PDA

View Full Version : Momentum Article: Start Biking with Your Baby



Tim Kelley
09-04-2013, 03:03 PM
Linky: http://momentummag.com/families/start-biking-with-your-baby/

mstone
09-04-2013, 05:06 PM
Doesn't everyone?

NicDiesel
09-05-2013, 08:52 AM
Is there a reason most kids I see in the front of bikes like that don't have eye protection? I don't have any kids so I'm genuinely curious if there's a reason for that. I mean, I understand that kids that age would probably just throw them off or not be able to keep them on, but it just makes me terrified when I see that.

Signed,
The incredible paranoid about eye protection and future bakfiets driver.

dasgeh
09-05-2013, 09:01 AM
Is there a reason most kids I see in the front of bikes like that don't have eye protection? I don't have any kids so I'm genuinely curious if there's a reason for that. I mean, I understand that kids that age would probably just throw them off or not be able to keep them on, but it just makes me terrified when I see that.

Signed,
The incredible paranoid about eye protection and future bakfiets driver.

1) They won't keep them on
2) You're <usually> not going fast enough to matter
3) They can just close their eyes or look away
4) They won't keep them on

#3 may be the most important. You need to wear eye protection when you're piloting because you *have* to see. Kids are just passengers. If there's dust or bugs or whatever, they just close their eyes. Hell, if ther're tired they just close their eyes.

chris_s
09-05-2013, 09:02 AM
Is there a reason most kids I see in the front of bikes like that don't have eye protection? I don't have any kids so I'm genuinely curious if there's a reason for that. I mean, I understand that kids that age would probably just throw them off or not be able to keep them on, but it just makes me terrified when I see that. .

Because the danger from them chucking their eye protection into the spokes of the front wheel is greater than the danger that they'll get something in their eye.

rpiretti
09-05-2013, 09:15 AM
@dasgeh - wondering your opinion - the wife just started pulling a trailer down the WOD only between Vienna and Hunter Mill Rd, to work (she's a nanny). does our 14 mo old need a helmet? I see toddlers that have them and some that don't. I err on the side they don't but that's my opinion and maybe misguided one at that. He's just so happy in it w/o one...

On the article - agreed with her up until the mention of the box crate - being the rando aficionado that I am I err on the side of having weight low always for safer handling

jrenaut
09-05-2013, 09:20 AM
I don't let my kids on a bike or anything like a bike or bike-related without a helmet. Pulling a trailer on the WOD is pretty safe, and I don't think this particular instance is dangerous without a helmet, but I prefer not to make exceptions, or to teach my kids that sometimes we wear helmets and sometimes we don't. They can make that decision for themselves when they move out of my house.

dasgeh
09-05-2013, 09:27 AM
@dasgeh - wondering your opinion - the wife just started pulling a trailer down the WOD only between Vienna and Hunter Mill Rd, to work (she's a nanny). does our 14 mo old need a helmet? I see toddlers that have them and some that don't. I err on the side they don't but that's my opinion and maybe misguided one at that. He's just so happy in it w/o one...


By law, yes. Anyone on a bike under 16 yo must wear a helmet.

I confess that I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to trailers and how they're constructed, etc. I do know that when I strap our baby into his car seat, which is strapped down to the bakfiets, I feel VERY silly putting on his helmet. In fact, we've loosened it so he can kinda push it off (so he won't get fussy mid ride). I'm fairly certain that it adds little to nothing to his safety (being in a carseat!), but we want to teach him and his sister that being on a bike = helmet. Brain trauma in kids is no joke.

*Ok, it's no joke in adults kids, but kids can experience brain trauma with less of a hit than adults and the consequences can be more severe, I believe.

Oh, and good on your wife for biking to work with a kid. That's awesome!

rpiretti
09-05-2013, 10:04 AM
Thanks guys!

Meganomics
09-05-2013, 10:20 PM
@dasgeh - wondering your opinion - the wife just started pulling a trailer down the WOD only between Vienna and Hunter Mill Rd, to work (she's a nanny). does our 14 mo old need a helmet? I see toddlers that have them and some that don't. I err on the side they don't but that's my opinion and maybe misguided one at that. He's just so happy in it w/o one...

