Alex Darr and Kirsten Hove have been biking all over town for years and continue to do so with their son William, who is now two years old. As a family, they have discovered new joys and challenges that come with biking with kids. As they pedal to school, church, groceries, work and beyond on their electric family bike, their biking style and commitment are truly a testament to the endless possibilities for family biking.
When did you start riding with your son, William?
Alex: When he was six months old, we had him on a front carrier on our regular bikes. There’s a big hill between where we live in the Richmond and his school in the Marina, though, which made it tough. Once we got our electric-assist Family Bike, we could ride easily over hills with William (and with extra weight as well).
Tell us more about this Family Bike. How did you come to own one?
Alex: It really started with seeing the SF Bicycle Coalition’s Family and Schools Program Manager, Nancy, at the Family Biking outreach station last spring at the Tenderloin Sunday Streets. My son, William, and I tried out the EdgeRunner Family Bike, and it got me thinking. William was getting so heavy for my wife, Kirsten, that she had started borrowing a car to take him to day care and other places.
She started talking about needing a car, which we couldn’t afford. Instead of getting a car, though, we went together to Warm Planet Bikes to purchase a family bike. Now we use our Family Bike for everything! It’s our minivan of bicycles. One other good thing is that Kirsten now bikes to get around when she’s not with William, whereas previously she had mostly been taking MUNI.
How does William like the Family Bike?
Alex: William loves it. Especially when we first started riding the Family Bike together, he would always be singing during his ride. Now he’s so used to it – a bike is just how he gets around.
Where else do you ride in the city?
Alex: All over the place, really. I can now do my grocery shopping all at once, whereas before I had to make multiple trips or or be very conscious about how much I was buying and how far I was carrying it. Gallons of milk, for example, were tricky. Now, it’s not an issue.
We also ride bikes any time we go to church, especially since they have secure bike racks. The bike racks at the First Unitarian Universalist Society are so popular that they had to put in a second bike rack this year! We also take William to school by bike.
Speaking of biking to school, Bike & Roll to School Week is coming up on April 20-24. Are you excited?
Kirsten: It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m going to get everyone at William’s school to sign up for the raffle to win a Family Bike. I can’t wait.
If you have kids as well, be sure to sign up your school for Bike & Roll to School Week 2015, one of the biggest bike to school celebrations in the country on April 20-24! Sign up now – the deadline to receive giveaways for your school is April 3!
You can also check our our events page for upcoming family rides and classes as well as opportunities to try out a family bike.