I rode the 2011 Hub on Wheels 10 mile ride today with friends Jesse, Brian & Maggie and their kids. This was the first big organized ride I’ve done (at all, not just with kids in tow) and we had a blast. Between getting there, doing the ride, and getting home we put in about 20 miles. Angela was out of town for the weekend, so I needed both kids on the bike with me and I debated whether I should take the Xtra or my recent set-up with the Bobike Mini for R and the Burley Piccolo for H. I went with the latter because it’s lighter and had the potential to keep both kids more interested and involved (which it did) even though handling is more difficult. When we were in motion the handling actually worked really well, but loading and unloading were trickier than with the Xtra and I was glad to have a couple other grown-ups around to keep things stable when needed.
The day started early. I got the kids up at about 5:45, but they were good sports and hopped right on the bike. There was one brief moment when it looked like we might lose the day to a toddler meltdown. Everyone was lining up and R decided he’d rather not get on the bike at all, but Brian and Maggie stepped in with a well-timed donut bribe and we made it out of the gate. We lined up at the back so as to have an easy start. There was plenty of room back there, and that’s where many of the riders with kids congregated anyway so we were with our people. Riding Storrow Drive with nary a car in sight was a real treat. We saw lots of kids on trailer-bikes, a few toddlers in seats and trailers, and some nice tandem set-ups, including a beautiful Bike Friday Triple. The ride was even more fun since we got to ride with some of our favorite family biking friends. The kids had other kids to talk and sing with, and sometimes plot our demise (at one point H and Jesse’s son Speedy were back there planning a snowball fight ambush against all the grown-ups. I’m not sure where they thought they were getting the snow).
Now that we pulled this off, I’ll be keeping my eye out for other supported rides, maybe the Mass Bike Summer Century (though, ahem, we won’t be doing the “century” part) and we will try to do Hub on Wheels again next year.