Using a TowWhee to Improve your Family Bike Rides
What's on your family's summer bucket-list?
My biggest family goal for the summer of 2020 was to go mountain biking all together! I knew from the get go that there were going to be some challenges that we needed to address before making this possible.
First of all, each of our girls were in desperate need of some upgraded bikes. Up until this point we had only ever purchased thrift store, well loved, bikes. Don't get my wrong, I am very supportive of buying second hand gear but in addition to needing newer bikes they also each needed a larger set up with some gears, hand breaks, and suspension. We ended up being able to find some really great bikes for each of them but our 4 year old just isn't big enough for a bike with gears. This leads to me to challenge number two.
Our second challenge we faced was being able to stick together as a family on the trail. We found that if Juniper, our youngest, was able to do a trail that the older two found themselves a bit bored. This was primarily due to the fact that Juniper didn't have the ability to shift down into a smaller gear to crank up the larger hills. We became quite the circus show as I biked up the trail, ditched my bike, ran back down the trail, and then pushed Juniper up the hills on her bike. It only took one outing to make me realize that it just wasn't going to work.
I was really heart broken after our first outing. My biggest family goal for 2020 was not going to be accomplished, at least not as I had hoped it would be. At least not until I ran into TowWhee.
In simple terms, a TowWhee is a bungee system that connects two riders together. The rider in the front can tow the second rider behind without and jerking or dragging. It's a really simple system that actually works surprisingly well. If you're like me you might be a little bit concerned with the idea of having a bungee attached between you and your kid but don't worry, the TowWhee bungie has a really gentle pull that is just enough to allow a bit of stretching when getting started and slowing down.
How does the TowWhee work?
TowWhee has an awesome How To video on their site that explains its simple system perfectly so I won't dive too deep into this but I did want to touch again on just how easy it is to use. The TowWhee simply slips over the front rider's seat and loops around the back rider's hand bars. It's seriously that easy but incase you need it even easier TowWhee also has the option of adding an extra Quick Loop to make attaching the TowWhee to rear riders handlebars slicker.
Was it easy to "get the hang of"?
To be completely honest, there was a bit of a learning curve for little Juniper. We decided to just dive right into things and took the TowWhee out for a test run on a very bumpy and steep dirt path. I realize now, looking back, that I probably should have allowed Juniper to get used to the feeling of the bungee giving her a little tug here and there on a flat, smooth road first. We did end up doing just that and after she got used to the feeling of it all we took it back to the dirt with no problems.
Why did we choose TowWhee over other pulling systems?
We know there are a ton of different options out there for pulling kids behind you on a bike. We chose the TowWhee for three major reasons.
The fist reason being that it's so small and compact. When you're not using it you can throw it around your torso or around the body of your bike and it's out of the way. We really didn't want another big bike attachment to have to worry about storing and shlepping around.
We loved that it's such an affordable option! Bike accessories for kids can add up fast and a TowWhee comes in only at $39.99!
The final reason why we chose to use TowWhee is because it still allows the kids to ride independently. We all get to ride together on more challenging terrain while the kids still learn how to bike like little pros.
TowWhees are not just for Mountain Biking
TowWhee as been a life saver for us when it comes to mountain biking together but I've found that it's also helpful for long family rides on a near by bike path. When Juniper gets tired we just loop the TowWhee around her bike and give her a chance to rest her legs while we tow her. I've also seen them being used for any sport where your little one could use an extra boost. You can check out some more adventures with TowWhee here.
Watch this video to see the TowWhee in action!