Me and My Bike (and My Kid) – Meet Claire

Me and My Bike (and My Kid) – Meet Claire


ClaireanddaughterPart of the fun of biking around town is the serendipitous conversations and encounters with other bike folk as we pass each other along the way. Even when driving, I keep an eye out for people on bikes – but it’s harder to say hello, short of honking the horn, which can send altogether the wrong message!

So when I drove past this mum and daughter biking up Franklin Rd on a sunny Friday afternoon, and then found a magical parking spot one minute later, I took it as a sign. Claire was more than happy to pause for a chat, and her daughter (aged one and a half) was excited to show off her cool bike seat.

Where are you two off to?

Heading home. Recently I started picking my daughter up from daycare on my bike 2-3 times a week. When the weather and timing suit, we prefer to do the trip by bike rather than the car.

Do you have far to go?

Riding home together on the bike only takes 10 minutes but it’s a part of the day I look forward to. I get to share her experience of the neighbourhood – when she sees something that interests her we can go over to it so she can have a closer look. We investigate flowers and plants and sometimes an interesting gate or brickwork. She names and points out things she notices like dogs, red cars (like Mum’s) and other people on bikes.

How did you figure out what bike seat to get? 

We went to a “Bubs on Bikes” event back in March and tried some different ones. She likes being up front so I wanted to get a front-mounted bike seat, but I wasn’t sure if/how often we’d actually use it. Fortunately one bike shop (E-Cycles/Bikes and Barbers in Newmarket) offered to rent the seat to me for a month so we could try it out. That was 3 months ago! It’s a Bobike Mini classic, good for kids up to 15 kg or about 3 years of age. So we’ll get a bit more use out of it.

That’s not an e-bike you’re riding though, is it? 

No! No battery assist, just me. I bought this bike on TradeMe – it’s an Alamode CRS 1.0 with 21 gears, pretty basic but it’s nice and light. The lady I bought it off had already replaced the seat with a comfier one, which is great.

And how’s the ride, with a co-pilot up front?

I’m not a confident cyclist so it took a little bit of practice to get used to biking with the seat, especially getting on and off the bike. Some parts of the ride are pretty steep – I just get off the bike and push her up those bits then jump back on again when it levels out. And some of the roads are not as steep as I thought, especially Franklin Road. Maybe I am just getting fitter!

Mostly we just take it slow and cruise. Once we get home it’s all about getting dinner ready and getting her into bed, so it’s nice to have that little time to relax and have some fun together on the way home.

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