Kicking off bike week, Move Minneapolis hosted a webinar Bike Commuting With A Family. Featuring four parents who are taking on a full family bike commute in a variety of ways. Panelists explored the magic of sharing community exploration with their kids, e-bike resources and accessories, the realities of challenges and overcoming them, as well as recommendations for employers who want to make bike commuting possible!

Watch the full webinar here:

Quotes from the webinar

Why you started

“My oldest started riding in our cargo bike at 6 months of age, really because we’ve always tried to live intentionally close to things, purposely trying to find ways to bike and walk to get around just because it’s a lot more fun. You want to be connected to things, not stuck in traffic.”

“For me, a really important part is mental health and keeping my mental health in check. Getting exercise and moving my body is a big part of that. Another reason why I’m a big advocate for cycle commuting is that I think starting and ending your workday on a bike, there’s just nothing better.”

What Biking Means to Your Kids

“Being able to stop and do things. We can stop by a park, or we can stop by the bookstore or wherever, because we’re just going past. It’s super easy to just be like, yeah, let’s do it. They can call that out and do it.”

“I could talk to them, we could sing songs. I could pay attention to them. When we’re on the trail, I feel comfortable just being entirely focused on them instead of looking in a rear-view mirror and trying to get their attention. You have this connection that you wouldn’t have otherwise.”

“I love that the word magic is coming up as the theme here, and before you had both said that it was in my head, too, of what I would add, and I think I just I personally I can’t think of a time I’ve been in a car, and been like that was magical for me, and one moment that we had with my little one.. she felt like she was in a parade, the amount of excitement and joy from just that small moment of seeing other people, sharing the ride with others, and being part of a community, in some way was absolutely magical. I can’t even think of another word more app than that.”

Solving problems

“I always have my Go-To card on me. A lot of the trips you’re going to take are the same trip over and over. I know that we’re going to pass the green line. I know we’re going to pass the 63 bus. So having those mapped out in your mind in advance, just so if you are running late to something you can still get there. We also have an Evie membership, so you can join Hour Car or Evie.”

“Do small things start off. Go to Dairy Queen, go take small rides to places that are fun, get them used to the idea of being on a bike. And so when things do inevitably go wrong, which they always will with kids, they have this positive experience to fall back on, that just makes it easier for everyone.”

Bikes and Budgets

“Make your budget, and then go out and see what other people are riding. When you’re at the park, ask people about their bikes, talk to them about what they have, what they like, what they don’t. We send a lot of Radwagons around and a lot of Terns around.”

“My family, given our budget, opted for a lower cost bike, because we knew we would want to accessorize it. If we got the higher price bike, we wouldn’t have been able to accessorize it in the way that we needed. I think that word is a little bit of a misnomer, because if we didn’t have those things we wouldn’t be able to make the bike work for us as a car replacer.”

For Employers – Bike Parking

“What actually started me on bike committing was that my employer had an underground car parking garage that they had bike parking built into. So I had to use my employee key card to get into this garage and could leave my bike locked up to a number of different types of bike parking that just made it so much easier for me along with a locker room and showers and all the things.”

“I’d say if you’re representing an employer on this call, getting to where you work is usually the highest stress and the reason people don’t bike. You may have the nicest parking, but anyone’s ever seen but if it’s really stressful to actually get to the office, people aren’t going to ride their cargo like there. So, if you represent an employer, and can advocate for improvements to infrastructure, I think a lot of people here have said, you know, infrastructure is kind of what’s holding back us from running to other places to ride more with our kids that kind of thing. So make sure to let folks know, either executive leadership, city council, or whoever it is you can that what’s holding you back is infrastructure.”

Thank you to our panelists!

  • Alex Tsatsoulis
  • Cambray Crozier
  • Carmen Wade
  • Laura Groenjes Mitchell

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