Mums' Corner: Cycling with children, part 2 - Total Women's Cycling

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Mums' Corner

Mums’ Corner: Cycling with children, part 2

Cathy and Cherry take on the world on a bicycle made for two.

In the first week of Mums’ Corner, Cathy shared the thought process she went through, before deciding to start cycling with her one-year-old, Cherry. Now Cathy shares the task of turning her chariot into a bicycle made for two.

Today Cherry went on her first ever bike ride.

After reading up on Karen’s excellent website CycleSprog, which is now my new favourite website, I went for a front-mounted seat. This one is a Yepp Mini, a Dutch brand that is sold in Evans. As it’s a Dutch brand the seat is made for Dutch bikes, so we needed a special adaptor to make it fit my hybrid. We also bought Cherry her cute little Kiddimoto helmet, which is adjustable so should last her a few years.

After Noel had fitted the seat (yes, I could have done it myself I suppose, but I chose not to) we were both a bit concerned how little space it seemed to leave for me. I found I needed to lower the saddle a couple of inches to be comfortable on the bike with the seat in front.

I also had a rack fitted to my bike, as carrying a bag on my back with a baby up front seemed a little dangerous. So I picked out this gorgeous pannier from Cyclechic, another favourite website of mine, which is made from recycled fabrics for super-duper green points. It’s massive, there was plenty of room for all of Cherry’s toys and nappies and general jiggery-pokery.

Cherry sitting comfortably in her Dutch, Yepp Mini, front-mounted seat.

The result of these modifications is a bicycle that weighs approximately a billion tonnes, but nobody wants to be a speedster with a baby on board.

For our first ride we ventured into Clapham’s nappy-tastic Northcote Road for lunch. Noel came with us and I was very grateful to have him to either lead the way or stay behind and act as a barrier between Cherry and I and traffic, for our first trip.

I was surprised how nervous I felt cycling with Cherry. I’ve never felt nervous cycling by myself, but clearly she’s a very precious cargo. The extra weight took some getting used to, particularly the pannier at the back which threw the weighting slightly ‘off’. The closest experience I could compare it to was cycling a tandem. Your weight distribution suddenly becomes extremely important and sharp turns were out of the question at first. But I got used to it very quickly.

Noel noticed that Cherry and I got plenty of ‘how cute’ from drivers and passers-by but also the odd look of disgust. This really doesn’t bother me – if you don’t think it’s safe to cycle with a child, don’t cycle with your child.

Cherry was happy as anything on her little seat, and having her so close to me was very comforting. I could put my arm round her and cuddle her from my vantage point, and we had a nice little chat as we pottered along.

In fact she was so happy and cosy she nodded off on the way home.

For more of Cathy’s musings on cycling with Cherry and the upcoming birth of number two, check out her blog and follow Cathy on Twitter.


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