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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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  1.  
    Trying to use my bike more than ever now where I can, actually enjoying it a lot now since I adjusted the gears properly!

    My daughter is 4 and can ride her bike with stabilisers but obviously she can't ride with us on bike rides. What are the best options?

    1. Bike seat?
    2. Trailer? - is she too big for one of those?
    3. Tag along bar or similar? - my concern is she has no seat belt for instance so not sure I like that idea...
  2.  
    What worked for us was to go for slow short bike rides in places where the 4yo could ride their own bike as 'one of the group' - obvs nowhere steep, busy or bumpy.

    Amazingly quickly, their stamina and confidence increase to the point where you can't keep up with them (ours was 7 when that happened)

    We tried tagalong, trailgator etc but they get frustrated if
    they are missing the independence and control, which imo are the best part of cycling when you are 4. Like going hiking, you do have to go at their pace, but you can sneak out for a grown-up ride later. Frequent snack stops help too.

    We had better experience with a balance bike than with stabilisers but that's another discussion.
    • CommentAuthordereke
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2020
     
    So I've got this Tern GSD (sorry, it is expensive) that has completely changed our lives.

    Two kids on the back and recently I've started towing my older (7) ones bike to places we want to go cycling (we live on a hill so it is nice to go on the flat). Just pop the front wheel in the pannier and attach the handle bars with a bike lock and it is nice and secure.

    Back to the price. I use this thing way more than our car, to me it is a second car and from that perspective it is cheap.
      towing-low-res.jpg
    • CommentAuthorjms452
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2020
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenAmazingly quickly, their stamina and confidence increase to the point where you can't keep up with them (ours was 7 when that happened)


    This is very true and is probably the thing to work towards long term - but long term will be months/years

    If you need to go distance or on a busy road in the meantime a tag along or bike seat work well.

    Bike seats have a weight limit (20Kg) and can make the bike hard to handle when they're in it. If she's already you may want to skip a seat.

    If she can ride her own bike she should hold onto a tag along in the same way but as with everything new I'd practice somewhere quiet a few times first.

    cheap tag alongs can have poor quality link-ages that jerk you them around a bit - if you're going tagalong I'd buy a decent one.
  3.  
    Any recommendations for a tag along and what about harnesses / belts?
    • CommentAuthorbhommels
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2020
     
    OK, a bit more expensive than a tag along but so much more fun as you can talk to the offspring and point things out along the way:
    http://schoolruncentre.co.uk/tandem-onderwater-adult-and-child-tandem/
    On top of that, judging from how she got along on her own bike I tend to believe our daughter got a sense of how to go about in traffic from having had the best seat in the house for years.
    It has top quality components and tandem wheels & hubs so no trouble carrying panniers full of shopping in addition to the passengers. It also means the trade in value was substantial. And no, I don't have any personal interest in promoting these things except for getting people, both big and little, out of their cars.
    • CommentAuthorRobL
    • CommentTimeMay 18th 2020
     
    We had a "U plus 2" tag along by Pashley, which was brilliant. It has 2 kids seats, and two wheels, and is super-stable - none of that un-nerving rocking from side to side. I don't think they make them any more sadly, but you can still get them second hand. It did take a bit of maintenance due to: rust, front chain tensioner issues, welding back together after failing to get through a narrow gap :-)
    The kids loved it, and were totally at ease with it. They're 14 and 19 now, neither intend ever to get a car, both love cycling.
    Here's a pic of one:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=u+plus+2+tag+along&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwjDv-bOxL3pAhUSlKQKHQiMDrUQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=u+plus+2+tag+along&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQAzIECCMQJ1CzLFiaLWDfLmgAcAB4AIABSYgBigGSAQEymAEAoAEBqgELZ3dzLXdpei1pbWc&sclient=img&ei=AZDCXoO7GZKokgWImLqoCw&bih=1030&biw=2048&rlz=1C1GCEU_enDE835DE836#imgrc=i497qZqrBThutM
    • CommentAuthorjms452
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Posted By: VictorianecoAny recommendations for a tag along and what about harnesses / belts?


    We brought a cheap one and the linkage caused the tag along to jerk from side to side - wasn't great but did teach my daughter to hold on tight!
  4.  
    Trailer bike works up until they are about 7 or 8. We had one for our 3, and worked really well.
    You have to have the right "big" bike though. As they basically clamp onto the seat post, that bit MUST be right.
    • CommentAuthorbogal2
    • CommentTime2 days ago
     
    Getting your daughter a lightweight quality bike makes a big difference. Brands like easy rider, frog and Isla make light bikes with good components for little people rather than adult components which the cheap ones often
    have. A trailgater is good, a metal bar that fixes your bike to theirs, as they can ride on their own but when they're starting to struggle you can just hook them up to your bike to speed things up!
    • CommentAuthorjms452
    • CommentTime2 days ago
     
    Posted By: bogal2Getting your daughter a lightweight quality bike makes a big difference. Brands like easy rider, frog and Isla make light bikes with good components for little people rather than adult components which the cheap ones often
    have.


    +1
  5.  
    Yes, she loves her bike at the moment but she's certainly not capabale of riding by herself on pavements etc and we live in quite a hilly area. She's only 4 rememeber

    So yes a towing type mechanism may be best and just unlink her when we get to the flats.

    Any recommended brands for a tow bar?
  6.  
    Trailgator are the best known, we got one off freecycle easily because kids grow out of them fast... but the user didn't like it so it went back on.
    I can't remember if you can use them with stabilisers (anyone?) but we didn't have those.
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