Afternoon Adventures: Biking With a Toddler in Hamilton

Spring is finally here and we’re getting ourselves set up to enjoy the nice weather!  One thing I’m definitely excited about is getting our our bikes and hitting the trails with our toddler!  I thought I’d do a quick run down of our favourite bike trailers for kids and pups— the Croozer!

Back when we lived in Edmonton my husband and I bought bikes so that we could ride to work rather than drive or take the bus for our short commute.  At the time, we were just a couple with a small dog who went to doggy daycare every morning, so we also bought a Croozer Mini dog trailer for her. 

The whole set up was perfect, not only did we use our bikes during the weekdays to get to and from work, we also enjoyed them on the weekends when we would take our pup for a cruise into the North Saskatchewan River valley and enjoy Edmonton’s beautiful trails.  During most rides people would stop and giggle at a wiener dog being towed in a bike trailer, and she truly loved it.  We would often find her lying in her trailer in our condo waiting for her next bike ride.

When we moved to Hamilton we could no longer commute to work by bike, and soon we had our little guy.  Last summer we added to our fleet, buying a Croozer Kid for 1 bike trailer for our then 16 month old.  We chose Croozer because it had been reliable for our pup’s trailer and the mounting brackets for the two were the same, so we can switch up who hauls what trailer depending on the circumstance.  The trailers are made in Germany, and seem to be solidly and reliably built.  We also got our children’s Croozer for a really good deal online ($375– usually over $600!) at MEC which I was thrilled about!

We did not, however, purchase the accessories to turn the Coozer into a stroller.  We already have a few strollers so we just couldn’t justify it— however, I can definitely see the ability to convert the Croozer to a stroller as a handy feature, especially if you were biking to a destination and then had to walk a distance with your child (i.e. going to a farmer’s market or something where you’d want to park and lock your bikes and then continue walking).

After having it for just over a year, I can safely say that we love and endorse the Croozer.  It comes with a rain cover which works really well to protect little one and keep him warmer on windy days.  It also has a pull down shade that helps protect him from the son.

We of course want to encourage safety with our little one, so he has to wear a helmet when he rides in the trailer.  We got a toddler helmet at MEC that has come in handy in many circumstances other than when he’s in the trailer— he uses it when he’s riding his scooter, driving his power wheels convertible, and sometimes just for fun.  It took a bit of training to get him to be happy to wear it, but we’re finally there and he loves it!  What I love about the MEC helmet is that it has a dial at the back that allows us to adjust it as his head grows.  I also love that it’s flat at the back (not all kids’ helmets are) so he can rest comfortably in his Croozer as we ride.

In the summer we try to use our bikes and the trailers as much as possible when we’re out and about in our neighbourhood.  If we have to go to Shoppers or Walmart, we’ll bike instead of drive.  Sometimes we just cruise around on Saturday mornings and check out garage sales and stop at parks so our toddler can play.  Often he’ll fall fast asleep because the motion of being in the trailer is so smooth and soothing.  If that happens, we just park in the driveway when we get home and enjoy a little rest while he finishes up his nap.

Another nice thing about the Croozer is that it has quite a bit of storage in behind the child’s seat.  We can definitely fit a few bags of groceries or a picnic lunch in behind him, and for now there’s also room at his feet.  There’s a nice pocket in next to his seat so that he can have his water bottle and a snack right next to him as well.  It’s definitely a trailer that checks all the boxes for our family!

So far this year, now that we have a two year old that’s big on going to the park we’ve been putting him in the trailer after work and biking over to the park which saves us a lot of time compared to trying to get him to walk there! This summer we plan on hitting some trails around Hamilton where we’ll have to drive and park before heading out.  It’ll require a little more coordination in terms of having to drive two vehicles to get there (the truck carry the bikes and trailers, and the car to transport the toddler). I’ll definitely update on our experiences throughout the summer!  We look forward to doing some trails along the lake as well as some of the rail trail.

Do you have any recommendations for trails that are do-able while hauling child and dog trailers?  Perhaps something not too hilly as we get back into the swing of trail biking!

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