On two wheels with my new bike accessory – a toddler
As a single, carefree cyclist I had happily weaved through the traffic on holiday in Mumbai and Panama City, and at home in Edinburgh and London, with few fears. Then I became pregnant, felt the fear and the joy of a fragile, new life growing inside me and stopped cycling.
Two years on I knew that I needed to get cycling again; but something that had always felt so easy and relaxed suddenly felt full of danger and rather complicated: baby seats – in front or behind? Trailers - in traffic with cars - you must be mad! How do you get your bike and your baby on the train together? (This is still a mystery and I have to rely on the kindness of fellow travellers to keep hold of one or the other).
Thankfully I’m lucky enough to live in Dunbar, East Lothian, where Dunbar Cycling Group helped me back on my bike, with my toddler. Our first ride was in April to a local woodland for an afternoon of storytelling and games which my son nearly missed because he fell asleep in his seat, on the bike. Even if I was scared during this first adventure, he clearly wasn’t.
Going out with the group most weekends since then has helped me gain confidence on local, mainly traffic free routes with other families. I’ve learnt where I can find the National Cycle Network route near us and how to dismount without the baby falling to the ground.
Dunbar Cycling Group is a great example of a CTC affiliated cycle club that is getting families cycling together, having fun and showing our community that they don’t need to get in their cars to enjoy a day out. The group’s website has several local route maps, Dr Bike (provided by Sustaining Dunbar) turns up before rides to fix any problems and I don’t think they’d leave me behind if I was slower than the rest of the group!
If you live in Scotland and would like to develop a community or family cycling group in your community please contact me on Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org or 07963704287 or tweet me @backonmybike