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BFisher 11-26-21 06:29 PM

Don't know about the "edge," but much of what has been said is very valuable, especially iab's take.

I can't believe the years that are behind me already. My oldest is 17. I'm the only bike dork in the family. They know it helps me mentally, and there are days that my wife will insist I go riding. One of the last things I want to be as a parent and husband is selfish, but sanity matters. Heck, she bought me a classic Colnago that I never would have bought for myself. My cycling nuttery is fully supported, as is her pottery studio. Happiness prevails.

noglider 11-26-21 09:43 PM

I towed my two kids in a trailer. We had a lot of fun. I worried that they get bored. I asked the older one, then 7 years old. She said, "Oh no, Daddy. The bike goes faster than the car!" I think riding is also good role modeling for them. I actually wish I had done it more.

shrtdstncrdr 11-26-21 11:19 PM

Don't worry about it. Your kids will pick up some of your loves and dislikes whether you intend them to or not. My daughter likes to learn new languages and taught herself rudimentary sign language along with a little Japanese. Not such a far cry from her dad, although learning English wasn't a choice for me. (Und now eye don't efen haf a Egsent) She rides bike, but it's her balm. Her escape, Just as it is for me.

My son became the proficient musician such that he fronts a group that's finding its path. The same one I was on until I made the decision to take marriage and kids over that of the touring/on call lifestyle.

Look at the good you've been able to live in the experiences with your family. It isn't easy and it may not be fun for periods in life, but it's always worth it. What you get in return is greater than the sum, as they say.

mstateglfr 11-26-21 11:50 PM

Sure, it gets better. Or rather- it changes.
For a handful of years, cycling meant family rides of under 5mi, so I would try for quantity- ride to parks and playgrounds frequently.
A Weehoo really expanded family rides since our oldest could do 10-15mi trips to parks or ice cream and our youngest could hang in the Weehoo and 'help'.

Now, one is 14 and the other is 11. They ride as often as their schedules permit, which is less frequently than before, but they genuinely enjoy it.

This is from July on RAGBRAI with my 14yo where I got to ride with her for a day instead of the teen cycling program I help run.

ETA- hey OP, by riding with them for errands/commuting is probably way better that just exposing them to cycling as a recreational activity. There can be be ton of value in them experiencing regular travel on a bike.
As they age, maybe plan overnight camping by bike. We used to actually drive 40min to a trailhead and ride the 20mi trail to a town with camping, a pool, etc. It's exhausting for all, but it can be rewarding and keep you riding in in slightly different manner.

PugRider 11-27-21 08:06 AM

Hey, at least you're still riding something.

And you still have all the Modern Lovers tracks...

repechage 11-27-21 08:26 AM

My error was index shifting.
my son uses toe clips and straps but shifting should go click click.

But, he never turns down an offer to go for a bike ride together.

jforb427 11-28-21 09:25 AM

I bought a new road bike in the mid 80s. then had kids. then moved out to the country, with dirt roads. So the bike was mostly neglected. When the oldest went off to college, he took the bike...and turned it into a fixie, and still has it. His younger brothers did similar things.

I just got a 40+ year old road bike, not much different from the one I started with. I'm leaving it alone, and riding it (we recently moved to a neighborhood with empty, paved roads). Kids were visiting over the weekend, and were dumbfounded by all that shifting stuff, rear brake, etc on my new bike :)

Life is fun, do what you can, and enjoy it.

tgot 11-28-21 10:26 PM

It does get better.
Several things...

What others have said about the timeline and process is spot on. The days are long but the years are short.
There will come a time when disappearing for a morning-long ride really isn't a burden on the spouse, because the kid(s) can feed and entertain themselves that long.

It's a joy to ride with my teenager. It's a too-rare shared experience, low pressure, and opportunity for conversation, in which she sometimes shares more that usual.

So far I'm looking like 1 of 3 in terms of kids really enjoying biking. One never knows.

The best, most magical, teamwork experience biking with a child? The tandem bike. With a kid back attachment, they pedal too, and in sync with you. The sense of pride they get when showing strangers that they can pedal the whole bike by themselves is great (my feet visibly sticking out). Everyone comments and gives praise to the child.

The pedalling tied together keeps them motivated and interested. They can do it earlier than you would have guessed. And you can feel when it's switched from them also pedalling to you moving their feet for them; they need a break and snack.

Tandems have their own logistical and financial challenges. The tandem forum here was helpful.

When mine were small, I was fortunate to have flat bike paths near our home. I could ride with one adult and three children, 90 minutes the long way to a playground, snacks and play, then 30 minutes home the short way.

Nothing else got done that day. But watching three kids, nothing was going to get done excepts keeping them happy and alive and hopefully finding shared joy.

The double-double:
Each kid progressed through the stoker position, pedalling in sync with daddy and learning the teamwork.

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