Thursday 7 August 2014

How do I fit the whole family on a bicycle? - Amy's Ride SA

Austin Arrowsmith is an Amy's Ride SA stalwart - but this year he's in a pickle. How can he get the whole family to fit on one bike? 

I'm a regular Amy's Ride SA rider so when the announcement came that registrations were open I felt that internal excitement ramp up as I reminisced over last year’s effort and how I took my 8yo son with me for the first time.

It was a great event and I still remember  the excitement and anticipation as we rode to the start - a 25k journey - and put in the 65k ride from Flinders to McLaren Vale. The memories that we made and the sheer exhaustion that was on his face masked by a grin that hid it all were absolutely priceless as a father.

A bicycle built for 3?

This year, there's competition in the family over who's going to ride. My daughter has asked me: “When can I come on a ride too?”

I replied:  “I think we’ll have to work up to that. Maybe when your brother is on his own bike.” 

For you see, I bought a tag-along. (pictured below). The dilemma is that it only has one seat, so to take two kids for a 90k journey.  I don’t think I can do the downhill parts of the trip at 50-60kph with daughter in tow while leaving my son behind on his bike amidst 3,000 other riders. 


Having us all together is so much more stress free, plus has the added benefit of having them push when you are feeling exhausted. (Never underestimate the benefit of an 8yo secondary motor when going uphill!)

So this year, I’m aiming for a two-seated tag-along bike. The trouble has been the rarity of them! There are a few varieties - no pedals, one set of pedals and two. I am now hounding the local bike shops for an ETA on getting one in ASAP, as the chill of Winter appears to be abating, and with August around the corner, we’re all going to need to get our training routine in place for November!

Does anyone have a suggestion for Austin? Any bicycle products that would help him get the whole family on the bike? Suggestions?  Leave a comment below. 

Join Austin in Amy's Ride SA on Sunday 2 November by registering to ride at

1 comment:

  1. I transported my 2 sons(3 year age gap) on a tandem with child stoker kit and baby seat from when the youngest was 9 months until he was 3 1/2 years old. After that we used the tandem with child stoker kit and tag-a-long until he was 8 years old. Before that we used a single bike and baby seat and baby trailer. After that we used the tandem with child stoker kit and a single child's bike. Now we use 3 adult bikes. The longest we rode with the tandem, child stoker kit and tag-a-long was 100km which required 6 playground stops.

    This configuration takes a lot of leg strength for forward propulsion and core strength for balance. It's easier to balance a tag-a-long with a tandem than with a single bike because there's less chance of the tail wagging the dog. I don't think I got out of granny gear for the first 12 months I had all 3 of us on the one bike but I got stronger as did my 4 year old stoker!
    My tandem and child stoker kit are gathering dust in my garage in Melbourne and I would be happy to sell it to anyone willing to pick it up.
    Good luck with your cycling