Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Series, New Collaboration: Dads on Wheels

Bikes and The City is collaborating once again with BikeNOPA to bring you a new series: Dads on Wheels. Every Tuesday, we will be featuring dads from all over the city, and the ways they get around town with their kids. Please check both our blogs for the current profiles.
Let us know your thoughts and leave comments for the featured riders!

I am very proud one to present the opening profile for one of the dads I have hung out with quite frequently and alongside him and his family, have opened my eyes to bicycling around town with kids, to see and experience, what it takes to bike around town with your family, and make it seem rather easy!
Like father, like son.
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Dads on Wheels: James

How old are your kids and why do you bike with them? When did you start them biking?
15, 11, and 5. We bike together because it's fun. It imbues upon
them the sense of independence and empowers them to do things on their
own. Each of them learned how to bike no older than 5, but I wouldn't
expect the youngest to get anywhere beyond a few miles until he's 8 or

How often do you bike with your kinds now ….and do you bike with them for fun or also for taking them on errands, getting them to school?
The oldest has been biking to school on his own for a few years now.
The middle child is starting a new school that she'll be biking to on
her own. The youngest, wanting to be like his siblings, is talking
about biking to Kindergarden when the school year starts. We hardly
ever drive on the weekends, so all our weekend errands are by bike.
We don't shuttle our kids around, so the oldest finds his own way in
order to hang out with his friends. The bike is usually his first
choice for that.

If your kids are older, how did you get them started: a Skuut bike, a trailer-bike, training wheels or something else?
The push-bike is a relative new phenomenon, so it wasn't really an
option I was aware of. They learned the classic way, with training
wheels, graduating to the removal of the training wheels. With the
push bike, you can start them off much younger.

What’s the best thing about biking with your kid(s)?
Snuggly-bumpkis! That's a term my youngest came up with. It's when
you get a cuddle from the back when you're hauling them around.

What do you say to relatives or friends who think the streets of San Francisco are not safe for kids to bike?
I'll just brush it off. People have ideas about things even when they
have no real perspective on the matter. The best way to convince
those people is to just show them, by riding with your kids.

Señor James.
hi james

What makes a route or street OK for taking your kids biking on it?
Hills are certainly a consideration. I'll avoid any street that I
wouldn't normally bike on myself. Beyond that, I'll let common sense
dictate the rest.

Is it even harder getting kids ready for trips if you’re traveling by bike?
Beyond appropriate clothing for this SF weather, not really.

How often do you bike on your own: recreation/exercise or for transportation also?
Whenever, where ever. I don't commute by bike simply due to the time required.

Any advice for other dads who are thinking about biking on their own or with their kids?
Stop for breaks. Stop for ice-cream. Stop for playgrounds. Stop for
flowers. Teach them well, make sure they have fun while doing it, and
they'll never forget. Give the kids options sometimes. If riding
becomes a drudgery, then that's the part they'll remember most.

All photos below by Adrienne Johnson:
Faster, Daddy!
Photo Op
Nothing You Can Say Can Tear Me Away from My Guys

Lee & Ocean

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Gracias James!!

Don't forget to check out BIKE NOPA for more Dads on Wheels profiles.
**If you or someone you know, would like to participate email me at bikesandthecity +at+ gmail**


  1. My husband and the kids bike pretty much everywhere together (he's a stay at home dad) and they're currently making plans for this year's school commute. Dads on bikes are way cool!

  2. Are you kidding me....how many ladies are going to go baby crazy because this cuteness?

  3. Great new series! I'll have to send the link to my husband ;)

  4. "snuggly bumpkis" and getting your 3 1/2 year old pushing your butt saying "Go, Daddy, Go" (Max on BIKE NOPA this morning)...who knew? special dads and kids bonding moments..thanks James... great to see you on the streets

  5. This was really nice! I really enjoyed the perspective. Always gives me a smile when I see a family bike on by!

  6. Love it! But you totally forgot to mention that James is Adrienne's husband :-)

  7. thanks ALL for your comments. It has been great to be able to collab once again with Michael and the wonderful people on bikes, this time dads, that make SF move forward and give it a sense of every-day people getting around the city on bicycles.

    richard/ just like when i featured Adrienne, I didnt say she was James' wife ;-) they each get their own light <3

  8. Awesome profile! I love the mention of snuggly-bumpkis. Sounds like their kids are getting some great life lessons along with their transportation.

    meli, does that mean I should stop calling my husband Mr. Dottie? ;)

  9. I love this!! Kids on Xtracycles being pulled by Dads are my favorite.
    Great job Meli!

  10. Love the pics and the idea of empowering kids to be independent and able to do things on their own. That's a great message. Seems much healthier than teaching them to be afraid.

  11. dottie/ snuggyly bumpkis are the best thing when you get to picture them left and ride while riding with them.

    I don't think that is quite my point, is just that I per se james has been james, and not mr. adrienne. I dont know, does that make any sense? +you should be able to call your significant other whatver you want, who am i to say anything! :D

    Elisa/ thanks!! Im glad these series are so much fun for everybody


  12. My son didn't really get into cycling until his 20's. Now he has two bikes and knows his way around the LA beaches. We bond on bikes every time I visit.

  13. I love the very first photo in this post.They have such a strong resemblance. It's so important for fathers and sons to have a bonding activity. In my case it was sailing, however cycling would have been just as fine.cheers,Ian~Melbourne

  14. Great series, doll!! Looking forward to more.

  15. I think if I referred to James as "Mr. Adrienne" he would give me "that" look and walk away : D He seems to tolerate "Hubby The Bike Man" pretty well, though : ) I have to admit, that most of the time I sound like Lucille Ball when I am calling him- Jaaaaaaaaames!

    Although, he may respond to Mr. Dottie! : D


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