Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What's in the family pannier for sweltering summer days?

It's been very hot here the last few days, up into the three digits. (°F) We've still been out on our bikes to work, to the park and to friends' houses, but with an eye to keeping everyone safe in the heat.

In the summer pannier when riding with babies/ kids we carry some essential hot weather goodies that keep us all rolling along. We have:

  • Thermos bottles of cold water
  • Plenty of hats and sunscreen
  • Lots of extra diapers, Balmex tube and wipe material
  • Some extra clothes and plastic shopping bag in case we get somewhere we can get wet  (in Chicago there are wonderful playground sprinklers and the lake to jump into) Sometimes a swim diaper too. 
  • maybe a small towel or two (depending on how many kids you might have with you) 
  • Extra snacks and some juice bags. For non nurser babies extra small person food. 
  • a tool kit and pump just in case, including a little first aid kit
The excess of extra diapers are so the smallest people don't get icky in the heat. We find this especially important with babies and not-training-yet toddlers. Diapers (cloth diapers get hot too) are best changed as often as possible in the heat, which isn't complicated but good packing makes it easy. Keep clean, wet cloth washcloths in a ziplock, (or carry baby wipes) and an extra closeable ick bag to keep everything apart and ok in the heat if you don't use disposables. (We love to carry a tube of Balmex too just in case you need to grease a bottom)

Extra water and a favorite snack for nursing moms help too if you are out for your first summer rides as a family. Surprisingly, moving on the bike is often cooler than walking or public transportation, especially if you are coasting a lot!

We are not shy about spending days at the cool bookstore, museum, library, or just plain home on these baking hot afternoons. Moderation is our habit when it gets extremely hot. Whenever we ride in summer we are game for an ice cream or gelato stop. Hot days are the perfect excuse to duck happily into an air conditioned coffee shop.

Hope you are staying comfortable in the heat and enjoying these sunny summer days on two wheels!


  1. It's overwhelming to think about all that has to be carried around on a bike with kids. I already seem to schlep around everything but my kitchen sink. Kudos to you! :)

    p.s. Hope your pedal's all better!

  2. Hi Dottie!
    Thank goodness for panniers. And good riding company in the heat! J.

  3. Sexy new trike....tell me more. :)

  4. Hi- Sorry to be slow to say hi- Yup. sort of a new addition. more very soon.
    Check out Danielle back out on roxy!! Yea!!


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