Hi all - I am wondering if anyone has any advice specific to bike commuting with a bigger kid who is not yet teenager-sized. I have an 8.5 year old who is quickly becoming too heavy for me to haul her around on her trail-a-bike, which we have been happily using for many years to date. She has her own bike and is reasonably comfortable riding short distances, but I am not yet comfortable letting her ride on anything but super low-traffic neighborhood greenways. We live in inner NE and regularly commute to other places in the inner eastside as well as downtown, and most of our destinations involve at least some distance on a higher-traffic road with bike lane. (Example - inner NE to OMSI requires riding on Vancouver and through the shared bus/bike lane between Broadway and Weidler. I am fine with this trip as long as I am controlling her ability to stop and start, which I do on the trail-a-bike, but I would be super afraid to let her do this on her own, particularly in any kind of darkness/bad weather).
Any advice from parents who have been there with this age group? We have adjusted our setup to date (bike seat, then bike trailer, then trail-a-bike) but now I am stumped. I feel like maybe I might have to give up on biking for actual transportation until she is physically bigger (i.e. easier for drivers to see) and also more mentally aware. We have resisted buying a cargo bike to date because my husband and I share duties of picking her up and dropping her off, so we’d essentially have to buy two cargo bikes, which seems very silly when we already have our own bikes.
Thanks for any recommendations!