It's true as @dasgeh points out downthread that helmets are legally required for cyclists and passengers 16 and under; however, I always caution parents to consider (1) their kids' neck strength, (2) the shape of the helmet, and (3) the shape of the trailer seat. Sometimes in trailers, especially with young or weak kids, the seat can press the helmet forward, tipping the head down and making it harder for kids to breathe. (This can also happen in rear bike seats, BTW).

I like Bern and Nutcase helmets for kids because their round shape in the back makes it less likely that this will happen. You can also look out for what's sometimes called a "helmet pocket" in your trailer--a recessed area in the seat back that will allow a little more room for kids' helmets to poke back.

People are divided on whether helmets actually add much safety to kids riding in trailers--most of the name brands of trailers are constructed really well, and there are tales of car-trailer collisions where the kid ended up with some scratches and bruises, and it was actually the parent pulling the trailer who was more seriously injured. At least one well-respected cycling parent has told me that he considers the trailer to be one big helmet.

All that being said, it's a good idea to get your little one in a helmet if she's comfortable with it (1) for the reasons that @jrenaut outlines below (getting your kids in the habit of wear helmets), and (2) for the public relations aspect.

Good luck to you and your wife and happy riding!

hozn
09-05-2013, 10:25 PM
Yeah, I made my kid wear a helmet from the beginning in the trailer. He fussed about it at first, but got used to it after a few rides. It was just "this is what we do when we bike" and it made it easy (to keep that rule) when he started riding his balance bike, and now his pedal bike. Of course that means that I must also wear a helmet when riding with him at 2mph on the sidewalk, but that's fine. :)

hozn
09-05-2013, 10:30 PM
+1 on helmet shape. My son has a Giro helmet (rascal? I don't remember the model) that is round and that made a big difference in not having his head pushed forward (I replaced the more traditionally shaped Bell). As for necessary neck strength that should probably be a prerequisite for being in the trailer/bike seat at all?

Meganomics
09-06-2013, 08:50 AM
As for necessary neck strength that should probably be a prerequisite for being in the trailer/bike seat at all?

Definitely yes to a bike seat; as far as trailers go, I think people put younger kids in them and so there might be an age where they're ok to be in trailer sitting by themselves, but the helmet might be a bit much (especially with how slumpy some trailer seats are).

I also never used a helmet when I put my kids in carseats in the trailer. In that case, I thought the helmet would definitely cause a breathing issue.

americancyclo
09-06-2013, 10:06 AM
+1 on helmet shape. My son has a Giro helmet (rascal? I don't remember the model) that is round and that made a big difference in not having his head pushed forward (I replaced the more traditionally shaped Bell). As for necessary neck strength that should probably be a prerequisite for being in the trailer/bike seat at all?

We got the Lazer Sport BOB for my daughter. It has a flat back so it won't interfere with the trailer. I also waited until she was 1 year old before attempting any cycling activities with her. That seemed to be the general consensus about the amount of time it takes to develop sufficient neck muscles to hold up their head and helmet.

Also in the bike=helmet camp

vvill
09-06-2013, 08:08 PM
+1 on the flat back helmets, and also on the 1y.o.+ age to begin cycling activities and +1 on the eye protection, my kids are fussy enough without having to worry about that. I go slooow with them anyhow.

Riley Casey
09-06-2013, 08:29 PM
A moment of grandparent perspective if I may.

No matter how bad a parent you think you may be by omitting eye protection or what ever else scares the bejezus out of you this week your kids are going to have a much better chance at growing up healthy and whole than say their predecessors in the 9th century and even the 19th century. After all a fair number of them survived to wind up with us as the result despite far worse than a lack of eye protection OR helmets.

Now if the worst case scenarios from the climate scientists do turn out to be true then perhaps not so much for the next century but we're not there yet. :confused:

( from someone old enough to fondly remember us kids in the elementary school class excitedly gathering around to play with the beads of mercury in our hands that came from the broken thermometers )

rpiretti
09-06-2013, 09:40 PM
Good ideas, Nutcase helmets seem great now that I think about it. Thanks for that suggestion. There's a balance though of getting my 14 mo old to wear a helmet. I can't explain to him why he needs it and the trailer acting as protection holds me off from forcing the issue. As soon as he knows why I can force it which might be soon.

We can get him to go to sleep by himself, to clean up his books, etc but there something different about wearing a helmet.

Will pay close attn to the neck angle next ride which probably will be tomorrow's beautiful morning


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk