This nicely produced video by Teppo Moisio in Finland highlights a bakfiets being used to carry baby warmly and safely on a winter day:
If you can’t get enough the bakfiets baby cuteness, there’s another video after the jump showing off the weather canopy also keeps children dry on rainy day rides.
Continue reading Video: Bakfiets winter ride with baby
The morning my four year old daughter had a choice to ride on a bike for 3 miles in the cold and snow, or ride in the car. She chose the bike, and we had a comfortable ride over to church. When we arrived I asked if anything was cold. She said her ankles were a little cold– she was wearing anklets instead of full-height socks, and some cold air got on them. That would be easily solved with proper socks in the future.
I have some hope that if children can get beyond the excuse that “it’s too cold to ride”, then perhaps some adults can get over it as well. Biking for transportation in the winter can be great way to fit in some exercise, when it’s otherwise not as enticing to be outside.
For another great post on the topic of kids and choosing to ride in the winter, see this post entitled “There’s No Such Thing….as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing” by Sara at Full Hands.
A weather canopy for your children can make a big difference in your child’s comfort on the bike during rainy, cold or windy conditions.
The most iconic canopy option is the weather canopy for a bakfiets seen in the featured image above.
However, if you have a longtail cargo bike like an Xtracycle or Yuba Mundo, there are some DIY options worth knowing about, with detailed instructions available online.
I love the look the Covered Bike Wagon canopy by co-blogger Larry Clarkberg:
You can read more about how he made the covered bike wagon canopy and he can answer questions about it in the comments. His variation with solar panels is also worth a look:
There’s more about this project at My Solar Bicycle. Most recently I spotted this solution for sun and rain production for a Yuba Mundo:
It’s not quite iconic but it gets the job done, and instructions are available online.
Yet another option to check out the Tiny Helmets Sun Hoods
You can also read more about the differences between the bakfiets, Xtracycles and the Yuba Mundo.
Here’s a great little video about one dad who uses an electric Yuba Mundo as a “school bus” to take his two kids to school:
I’ve used my own electric Yuba Mundo to take two children to school before as well:
More about that experience is my previous posted called Missed the Bus.
The electric Yuba Mundo works well asa kid & cargo winter bike. Recently I’ve been trying out Bar Mitts which so far seem to very effective at keeping my hands warmer while allowing me to wear thinner gloves inside of them. Compared to the bakfiets, the child needs to be dressed notably warmer. Since this photo was taken, we’ve also gotten some child ski goggles for her as well. In sum, we’re able to make cross-town trips comfortable at 15F (-9.4C) which is about as cold as it gets here in Richmond, Indiana.
The bakfiets makes it easier to keep the child warm with the greenhouse-like canopy, and the fully enclosed chain guard is definitely a plus for the bakfiets– On the eMundo the drive train got clogged with frozen slush in just about 15 minutes on a cold day– it was easy to clean out a little later with a stick, but no fun– plus the eMundo chain will need to be cleaned more after getting wet.
However, what the eMundo has going for it is a motor which allows me to get places faster and spend less time outside on very cold days. For that reason I currently prefer the eMundo to the bakfiets for most winter uses. The Mundo’s electric motor smoothed over the problem with the slush– while pedaling became “chunky” due to that issue, the motor could pull me along just fine without pedaling anyway.
Here’s same scene in a bakfiets from the previous winter:
So I had this crazy idea to take a heavy, hundred pound bike on a 5 day, 220 mile bike trip through the rolling hills of Southeastern Indiana. To make the trip more interesting, my 18-month old, 30-pound daughter would ride in the bike I peddled, with my wife and retired father riding their own bikes along side us. My friend Kurt would also join us on a homemade recumbent bike he finished welding the night before departure.
We rode from Richmond, Indiana to Clifty Falls State Park over two days, camped and rested for a day, and rode back. Rather than journaling a day-by-day account of the trip, I’ve gathered some reflections on different aspects of the trip.
Continue reading Reflections on box bike touring
Someone commented about my new bakfiets cargo bike this morning that “now I could I haul groceries on the bicycle”.
I had been getting groceries fine on my “normal” bike fine for some years. But you couldn’t tell that from casually looking the bike.
I never once made a trip where I couldn’t bring home everything I wanted. Usually just some saddle bags were used for the hauling, but occasionally a trailer was used to fetch a large bag of dog food.
But on most trips the saddle bags and trailer are left at home, so the carrying capacity isn’t visible.
The importance of the bakfiets in the US now is that it is obvious that the bakfiets is built to haul. And it does in fact haul a lot. I believe it’s rated to haul about 250 lbs of cargo or kids, plus the weight of the driver. (That’s 175 lbs in the bucket, and 75 more on the rear rack).
Continue reading bakfiets: “It can haul groceries”