Kiddo in tow

Getting out your door can be the hardest part of an adventure with kids, but, pulling a 25-pound child (even in a light trailer) is a workout. But it beats doing another load of laundry. Amy Hamilton and her 15-month daughter are ready for a ride on a recent Saturday.

Heading east on the Colorado Riverfront Trail at times offer only fleeting views of the Colorado River, but Grand Mesa, as seen here behind the horses, and Colorado National Monument appear to tower over the Grand Valley.

Please don’t tell my husband where to find this gem off the Colorado Riverfront Trail. He’ll want to buy it and park it in our backyard.



It will be winter soon. So what? If it is sunny, riding is fun.

When biking in the cold, pay closest attention to warmly dressing your hands, feet and chest.

■ Wear a stocking hat under your helmet.

■ Bundle baby in coat, hat, gloves and blanket.

■ Stuff plenty of toys in the side pockets of the bike trailer.

■ Bring more snacks and water than you think necessary.

■ Biking with a baby trailer is like the difference between backpacking and car camping. Your bike ride already will be laborious, so you might as well haul some extra stuff.

■ Bring some cash and reward yourself and your child with lunch.


With biking with baby as my new training tool, here are a few rides I intend to take with my daughter, weather permitting, in the upcoming weeks.

■ Grand Junction to Fruita on the back roads.

■ Colorado Riverfront Trail’s Blue Heron Loop.

■ The bike path along Colorado River from Glenwood Springs (when the weather gets warmer.)


When biking or recreating with young children, expectations and reality can be quite different. Go easy on yourselves. Making it out the door sometimes is most of the adventure.

Do what you can, and feel good about it.

I now know you never really comprehend the meaning of compromise until you have a child.

Take, for instance, biking habits before kid and after kid.

Before kid, I loathed riding on a bike path. Sure, heading east from downtown Grand Junction on the Colorado Riverfront Trail is a nice way to access the Palisade area Fruit & Wine Byway, aka the Fruit Loop, especially since the creation of the handy underpass at 30 Road.

Riding on a bike path used to be a tool for getting to the ride. It was a prelude to hours of pedaling on undulating hills past peach and cherry trees en route to a stiff drink or foamy latte.

Forget about those adventures. At least for now.

I recently watched with a touch of envy as other road bikers dropped carefree hellos and sailed by en route to Palisade. (They were probably going to the distillery or the brewery — damn them.)

Meanwhile, I got a workout on the flats of the Colorado Riverfront Trail,  while on a three-speed, 1970s Raleigh with a child in tow.

Cycling with a child, I realized on this particular outing, is a training tool. It’s a secret plenty of dads have already figured out, the ones I usually see who are not so put out about hauling the baby in a trailer.

And it can be your secret weapon, too.

After wresting free from the house and its endless chores on a recent sunny Saturday, my 15-month-old daughter and I were free.

Bike trailers are great for kids, especially in the colder months because kids stay toasty in their little plastic and aluminum pods.

From downtown Grand Junction, we connected with the Colorado Riverfront Trail heading south on Seventh Street.

Initially, I had ideas we’d tool to Palisade. I could already smell the coffee I’d enjoy in the sun.

Ha! Such pre-kid optimism. I hadn’t accounted for hauling my 25-pound bundled-up cutie and riding atop a bike fabricated the year I was born.

Simply riding on the flats was difficult. Wasn’t I supposed to be able to coast now and then? You know, like how it is on a road bike? Nope.

It soon became clear that heading over the trail’s new pedestrian bridge at 30 Road and going uphill would be next to impossible. Furthermore, I’ve never been downhill with a baby in a bike trailer before, so the Fruit Loop’s drop into Palisade near Talbott Farms was out of the question.

No matter. We biked to the east end of the Riverfront Trail at 33 1/2 Road, and turned for home. I was getting a workout, and the baby even snoozed a bit.

Highlights included spotting coyote scat on the trail and the reflection of Mount Garfield on a placid retention pond. We biked past a kayaker seeking a new spot on the river to put his boat in.

For a break, we paused at benches at Corn Lake and I watched in awe at my darling child’s developing fearlessness of walking.

Not so fun was biking along the sidewalk on traffic-heavy 29 Road to meet up with the bike path again.

Coffee and a pumpkin crunch bagel post ride at Main Street Bagels capped the day just before 3:30 p.m. as the sun began to retreat.

I see now that local bike paths really are for people like us. I’m already planning a ride west for next weekend.


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