By: Imogen Church
Published: June 8, 2017 (Updated: June 8, 2017)
My Fairweather friends, the time has come to talk about cycling in our lush green pastures (soggy Britain), particularly when you are transporting a small person twice a day, five days a week to school. If you have a look through the 8Freight website you will see that you can order the 8Freight with a wicker basket or even a lockable trunk. Now, whilst I am not here to debate the hypothetical ups and downs of transporting your child in a box, my gut instinct is that, while it may keep them dry, it would not be entirely comfortable or defendable in a court of law. So, assuming that you opt for the cabriolet 8Freight, there will be weathers to contend with. Let’s get the easy ones out of the way first…
Sun: Get that sprog lathered up with quality Aldi sun lotion, get them rocking a pair of budget sunglasses (budget, so that on the day they whip the shades off their face, announce: “I don’t need these anymore” and throw them straight in the river, you don’t get angry. If you buy them expensive ones you really can’t get angry with them, that’s on you…) and then head off. The only issue you might have is if you park it up outside for the day and the metal heats up so much that when they climb back in (if they are that big) their hands get slightly toasty on contact. Although actually, that does remind me of one tiny issue we have found when our (not so) little one climbs in and out: sometimes he does prong himself with the cable ties that hold the red material ‘bucket’ in place. He has learnt not to grab them as he climbs in. Transporting a child in a bucket… totally defendable.
Wind: Children/dogs, interchangeable really; feeling the wind on your face, tongue lolling, as you cruise through town is a joy for the small and the canine. The only aspect of the windy day you will need to contend with is that your balance can be compromised if your child hurls themselves from one side of their Deluxe Cabriolet Bucket to the other, so if you have strong crosswinds too it might be a bit of a job. Just remind your child to stay still in order to keep you both safe and don’t go too fast or start dreaming about the middle aisle in Aldi for more than five seconds at a time.
Fog: I feel this is fairly self explanatory. Although maybe you should attach a flashing light to your child’s head so you know they haven’t absconded into the pea soup. I feel it is also self explanatory to point out this last sentence was a joke. If the weight of your child is so slight that you don’t notice them climbing out of their DCB then perhaps a large meal is in order. Or restraints. Oh, and watch out for badgers.
Rain: As you might imagine, this is everyone’s absolutely favourite weather front to cycle through. It brings us out in droves, particularly those of us who wear glasses, because the point at which your glasses become completely obfuscated by raindrops is a real doozie. But you can’t live in a lush green pasture without a little rain, so let’s knuckle down and get prepared.
Make sure you take care of yourself first, so that you are less irritable or likely to drive into a bush. Choose a helmet with a peak to help keep the rain out of your face, such as this BERN classic:
And defend your clothes with great rain gear like the amazing Georgia in Dublin Rain Wrap (which I don’t go on about much at all… just BUY one already Imogen!):
Also, choose the clothes you wear to rain-cycle in carefully. I always avoid denim as it gets sodden and then takes aaaaaaaages to dry on your body. My favourite is shorts and tights as the tights keep you warm but they dry in seconds once you are inside. Or, just take a change of clothes for your destination! And if you are heading to work and like to wear makeup, don’t put it on before you leave the house, wait until you get to work in the dry. If it takes you more than five minutes to do your makeup at the other end, maybe you could consider streamlining your process. I would wager that you don’t need it anyway.
Now for your tiddler. Do they make peaked helmets for kids I hear you cry? My answer… YES!:
Thanks cycle chic. We also keep tucked into the handy side pocket of the DCB, a kids rain poncho, which covers all of our small person. Such as this lovely number:
You can always keep some clothes at school to change into as well, or in a waterproof LOMO bag in the DCB with said child:
The only other issue I have in the rain (aside from needing lights and to cycle slowly and carefully, which is just a given), is if I park the 8Freight up outside for the day… as you might imagine, the DCB does get wet. There are rain holes for excess rain to trickle out through but the bottom is still going to be damp for your little one’s bum. We tend to put a foldable cushion in there for him to sit on, so I will fold the cushion up in my bag for the day, if the bike is locked up outside, giving him a dry spot to sit on when he gets in at the end of the day. Another idea is to carry a small micro fibre towel that can absorb any excess moisture right before the miniature human gets in the back. As long as that little butt is dry, any rain grumps can be avoided.
Avoid rain grumps. You don’t need them. They are a waste of everyone’s time. As my small one says to me now: “It’s only water!”