Biking with children around Oslo
When the baby has finally become old enough to sit in a child seat on the bike or in the bike trailer, a few questions remain: Should you choose a child seat or a trailer? What kind of security requirements are there? Which bike trails and routes in and around Oslo are most suitable for biking with a child / trailer?
Bike rides in and around Oslo
There are many opportunities for biking around Oslo. Here are some suggestions for bike rides with a child seat/trailer:
1. Along the Akerselva river up to Maridalsvannet - 20km
Starting Point: Grunerløkka, any point of the river. When you reach the water take to the right, bike uphill so you get a view to the lake. After Sanner gård (farm), turn to the left - you´ll have to bike a while on the road. Once you get to Hammeren, take the gravel road toward Brekke. When you get to the "end", cross the road and bike back 10m on to the bike path that will take you down to the Aker river. Enjoy the downhill and take a break along the river!
2. Seaside ride from Sørenga to Bygdøy - a mix of urban and countryside
Starting Point: Sørenga. One possibility is to bike to Grønland, over the new fancy bridge and down to the Opera. Bike on to the promenade toward Vippetangen and on to Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen. Then you bike along the Frogner marina to Bygdøy. Drive straight toward Lysaker when you get to Frognerkilen, turn left and find the forest path to Paradisbukta and then Huk. Enjoy!
3. Around Bygdøy - 7km
Starting Point: Hengesengveien in Bygdøy, by the bike trail on route E18. Read more here.
4. Along the Akerselva river - 9km downhill
From Kjelsås to Grønland.
5. Cruising down Holmenkollåsen - 16km downhill
Starting Point: Frognerseteren station
6. Around Ekeberg - 11km
Starting Point: Ryen subway station
7. Green Route from Skøyen to Sinsen/Grønland - 14km
Starting Point: Skøyen
8. Østmarka - Ljanselva - 17km
Starting Point: Ulsrud. Ending at Hvervenbukta
9. Brønnøya - an island free from cars - 12-16km
Starting Point: Sandvika.
Bike trips in Norway with a trailer
I have not been on a bike trip with my own baby yet, but I've picked up the following tips for bike trips with a trailer:
Rallarvegen - From Haugastøl to Flåm
Rallarvegen is the most famous cycle road in Norway and the scenery is beautiful. I haven´t myself biked it with a trailer, but according to DNT (the Norwegian Trekking Association) it´s possible. DNT recommends using a trailer rather than a seat on this trip as it gives more stability and is safer for both the cyclist and the child. The trip is 82 km long and with children you should spend 3 days on it. NB: The road is not entirely doable until late July.
Fanitullvegen - From Hemsedal to Ål
Fanitullvegen is a 44 km bike ride. You bike on a nice and quiet dirt road through hilly terrain along Reineskarvet, past mountain pasture farms and small lakes. A natural starting point is Hemsedal, but the climb up to the mountain can be pretty tough as it is quite steep and you have to pull the bikes up behind you parts of the way. You should count on sleeping in a tent when traveling with children. The ride down to Ål is a nice and much lighter one. Some locals also propose two side roads - the road to Gyrinosen / Lysebotn and the road to Eitrestølen.
See more suggestion for bike trips here.
Please send in more suggestions for tours!
When is the child old enough?
According to Trygg Trafikk - the Norwegian Council for Road Safety, children can sit in a bike seat or a bike trailer already from 10 to 12 months of age, when they are able to sit and hold their head up. Babycenter.com advices not before 12 months. According to the Norwegian Cyclists Association, even younger babies can be placed in a bassinet inside the trailer.
Here is some great advice on biking with your child.
Bike seat or trailer?
What should you choose? A trailer is probably preferable for long rides in the countryside and on the road. Both you and your child will have greater comfort and freedom, and the child will remain dry if it starts to rain. In addition, the child can sleep, play, read, or just observe everything along the road. In the city, however, many parents feel it´s a little scary with a trailer, as they´re afraid that cars might not see it and you will always look behind you to check that the baby is doing well, which in itself is a traffic hazard. At the same time, most experts seem to argue that the trailer is the safer bet.
Read some pros and cons here and here.