Updates to the "Company Car"
The bike comes with seating and safety belts for up to 4 children, but we're predicting that West won't be large enough to ride without some sort of support seat until he's around 4 years old. When West was an infant, Adam and I used to secure his first-stage car seat into the cargo bike. But once he outgrew that arrangement, we began searching for other methods of keeping him safe while riding in the bucket.
In order to fit West, both pups, and a few bags into the bike, we removed one of the two benches that come with the Virtue. We left the back bench in place, an attached a "Child Seat" next to a "Toddler Seat" from My Amsterdam Bike. Currently, West fits in the toddler seat, but he or his friends can sit in either of the chairs.
We also added two tethers to the interior of the bike to keep Stanlee in Sophee safe in traffic in case they try to jump out. These two tethers are connected from the bike to harnesses on either beagle-- we never attach the dogs by their collars. If a pup does jump, there's enough slack so that they can land on the ground without dangling, but there's not enough slack for them to run away. (Neither pup has ever jumped out while on-the-go, but I don't want to take any chances.)
This is by far my favorite way to get around Venice and the nearby neighborhoods of LA. Not only is it a joy to ride with our family all together, but the bike inspires great reactions from the community, and we've met several lovely folks this way.
West has a toddler helmet (the "BabyNutty") by Nutcase. I highly, highly recommend this brand, as their helmet buckles are magnetic rather than traditional, so there's little to no chance of pinching your child's neck when applying or removing the helmet. Adam also wears a Nutcase, and I wear a Bern.
While we use a monster lock to secure our bike around town, I also got a double-loop cable to string through our helmets and empty baskets so we don't have to lug them around with us when we're popping into businesses.
With this bike (and the occasional Lyft ride when necessary), our simplified, 1-car lifestyle works out beautifully!