Author Topic: Tips for biking in inclement weather with kids?  (Read 4561 times)

Thegoblinchief

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Tips for biking in inclement weather with kids?
« on: August 25, 2014, 08:26:58 AM »
Kids are 4,7,8. Currently I've been trying to avoid biking when it rained, but we're suddenly down to one car for an undetermined amount of time.

Option 1: rig a DIY rain canopy for my already modified bike trailer. Would require buying <$50 worth of materials.

Option 2: Acquire some decent rain gear for them (probably from Sierra Trading Post), which would work for walking, biking, hiking, etc. Plus, realistically I might have one more year of being able to pull all 3 - so they're going to have to get used to biking in more than fair weather.

My girls (7+8) could easily fit into adult smalls without drowning too much.

Tips?

GuitarStv

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Re: Tips for biking in inclement weather with kids?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 09:37:57 AM »
Can you just throw a tarp over the trailer secure it with a bit of rope and call it a day?

BooksAreNerdy

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Re: Tips for biking in inclement weather with kids?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 12:54:37 PM »
I suppose it depends on where you are biking? If you are taking them to school, they ought to have appropriate rain gear to play outside anyway. If it is just to the store and home, modifying the trailer would be nice as it will also keep the groceries dry.

Could you start with the cheaper option and leg up as needed?

marblejane

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Re: Tips for biking in inclement weather with kids?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 03:52:20 PM »
Probably both? More than protection from rain, you will need to shield them from road spray from your wheels, right? Even if you have full fenders, they are going to be low enough to the ground to get some spray.

MayDay

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Re: Tips for biking in inclement weather with kids?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 07:34:43 PM »
If they are in rain gear, will they be sitting in a pool of water?  Or are there drain holes in your trailer?

My kids would be pissed about getting wet, and would whine like nobodies business, making the whole endeavor completely miserable. 

A friend of mine with three kids does a three-car train:  her bike, trail a bike, burley.  You could pick up a cheap trailer on CL with a cover, and a trail a bike.

 

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Tips for biking in inclement weather with kids?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2014, 08:45:20 PM »
In my experience, a kid riding in a stroller wearing a rain coat gets SOAKED. It seems like riding in a trailer would be pretty similar. I vote for the cover.

I've never biked in the rain on purpose (got caught out once or twice). Is it really safe?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Tips for biking in inclement weather with kids?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2014, 05:23:34 AM »
In my experience, a kid riding in a stroller wearing a rain coat gets SOAKED. It seems like riding in a trailer would be pretty similar. I vote for the cover.

I've never biked in the rain on purpose (got caught out once or twice). Is it really safe?

Absolutely! I'd argue that bikes are even safer, because you have vastly more visibility. In fact,I cycling safety sites usually caution being careful and being brightly lit more to compensate for the poor visibility of people in cars, not any inherent danger in your activity.

 Bike tires hit the road as a curved surface. The tread on road tires is just decorative, it actually serves no functional purpose, because hydro planing is impossible. The only tricky spots for bikes are metal expansion joints and certain railroad crossings - you can lose traction on wet metal very easily. But with that small exception, you can bike more or less just as fast. Standard brake pads will lose a little grip, so if you start biking in the rain a lot, it's worth getting pads like the Kool Stop Salmon.

I guess if we NEED to be somewhere, I'll throw a cover on, but long term I want them all to get used to being outdoors. I think riding their own bikes in rain has a much lower misery factor than sitting in a trailer in the rain. Generally when I ride in the rain, I keep my torso dry but unless it's cold rain, I won't bother with rain pants or boots, instead wearing the fastest drying shorts I have and sandals instead of shoes.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Tips for biking in inclement weather with kids?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2014, 07:13:47 AM »
Thanks! I don't actually have a good raincoat or boots (got some knee-high ones at Goodwill. but could hardly bike in them!) but it's good to know this is an option. My kids are still in the toddler trailer which a built-in cover, so THEY would be quite comfy. Another question is how to keep my glasses dry.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Tips for biking in inclement weather with kids?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2014, 08:25:43 AM »
Thanks! I don't actually have a good raincoat or boots (got some knee-high ones at Goodwill. but could hardly bike in them!) but it's good to know this is an option. My kids are still in the toddler trailer which a built-in cover, so THEY would be quite comfy. Another question is how to keep my glasses dry.

As long as it's not one of those really warm, muggy rains where the glasses fog up, you can see through the glasses just fine in my experience - and I've biked through some torrential downpours.

The best (cheap) rain jacket is the Marmot PreCip. I got mine last year from Sierra Trading Post. If you sign up for their spam e-mails and get a 30 or 35% coupon, you can get a really nice piece of outerwear for under $50. The Columbia stuff will keep you just as dry, but the seams are much less durable.

If you don't believe me, read The Wirecutter guide: http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-everyday-rain-jacket/

BooksAreNerdy

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Re: Tips for biking in inclement weather with kids?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2014, 09:02:16 AM »
Yes, if you live somewhere nice, sandals and fast drying clothes are the easiest way to go!

I agree about getting the kids used to being outdoors in 'bad' weather. My toddler loves to run and play in the rain. Seems like as long as she isn't overly cold (below freezing) or overly hot (above mid-90s) she is happy rain, snow, or shine.

marblejane

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Re: Tips for biking in inclement weather with kids?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2014, 10:23:58 AM »
I think riding their own bikes in rain has a much lower misery factor than sitting in a trailer in the rain.

Hit the nail on the head! Sitting in a trailer in the rain will be miserable. Riding in the rain will be fun.