Free things to do in the Portland summer: Bicycle Mom!

One of the things I love about warm weather in Portland is being able riding my bike (and not worry about slippery roads, of course). I used to ride all the time before Salie was born, and now she is at the age where I feel comfortable taking her with me. This is probably the best city to do it in! There are so many biking resources, even online bicycle maps! However, riding a bike with kids can be pretty intimidating, so I have gathered together a few tips on biking with kids:

* The best time to start biking with your child is when they can hold their head up on their own and can fit into an infant helmet!
* Tether sippy cups, clip on pacifiers, etc. Trust me, we lost a few pacifiers on Foster.
* Try to use bike paths which are separate from roadways. Portland has so many of these! 205 bike path, Springwater trail, etc.
* Make sure to bring everything you need! A drink for both of you and a couple diapers/small pack of wipes if you need them. Don't overpack! I like to pack my stuff in a drawstring backpack.
* Extra weight = more time! When you're hauling an extra 30+ pounds, it's going to take a little longer to get up those hills. Make sure to account for this on trips!
* Practice before you get out on the road! You want to make sure you feel comfortable and safe biking around with the extra weight. I've heard people putting bags of rice or sand in their child seats to get the feel of it. I put Salem in the first time, but made sure someone was right there standing by and we just rode up and down the sidewalk to get used to it. 
* Be patient! Your child might cry the first few times getting into the bike seat, like Salem did. But as soon as we were moving with the wind in our hair, she was having a blast! Make games out of it. I call Salem's helmet a hat, so she is more comfortable with the idea of putting it on. When we are riding, I point out things we see to her that I know she will recognize, so that we will both get a good experience out of the ride.

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