Ten Autumn Cycling Must-Haves for Biking with Small Children
1. A drink carrier & a container to fit in it. Yeah, I know, the weather's cooler, but you still need to keep hydrated. Or perhaps caffeinated is more important, as we are talking about parents of little kids here. If you haven't already got one, you can get the typical bottle cage that attaches to your frame for under $4, or you can pick up a nifty coffee cup holder that straps onto your handlebars for a truly civilized ride. Pro-tip: the universal stroller coffee cup holders will often fit on your bike & can be cheaper.
2. Layered clothing. You & your little one don't need to buy any special gear to ride in the fall--your normal clothes are fine! I suggest you dress in thin layers so you can remove one or two if you get going enough to heat up. Keep your wee one dressed warmer than you, as they won't be exerting themselves much.
|We bike in 'civilian clothes'|
4. Warm mittens for baby. I find my hands don't get that cold when I'm riding, so I rarely wear gloves. Sprout, on the other hand, isn't pedalling, so his little hands get pretty chilly if he doesn't have cozy mitts.
5. Appropriate footwear. Whatever you'd wear to walk in whatever weather you're riding in is perfect for cycling with a tot. If it's raining we'll wear our gumboots. Though I got caught off guard by a rain shower on our way home from Costco the other day & though I was wearing Birkenstocks, the world did not end. :)
|2 panniers + 1 bungee cord = cargo capacity for a Costco run|
7. An extra facecloth/terry wipe. I usually toss a terry wipe in my purse whenever I'm going anywhere. They're great for getting the bike smudges off my fingers (I should probably clean my bike sometime) or drying up wet faces, bike seats, etc.
|I named him Squeaky D|
9. A red tail light. It gets dark earlier these days, so I find myself riding at night a lot more & a bright rear light is essential. You can go for a cheap red turtle light, but I'd recommend one of the Planet Bike Superflash lights--they're very visible from the front & side.
10. Last, but definitely not least: a head light. I usually use an MEC turbo turtle. The turtle lights aren't that effective for seeing your way around, they're more just to make you visible to cars. If you're riding in an area that's quite dark, I'd recommend a proper headlamp.
Hope this list was helpful for those of you who are starting to ride into the cooler (& wetter, around here) weather of autumn. If you're an experienced all-weather cyclist with kids & you have a tip to add, please share in the comments! Happy cycling!
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Why Monday lists? Reading the lovely Chloe's blog, Tea Swamp Park, I found an idea I had to 'steal': a list of all her Halloween costumes, with quite a few photos. She got the idea from Hula Seventy's List Project. I've decided to do the weekly lists for a year that Hula Seventy is doing.
Tea Swamp Park & Hula Seventy are not the only ones doing lists, however. Click on the Listicles badge to the left to check out NorthWestMommy's list & 'assignment' for next week.