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View Full Version : Loading, Unloading, Locking with a small child



Justin Antos
04-28-2014, 10:35 AM
What's the best order of operations to load and unload gear, load and unload child, and also lock up the bike? I've started riding with my 9-month old with a Yepp Mini seat. He loves the ride and I'm happy with the seat, but the logistics of loading, unloading, and locking have me a bit flummoxed.

When he's in the seat, I want 1 or 2 hands on the bike at all times for balancing. I can unload him just fine, but then how to deal with gear and locking up one-handed? He's not walking yet, and I feel uncomfortable just plopping him down on the sidewalk. I've got a double-pointed kickstand but it's still pretty wobbly.

Any advice? Dutch-style wheel lock?

dasgeh
04-28-2014, 11:37 AM
Ah, the joys of parenting. I think each bike is a little different. With our dutch bike + bobike mini, I find it best to plan the dismount before I mount, and pack accordingly. E.g., have the lock very accessible, have the diaper bag grab-a-ble with one hand. I have plopped a non-walker down on a sidewalk plenty of times to have two hands to get the bike locked up/bags off -- it's easier at that stage then when they start walking and you have to have the stern "you absolutely cannot walk away from me right now" talk with a one-year-old. Oh, and keep in mind the dangers of where you plop the kid -- it's almost always safer to have the bike between the plopped kid and the street.

Finally, you may want a better kickstand.

Frame locks are awesome, but I find them harder to deal with one-handed than U- or cable locks.

Steve
04-28-2014, 01:26 PM
have the diaper bag grab-a-ble with one hand.

Or have one that's good to ride with like this Timbuk2 Stork (http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/stork-baby-diaper-messenger-bag).

Note: I don't actually have kids yet, so I have no idea on this kind of stuff, I just liked the bag and came across it recently.

dasgeh
04-28-2014, 01:48 PM
Or have one that's good to ride with like this Timbuk2 Stork (http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/stork-baby-diaper-messenger-bag).

Note: I don't actually have kids yet, so I have no idea on this kind of stuff, I just liked the bag and came across it recently.

Pro Tip: never buy a "diaper bag" to be your diaper bag. They're generally too wide for panniers (making one-handed loading/unloading difficult), too big for what you need (but you'll fill it up anyway) and too heavy. We have an awesome, pannier compatible North Face messenger-like bag that also has a hip strap, so in a pinch, we can use it like this thing (http://www.gogobabyz.com/product-i14560-c40-Sidekick_Bliss.aspx). Though according to google, they don't sell it any more.

cyclingfool
04-28-2014, 02:00 PM
Getting slightly OT here, perhaps, but wanted interject w/ a good portable diapering option.

http://www.skiphop.com/product/prontochangingstation.html

This has been our go-to diaper bag for almost all cases, on bike, in car, on transit, out for the whole day even. It can be loaded with 4-5 diapers and enough wipes for at least that many changes. We have a bigger bag that was given to us as a gift, but we hardly ever use it. And it's super easy to stuff in a pannier or backpack as needed.

As for loading and unloading, I've got a Burley, so I used to just leave cyclingfool, jr. in there until I was ready to get him out in his preambulatory days. He's almost 2 now, so it's easy to just get him out and have him stand next to me and even help. His "job" in the trailer is usually to hold the u-lock as we ride, so I can't lock up w/o his help these days. :)