Being a first-time mom comes with its challenges, but integrating your family with your biking hobby doesn’t have to be. This weeks guest post is from Megan of BikeShopHub.com where she talks about her steps from being a bicycling girl to a bicycling mom.
Hi, I’m Megan, and I’m a biking mom. A mom who just happens to work at an online bike shop, BikeShopHub.com, that specializes in bike accessories that help you do more with your bicycle. Pre-”positive EPT”, I was a bike enthusiast who bike commuted 30 miles a day between work and school, enduring all of the unpredictable weather Flagstaff, Arizona has to offer. My love for cycling grew with each pedal stroke, and I decided to take my biking relationship to the next level, and try bike touring. After taking a few mini trips to Sedona and the Grand Canyon, I felt ready to brave a longer tour. I chose an area that holds a special place in my heart, a place of my youth: southern California. Biking the PCH from LA to Napa Valley, I rode 600 miles in eight days, and loved every minute of it. I cataloged my experience on BikeTrailerBlog.com to encourage other commuters to think about another side of biking. One year hence, a 7.2-pound bundle of joy entered my life.
I had biked up until the time that I was eight-months pregnant by continually swapping bikes. As tummy growth has an inverse relationship with the ability to bend over, I went from road bike to cross bike to mountain bike, and finally to cruiser bike. I found doing Bikram Yoga on a regular basis helped me to maintain my balance as my center of gravity changed, and I was still able to commute solely by bike or public transit. When the time finally came, I decided to purchase a motor vehicle, something I had not owned in five years. Once the baby was born, I was itching to get back in the saddle–which didn’t happen for another five months…
It takes a lot of mental preparation to decide whether to bike commute with your child. As an avid cyclist who has been doored, I understand the risks of riding. I certainly had my reservations. However, considering I sell bike child trailers and love biking, I knew that riding with my girl was something I really wanted to do. Neva grew, and she grew, and she grew. When she was able to sit up straight, and hold her head with glowing confidence, and I had the 15 months of contemplation, we were both ready. I’ll never forget the first day that I was able to bike to work again, but this time with my daughter sound asleep in the bike trailer behind me.
Now, it’s as if I am car free again. I pull Neva everywhere, and she coos with glee until sleep overtakes her. On my days off, we’ll bike 15 or more miles doing errands around town, or biking to beautiful lookout points where she can play in the grass. It’s fun to imagine how she sees the quickly passing scenery, and repetitive cyclic motion of the rear wheel turning and my legs pumping the pedals. I am overjoyed to be able to share my cycling passion with my child at such a young age, and for her to be so receptive to the whole experience. Being able to bike with her has really enriched my life.
The next step for us will be going bike camping, integrating bike panniers for long distance travels. Preparing to go long distance with a child adds a whole new element. Mapping out safe cycling routes is a number one priority when extending your route outside of towns and cities. Through my current work position, I am fortunate enough to currently be testing several bike child trailers, including a Chariot Cougar 1 which has been great so far and I will be reviewing soon. So far, I can remark that Chariot Carriers is clearly a very detail-oriented, high quality bike child trailer. It’s got a price to match, but can be considered a value if regularly utilized for some or all of its purposes. And they are occasionally on sale.
There are so many options available, and I enjoy being able to offer my experiences to other bikers who are interested in biking with their children, but don’t really know where to start. I will continue to test products as the bike gear guinea pig, and look forward to empowering my fellow female biking friends in future posts.
Megan Fitch is a dynamo at BikeShopHub.com managing customer service, accounting and writing content. BikeShopHub.com is a sponsor of BikeShopGirl.com, but we feel Megan’s outlook is well worth sharing!