Family Cycling Blog:

More and more parents and kids are discovering the recreational, transportation and health benefits of cycling together.

Family Cycling is fun.

And the fun can start young. We discuss the family adventures, the gear that families use, and how to use it safely.

Turn kids from passive, parent-powered passengers into active cyclists themselves as they grow.

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Cycling together as a family can be more fun and meaningful than the most epic tour. And the photos you take make irresistible blog fodder -- and we mean that in a really good way.

We love to collect photos of the products that make bikes part of the family. Send us anything from that photo of your child first learning to ride, to that photo of the whole family out on a cycling. Submit your family cycling photos here and we'll let you know when we publish them.



Monthly Archives: January 2011

Australian Family’s Crazy Taxi Trailer

Kent Jefferies Bike Trailer

Kent Jefferies of Queensland Australia recently sent in this interesting little set-up used for his grocery trips. Kent, his wife Fon and son Sharif are pictured with the above trailer.

The area (Queensland) is known as the dry tropics. The arrangement that you see was used for grocery shopping when I lived back in a place called Wodonga in Victoria. Now I have a kiddie Chariot trailer taking the place of the BOB as we have an increased family size and a larger grocery bill for it. I also arranged my Chariot trailer to hitch to my son’s Greenspeed Anura towed behind my GS GTO. The Anura can also be hitched behind the family trailer to aid propulsion and braking power. In all, it weighs 88 lbs.

Sarah Outen: Circumnavigating Solo by Bike and Boat

Most commercial riders tend to remain within a several mile radius of their home. But there are a select few who choose to go much further beyond their neighborhood grocery store.

Sarah Outen, a citizen of London, England plans to ride and paddle her way across Asia, the Pacific ocean, North America, and then back to her hometown across the Atlantic in a two-year tour. Her journey is scheduled for April 1st, 2011, but she’s already begun to prepare with strict training regiments and getting her gear together.

In 2009 I rowed across the Indian Ocean. Alone: just me and my little boat, Dippers, from Australia to Mauritius. On the way I broke 2 oars, ate 500 bars of chocolate and still lost 20kg bodyweight. It took me 124 days and we scooped three Guinness World Records along the way: first woman & youngest person to solo the Indian; youngest woman to solo any ocean. It was raw and elemental–just as adventure should be. … I leave from Tower Bridge, London on a bid to loop the planet entirely under my own power–rowing, cycling and kayaking.

Cargo Hitch with Trailing and Offset Modes

Having to tow lengthy cargo (golf clubs, fish tanks, suspiciously unmarked cardboard boxes: the essentials) is definitely a problem, but one of our readers has come up with his own hitching system to offset the literal “drag” of figuring out how to set up your trailer to fit in bigger packages.

The concept allows for both a regular tow directly behind the back wheel and a secondary option which has the trailer riding off to the side of the cyclist, making room for bulkier loads. No separate trailer or side car required!

Tom Sherman's Trailer Hitch Design

Finding new solutions to our all too common cargo problems, one inspired user at a time. Thank you, Tom Sherman for your submission, and keep those brain chains oiled and turning!

If you like to express your interest to Tom regarding the commercial use of his design please leave a comment or send us an email.

Austin Bike Zoo’s Non-Utility Cycling

The mission of Austin Bike Zoo is “to have fun and make people happy with our unique human powered vehicles, bicycle-based theatrical performances and educational programs for youth.”

You could call what they do, “non-utility cycling” if you’re the type of person who finds no utility in art, community building, and imagination. But you’re not, right?

Austin Bike Zoo Rattlesnake

Photo: Austin Bike Zoo

They are brilliant at making fantastic bike-powered sculptures, such as an 80-foot rattlesnake, and a giant monarch butterflies. They’re not so great at making videos. To be fair, the one video I found on their Web site had a lot of music and information about the organization. But I felt like a kid at a monster movie. Enough with the plot, context, and character development. Show me the damn monster!

Musicians Who Gig with a Bike Trailer Rig

The Haulin’ Bass Project got me wondering about other musicians or bands that use bike trailers, or pedal power exclusively.

Here’s what I turned up:

The Haulin’ Bass Project

Haulin Bass Trailer

Photo: John Teske

State of the Hub: 2011!

bob-trailer-forks-during-bike-shop-hub-move-crop2010 was quite the year for the Bike Shop Hub. We grew up and moved out of the shop behind my house into a 4000 square foot warehouse with offices and a metalworking shop. We reorganized all of our web stores into our shared site platform and launched our third shop, BikeKidShop.com. We took the reigns of the popular and active cycling blog, CommuteByBike.com. And we did this all with the help of some new additions to our team here at Bike Shop Hub. The year was both fruitful and challenging as we grew in many ways including in sales, though our sales growth wasn’t quite up to the level we anticipated in part due to some critical loss of search engine rankings with our website reorganization happening right at the start of the busy season in April. Since the drop off, we’ve recovered on the internet marketing front, deploying many new strategies as we charge optimistically into 2011.

Looking into the year ahead, we have quite a few goals that we are looking at. In comparison to entering 2010 where we had two major hurdles to clear in the website move and shop move, 2011 would appear to be offering a bounty of smaller more attainable objectives.

The first thing that we are looking at checking off the list is launching our local presence. Stu and Robin C have been working hard on putting together a show room in our front office and a section of the warehouse. We’re mostly done with the inside section, and then Stu will be looking at putting up a Bike Shop Hub sign, bike rack and extending our awning. Once our retail space is fully established, we’ll all be excited to have Stuart getting back into manufacturing mode with a focus on advancing the design of the Wandertec BONGO and related accessories and starting to look into some bicycle rack ideas that we’ve been mulling over.

On the website front, I’m continuing to focus on Pay-Per-Click marketing as well as some related Search Engine Marketing. I’m working on completing an overall report of Bike Shop Hub’s overall internet marketing success. With this in place, I will be pushing ahead into learning and implementing more advance PPC and SEO strategies. A critical part of our SEO strategy is the work that Megan and Robin C are focused on in improving the main category and brand pages on our three shops. Some excellent examples of this are the bike panniers and bike messenger bag pages. We are focusing on making these pages the most expert level resources of information on their given topic with thorough well-written content sprinkled with excellent, story telling photography. In addition to the category and brand level pages, we will be offering up expert articles on topics that aren’t covered in the category and brand pages. Megan and Robin C will be focusing on completing these pages for Bike Bag, Kid and Trailer Shops until they are completed. With the content on these pages completion, we’ll be ready to shift our focus toward launching our 4th specialty shop, Bike Tech Shop.

Further on the website front, after solidifying our advanced PPC and SEO strategies and working with Megan and Robin to get going with Bike Tech Shop, the next big objective will be to upgrade this site, BikeShopHub.com to be a better umbrella site, thoroughly representing the entire business. New features will be added to this site including a navigation system between all of our sites, a central page showing updates from all of our sites and a forum. It will also include a section for products we manufacture under the Wandertec brand.

Further down the list, but perhaps achievable in 2011 is the possibility that we will be continuing to push forward with integrating our websites into a shared platform and possibly updating the templates and other aspects of our blogs and maybe shops as well.

While its always easy to be overly ambitious at the start of a new year, I’m taking the cautious view in my goals and projections for 2011. With that, it seems like everything on this list is well within our sites. In fact on the less reserved side of things, I’m imagining we’ll be able to tackle a variety of other projects and directions either not mentioned here or not even yet imagined. One way or another it’s looking to be an exciting year ahead for Bike Shop Hub!

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