If you follow me on instagram, you probably know how much my kids and I have enjoyed biking together recently.
In March, as the weather started slowly improving and the kids and started spending more time outside, I thought about how fun it would be to be able to bike with my kids. I looked into getting a bike trailer, or a bike seat and a trailer or a trail a bike and a seat, etc. After researching every different combination, I stumbled upon the long tail cargo bike. I felt that this would be the best fit for our family and then began researching brands and prices and availability.
I read about a few families who had cargo bikes with e-assist and they mentioned how nice it is to be able to bike further and faster and feel more stability with a heavy load. Again, cue the researching (I like to research things, okay?). And this is what I found: cargo bikes are expensive. Adding e-assist? Expensive. BUT then, I stumbled upon the page of a local company called RadPower bikes. Not only do they offer a cargo bike for less expensive than many other companies the bike has E-assist! I shot off an email to the company and they were excited to work together and offer me a RadWagon and a discounted price in exchange for this review.
Austin and I headed down to Seattle to pick up our bike and it was love at first sight!
We've had the bike for a month and a half and the kids and I have biked over 250 miles together!
As cheesy as this is going to sound, I'm going to say it: this bike has changed my life.
Living far out in the county, far from most of our friends and activities is hard. I often feel isolated and lonely. It's hard not to feel stuck inside. But now, the kids and I go for a bike ride almost every single day (we rode 21 days in April!). We often go 10 miles at a time, pack a picnic in the saddle bags and pull over wherever feels comfortable! We bike to the park, to the cemetery, to the store, to the library, the soccer field, the school or just all around on the quiet country roads. It feels SO good to get outside with the kids, engage in something active and feel like we can go anywhere!
Because the kids are riding right behind me, it's easy to visit and chat while we ride. We talk about things we're biking past, what's happening that day or just life in general. Sometimes the kids play games together, occasionally they argue and they love waving and calling "HI!" to people as we cruise past.
The beauty of pedal assist is that I hardly feel the weight of the kids. Yes, balancing is a bit more work than if I was on a solo bike, but it doesn't feel any heavier to pedal. There is a manual throttle that I use to help us get moving, but then pedal assist kicks in and I hardly feel it. The motor is silent and just quietly does it's job as I bike. There are 5 levels of pedal assist and I usually have it on 1 or 2 and we bike comfortably at around 12 mph.
We plug the bike in every time we get back from a ride and it takes around 2 hours to charge. Our longest ride was 23 miles and the battery was at one bar when we got home. Sometimes if we bike to park in the town over, I'll plug it in while we play. Of course, if the battery does ever die on us, I can just bike us home without pedal assist, but I'm spoiled!
I had a little bit of trouble finding a seat for Felix that can mount on the front bar, since it is thicker than many bikes. I eventually found this one, Peg Perego Orion, and because of the way it mounts on the bike it can fit almost any frame! It's been a great seat, it seems to be comfortable for Felix even when he falls asleep! I attached a rearview mirror to the handlebars, not to see behind me, but to watch Felix's face as we bike. He loves it! I briefly tried a rear mounted seat and he was not a fan. I think he likes seeing my arms around him and feeling like I'm holding him. I like being able to see him. He often rides with one little chubby hand resting on mine, like he's helping me steer.
I also purchased a set of saddle bags from Amazon and they've been great! we've stuffed them FULL of library books, carried our lunch, brought along a picnic blanket, collected "treasures" and all kinds of other stuff!
Prior to buying this bike, I had little to no biking experience. I haven't owned a bike in years and had never done any long rides in my life. We're now biking 50 or more miles a week and it feels so good!
Almost every time we ride, we're stopped and asked about the RadWagon. I can't help but gush, it's such a fun thing for our family. We've loved exploring our part of the county and now that we have a bike rack for the van, I've taken the bike a few places to enjoy different rides and trails.
If we don't have time to do a ride during the day, I'll often get the kids ready for bed and then head out for a quick ride. We head to the school playground, or grab an ice cream cone for dessert or just around the block to watch the sunset. It's a wonderful way to wind down and leaves everyone feeling cozy and warm when we get back inside.
I know I'm rambling at this point, but I could say more.
If anyone wants to give it a try, feel free to come over and take it for a spin! OR, visit RadPower bikes in Seattle for a test drive!