bike; this way I wouldn’t always have to tow the trailer.
3. Find a place to ride those bikes. Of course there are the sidewalks, but sometimes you AND your kids need to ride with nothing but unobstructed paths ahead of you. The Heights Park in Richardson [here is a map] has a nice, winding, wide and paved path that circles around the park. Breckinridge Park, also in Richardson [see the map here] also has wide paths that are very extensive and go by both meadows and ponds. Lastly, Celebration Park in Allen [the map is here] has trails, a duck pond, a playground, and a sprayground.
As cheesy as it sounds, the best part is getting to be outdoors with my children, who don’t mind the heat, the cold, or even rainy weather!
* * * * *
Does anyone else ride bikes as a family or have any favorite biking places in Dallas?