Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dads on Wheels: Dan Reynolds, Empowering His Kids on Bikes

Image by Meli of Bikes And The City

Oscar, ready to roll Photos: Dan Reynolds

Family biking, near the best bike racks in the neighborhood

Photos: Dan Reynolds

Dan Reynolds and his family live in the North Panhandle and bike to their neighborhood school, Pacific Primary. Freedom From Training Wheels bike educators will love his son's reaction to riding free. Say hello to Dan, Oscar, and Ruby.

How early did your kids begin biking?
I have a 4-year-old boy (Oscar) and a 2-year-old girl (Ruby). Oscar went from tricycle to bike with training wheels before two. We took off his training wheels a few months before his fourth birthday. Oscar always enjoyed riding a bike; I never had to push him to do it. Now Ruby loves her “blue bike” (with training wheels), too. (Probably partly because she sees the rest of the family riding.)

How often do you ride with them?
We ride four or more days a week. Oscar and I always either ride bikes – he rides his own or rides on my trail-a-bike—or ride scooters to his school. We also usually ride somewhere for fun on the weekends.

What's the best thing about biking with your kids?
Seeing how much they enjoy it. Oscar learned how to balance on a razor (two-wheel scooter) because he never liked the scuut bike. We raised his training wheels a little and then just took them off. When Oscar experienced the feeling of riding without them, he gave me his biggest smile and said, “that was better than a new toy!” (Seriously. I’m not making that up.) I also think riding a bike is empowering to kids: they can’t drive a car, but they can ride a bike. It’s something that grown-ups do that they can also do themselves.

What makes a route or street OK for your kids to bike on?
I think all streets with cars are dangerous for kids. Less urban areas with fewer cars just give the illusion of safety. But you can still find a way to ride with kids safely. Because our kids are still so young, I pick routes that have separate bike paths or closed streets (the Panhandle to Golden Gate Park). We like to ride in Golden Gate Park, especially on Sundays when they close some streets to auto traffic. Oscar’s favorite ride is from our house in Nopa to the Academy of Sciences.

Is it harder getting kids ready for trips if you're traveling by bike?
Once you have a routine with the kids and bikes, it is just as easy as loading the car.

How often do you bike on your own?
In my pre-kid life, I competed in road and mountain bike races, but these days I just talk about my comeback. Two good rides a week is about normal now. I also use my bike to run errands. The great thing about living in the City is that you can get almost anywhere you want to go on a bike.

BIKE NOPA and Bikes And The City: every Tuesday, more Dads on Wheels.

For previous posts in the Dads on Wheels series, check here.

Dads and kids: spin through the North Panhandle and the Western Addition during the next Sunday Streets on September 19th, 10am to 3pm.

1 comment:

  1. NOPA parents!! I'm with Oscar, I love biking past the academy =)
    thanks for sharing your story Dan+kids!!