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Thread: Kid in Tow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    32

    Kid in Tow

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    I have a 2 year old & eventually I'd like to put her on the back of my bike. She goes to daycare round trip about 8 miles away.

    I'm worried about riding with her over busy roads. I can do back roads most of the way but I would have to cross a busy intersection & ride about a block on a busy road until I can hook back up with the back way.

    So I have a few questions regarding this scenario...

    1. Does anyone do the commuting with a child thing?
    What are your experiences with traffic & safety for the child?

    2. What is easier to ride with...one that pulls behind and has a net or the kind that hook to the back of the bike like a carseat?

    3. I keep hearing about people just falling over...what happens if you wreck with a toddler on board?

    TIA,
    D

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Huntington Beach, Ca
    Posts
    1,004
    Tiffanie just got a trailer for her road bike, so I'm sure that she'll chime in here. I plan to commute to my ds's preschool in the fall, so I'll be buying a trailer then.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    380
    I have never commuted, but I have used my burley to deliver kids to preschool fairly regularly. My youngest is not overly fond of the burely and I went to the lbs to buy a seat for my bike and the owner told me that he would rather forego the sale and help me find a way to make my dd happier in the trailer. They are safer for a number of reasons:

    1. You are less likely to fall when you have a child in a trailer than you are with a child on the back of your bike. the closer the child gets to the max weight of the child seat the bigger percentage of the overall weight of bike+you+them, and therefore the child's movements can affect your balance and cause a fall.

    2. If you do fall your child is safer in a trailer since it is attached to the bike with a universal joint and has a low center of gravity - most likely, the trailer will stay upright.

    3. If the trailer does flip (some of better safety records on this factor than others - do your homework) your child is surrounded by a safety cage. Always have your child strapped in (there is a 5 pt harness in most trailers) and always have him or her wear a helmet. Many trailer related injuries are attributable to parents bein over confident in the trailers safety and therefore not securing the child and not insisting on a helmet.

    The one disturbing statistic is that injuries to kids in Burleys are often more severe than those sustained by kids in seats, and this is due to the fact that they often involve motor vehicles. You need to be extra aware when crossing streets and remember that it is going to take longer for the entire bike plus trailer to get through and intersection than it takes just you on your bike to get through. Also always have your trailer well marked with flags to make it more visible.

    Finally, while trailers are more expensive than bike seats they retain their value quite well and your can get 50% or more back on your investment even after a number of years of usage.
    Brina

    "Truth goes through three stages: first it is ridiculed; then violently opposed; finally, itís accepted as being self-evident." Schopenhauer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    211
    Yes, I recently bought a trailer. She's too heavy for the bike seat and affects my balance, etc. I've only taken my daughter out a couple of times so far and she LOVES it. Asks to go every day!
    ~~Tiffanie~~

    Your biggest challenge isn't someone else.
    It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs and the voice inside that yells "CAN'T".
    But you don't listen. You just push harder.
    And then you hear the voice whisper "CAN".
    And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are.
    Author Unknown

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    The Red Stick
    Posts
    1,439
    We tote our kids (2 and 4 - about 60 lbs or so combined) in a trailer. Mr. Fish is planning to do the commute to school with them in August. It's only about 2 miles from the house.

    My personal opinion is that a trailer is much safer than a bikeseat. There are the balance issues and of course - if you fall, the child comes crashing down (as stated earlier). Just make sure you get her a helmet to wear in the trailer! I see too many people around my town riding without helmets and towing kids without helmets in trailers. Specialized makes some really fun helmets for toddlers/kids.
    *******************
    Elizabee (age 5) at the doctor's office: "I can smell sickness in here...I smell the germs"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    WA, Australia
    Posts
    3,292
    We have a Chariot and our youngest loves it. We can use it as a jogger pram, as a bicycle child carrier or strip the wheels add skis and its great for trips in the snow.

    It looks so bl**dy comfy in there I wish I was small enough to go for a ride.

    If you are looking for a bicycle carrier that can convert for other jobs the Chariot is first rate.

    PS Our first winter here we only had one car which my husband used to get to work. I walked the oldest boys to school thru rain, hail, snow and the youngest stayed dry and very warm tucked up in the Chariot.
    The most effective way to do it, is to do it.
    Amelia Earhart

    2005 Trek 5000 road/Avocet 02 40W
    2006 Colnago C50 road/SSM Atola
    2005 SC Juliana SL mtb/WTB Laser V

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Higginsville, MO
    Posts
    37
    I use a bike trailer to take the 2 yr old to the babysitter or pick him up. He absolutely loves it and gets really mad when I take him out of it. I also sometimes carry both the 2 yr old and the 7yr old - our trailer is rated for 50lbs per kid and they're about 65lbs put together. That really sucks, so I try not to do it for long stretches. But the 2 yr old by himself (25lbs) is usually barely noticeable unless we get a strong headwind or go up a huge hill.

    Traffic is actually nicer to me when I have the trailer. They tend to give me a wider berth and are more patient before passing me. I've never been honked at or yelled at when I'm towing the trailer. In fact, most people smile and some ask questions at stop signs. The majority of my commute is on side roads, but when I do take the busier road, the trailer definitely helps.

    I'm always nervous when I take the trailer on the busier road, though. I mean, it's obnoxiously bright, with one of those big orange flags sticking up out of it, but there are still people who are stupid. I always make sure the boy is wearing a helmet and buckled in the 5-point harness. That and riding smart are pretty much the only things you can control. I've taken him on gravel roads with no shoulder, where the cars pass at 45mph. As long as you're aware of what's going on, it's really not that bad.

    I saw a guy the other day blow through a stop sign (granted, there were no cars anywhere), no helmet, pulling a toddler trailer with a really little kid (younger than mine) with no helmet. I could have screamed. But around here, we're practically the only family that insists on everyone wearing helmets when they're on a bike, so it wasn't really that unusual.

    My bike falls over sometimes when the kids are getting in or out of the trailer, and the trailer always stays upright. I much prefer it to a bike seat. It's so much easier to get the kids in and out of it, and if I fall over, they barely notice - except to complain that we stopped
    "The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to venture beyond them into the impossible." ~Arthur C. Clarke

    residentgeek.livejournal.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    I dragged SKnot around in a trailer until he was about 6. And it was a crappy ol' Bugger (yup, that was the brand name!) which attached to the seat-post of my bike and would flip if my bike fell over.

    It was great, and some great memories came from that.

    He always wore a helmet. Even his teddy wore a helmet (a yogurt tub tied on with string). He loved riding in the trailer, and it was so sad when he outgrew it.

    Cars were very good about the trailer, much more so than when i was commuting to work with just my bike.

    Wonderful stuff.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    211
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet
    I dragged SKnot around in a trailer until he was about 6. And it was a crappy ol' Bugger (yup, that was the brand name!) which attached to the seat-post of my bike and would flip if my bike fell over.

    It was great, and some great memories came from that.

    He always wore a helmet. Even his teddy wore a helmet (a yogurt tub tied on with string). He loved riding in the trailer, and it was so sad when he outgrew it.

    Cars were very good about the trailer, much more so than when i was commuting to work with just my bike.

    Wonderful stuff.
    How cute is that???
    ~~Tiffanie~~

    Your biggest challenge isn't someone else.
    It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs and the voice inside that yells "CAN'T".
    But you don't listen. You just push harder.
    And then you hear the voice whisper "CAN".
    And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are.
    Author Unknown

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    32

    Too Cute!!

    His teddy wore a helmet??? Wow...that is one of the cutest things I've ever heard. Tell me you have pictures?

    A-Dorable.

 

 

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