Sometimes those little unplanned adventures are the best type. Sure, many of life’s great memories include loads of planning: weddings, the birth of a child, moving into a new house, etc. But equally ingrained in memories may be that random night out you had with some people you met in a bar in Shibuya, that 4wd drive trip you took at the last minute through the deserts of Bolivia or those after work drinks that time that escalated into the most epic Karaoke session in living memory.
When it comes to spending time with your kids, much is the same. months of planning for family holidays sometimes feel like groundhog day when all the kids want to do is go on the swings at the park (not to mention the pile of washing you come home with!), and organised events provide chilling memories of long queues and bad hotdogs.
That’s where an unplanned adventure in your backyard can be the best type, and a cargo bike is the perfect vehicle to take advantage of it!
Here’s a little summer afternoon adventure recently undertaken by Tribe Bikes co-founder, Steve, in his hometown of Newcastle. Enjoy!
It was one of those pretty regular summer days for us. A warm day, with a beach trip in the morning followed by some down time in the afternoon.
It was getting late and the kids needed to burn off some energy. ‘Alright lets go for a bike ride’. We loaded the kids bikes in the Tribe Bike (a balance bike and a 20″ pedal bike which just fits with 2 kids) and went down to our go to, the local cricket oval that has a running track around the outside.
Disaster 1 struck when we turned up and cricket training was in full swing. Not keen on the kids copping cricket balls to the head, we headed to our fallback option, the local netball courts.
Disaster 2 struck when we turned up and the netball courts were surrounded in cyclone fencing with the ‘closed for renovation’ sign up.
Kids were disappointed, “what are we going to do now dad?”. “Not sure kids, lets just go for a ride and see what happens”.
Taking a ride to go for a ride
Kids tend to get to that awkward age where they get confident on their bike, but still lack the spacial awareness to safely ride on roads. Riding on footpaths can be not much fun (unless your council does a better job at maintaining them than ours), so often a drive by car with bikes in the boot is needed for a bike ride.
The problem is if mum/dad and the kids all want to go for a ride together the logistics of bike racks come into play and often it’s all just too hard!
This is where a cargo bike comes into its own. Throw the bikes in the cargo bike and ride to somewhere safe. Get to your destination, kids can ride and you can ride with them.
We get down to the foreshore and what graced us was one of those 11/10 afternoons. The summer northerly winds which often make it unpleasant in the afternoons was nowhere to be seen, the sun was out and it was warm, but not hot. So time for a ride.
Surprisingly, the 3 year old, still on a balance bike, did not complain once and rode the full 2.5km with her brother. Having dad riding alongside her giving her encouragement I’m sure helped.
The Tribe Original Electric Plus in all it’s glory
I’m not sure what it is with boys and sticks but my 5 year old informed me when we got to the beach that there are usually some good sticks in the sand dunes there, and asked if they could go have a play.
Bikes were locked up and off we went to find a good stick. The stick then took its rightful place in the front of the cargo box.
What was meant to be a 30 minute quick bike ride was now well into its second hour, better make our way home or mum will start wondering where we are. But it was too nicer day to go straight home, so a trip around the scenic route was in order!
As we turned the corner to head around our final beach, the combination of light winds, large swells and that golden afternoon light produced an amazing, almost heavenly aspect. Even the kids were in awe.
Up the hill
Through the park on the way up the hill, the kids were quick to spot the large flower garden in full bloom, the many puppies we passed and the large ships parked offshore waiting to dock.
The Electric Plus Tribe Bike, with it’s integrated Bafang mid drive motor, offering 80nM of torque ate up the hill. There’s no need to plan your route around hills on this bad boy!
As we headed home, I assumed I’d start hearing ‘I’m hungry’, or ‘I’m bored’. I was hugely underprepared for this adventure, carrying nothing more than a bottle of water, usually I’d be carrying snacks to occupy the kids until they get home.
I got none of that, instead the kids found a bag of sunglasses that had somehow made it into the cargo box and decided to play a game of how many they could wear at once. We played this game the whole ride home.
This is where having the kids upfront is so great, you really get involved in what they are up to.
Just one of many
This was a great little adventure, but just one of many we can take on our cargo bike.
These are memories that I’ll have for the rest of my life, and hopefully some day when my kids are older they say to me “dad, remember when we used to ride that cargo bike everywhere, that was so much fun!”. That would be something special!