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Biking with toddler in the Ergo? - Page 3

post #41 of 65

I thought I had replied to this discussion earlier, but don't see it ... it's entirely possible my pregnant brain meant to post, but never actually did!

 

My husband is a former mountain bike racer, and now races duathlons (running/cycling) races. He went to the national championships for duathlon as an amateur racer, so he's definitely in the 'confident rider' category.

 

He won't even bike with a bike seat on the bike. Trailer, or no kids. Nothing to throw off the center of gravity & balance ... it's not worth the risk to us at all. Bike trailers are available at every price point, and although we got a very nice one (DH used to race for a bike supplier, so we got a great deal on it), there are loads available used in our local classifieds all the time, and they are safe for both the adult cyclist and the child.

 

Regardless of how good a rider a person is, it's like carseats ... you can't count on everyone around you to be safe as well -- if you have to make a quick action on the bike to avoid the consequences of someone else's bad choice (drivers not giving bikes enough space, dogs & children darting out on quiet country roads ... dogs chasing bikes ...) you need to be able to make that action without having to think 'how can I do this and STILL balance junior on my back', or having their weight slow your reactions/balance.

 

Trailers increase your 'size' as a cyclist & make you easier to see, and they all come with those orange flags for safety, making you even more visible to cars, which only increases your safety.

 

It is a choice only you as a parent can make, but I think it's valid to consider all the angles, and know that even most very experienced cyclists who race would not do it. I can't think of a single parent that races with DH that would even try it. I think often recreational riders (and recreational paddlers, runners, swimmers etc) ... don't see the full big picture, b/c what they do is always 'fun', it's not competitive. Once you get to a competitive level, you consider every little detail and are more aware of yourself, your true abilities & your equipment. Not to say that competitive riders don't take risks, but they consider the risks differently than a recreational participant might.

post #42 of 65

Some people are saying "its fine if mom is confident on the bike with balance, is a good rider, is going in a safe area, kid is wearing helmet, etc"  

 

I have parents tell me its fine if their kid isn't in a carseat because "mom is a good driver, its just a short drive, its a safe area, my car has airbags, etc".   Makes no difference how good of a driver, or how safe the car is, or the location, accidents still happen, so why take the risk if there are other options? 

 

That still doesn't make it safe.  Mom could be the best bike rider in the world, that doesn't stop a car from going off the road and hitting her, a squirrel crossing her path, an unexpected rock/stick... etc.  

post #43 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by leighi123 View Post

Some people are saying "its fine if mom is confident on the bike with balance, is a good rider, is going in a safe area, kid is wearing helmet, etc"  

 

I have parents tell me its fine if their kid isn't in a carseat because "mom is a good driver, its just a short drive, its a safe area, my car has airbags, etc".   Makes no difference how good of a driver, or how safe the car is, or the location, accidents still happen, so why take the risk if there are other options? 

 

That still doesn't make it safe.  Mom could be the best bike rider in the world, that doesn't stop a car from going off the road and hitting her, a squirrel crossing her path, an unexpected rock/stick... etc.  


and some people choose to make choices based on the risk/benefit ratio.  Getting in a car (even in a carseat) is extremely dangerous for children.  But people choose to do it every day.  

 

post #44 of 65

I love riding my bike. I commute by bike daily without my kids. My son i too young for the bike trailer but I love using it with his sister. I live in a city and would not bike with a kids on my back here, however when i was visiting my parents in a very rural area, I wore her on my back and went on short bike rides a couple of times. No one saw us but the cows and they didn't seem to mind. And yes I biked the whole time I was pregnant too, I didn't know you weren't supposed to. I quit skateboarding then though but thats another story.

I have thought of wearing my baby in the ergo and biking with my older daughter in  the trailer and actually think it might be safer than having the both of them in the trailer but haven't done it yet. I will probably just wait till he is one and put him in the trailer too. Although I am tempted to put him in the trailer if he gets to be above 25lbs before hes one... However I do ride a stationary  bike with him wrapped on my back. When he was between three and six months it was the only thing that would get him to sleep on the rough nights. Somewhere between the third and fifth mile he would finally pass out and I would just unwrap him and pass out too! Sorry for getting abit off topic...

post #45 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by swede View Post




and some people choose to make choices based on the risk/benefit ratio.  Getting in a car (even in a carseat) is extremely dangerous for children.  But people choose to do it every day.  

 



Yes, getting in a car is dangerous.  We'll all give you that.  BUT - thats why people on this forum strive to get the safest carseats, RF as long as possible, don't allow their children to wear coats while strapped in, use high back boosters for as long as possible.....etc etc etc etc.  And, again, carseats do a GREAT job of protecting properly restrained children.

 

Why not take as many precautions on a BIKE as possible to limit or eliminate potential dangers?  You are completely ignoring the VERY real possibility that a falling cyclist could land on top of her child, particularly if they go over the handlebars (which does happen - even to careful riders who don't go fast).  A child would be almost entirely unprotected in an ergo, and yet, you act like b/c its not a car thats totally fine and not a big deal.  I'm not really sure why?

post #46 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post





Yes, getting in a car is dangerous.  We'll all give you that.  BUT - thats why people on this forum strive to get the safest carseats, RF as long as possible, don't allow their children to wear coats while strapped in, use high back boosters for as long as possible.....etc etc etc etc.  And, again, carseats do a GREAT job of protecting properly restrained children.

 

Why not take as many precautions on a BIKE as possible to limit or eliminate potential dangers?  You are completely ignoring the VERY real possibility that a falling cyclist could land on top of her child, particularly if they go over the handlebars (which does happen - even to careful riders who don't go fast).  A child would be almost entirely unprotected in an ergo, and yet, you act like b/c its not a car thats totally fine and not a big deal.  I'm not really sure why?

 

It's not possible to travel by bike with a baby many other ways (meaning the op can either bike with the baby in the ergo or not bike at all with her baby).  So, for me the huge benefit of being able to ride with my baby would outweigh the relatively small risk.  Kids can get hurt at the park, but I still take them there.  I just don't see the possible risk as outweighing the benefits.  THat's all.  And some people act like it would be sooooo dangerous, when in reality, it wouldn't be. I'm not acting like it's not big deal.  I am acting like it would be a very small deal.  Much smaller than riding in a car (which I do with my children all the time, but I have no delusions about it's safety).  And you don't see people dissuading moms here from driving with their children. 

 

post #47 of 65

Wow! I just saw this post so I thought I'd comment to OP. I did it for over 2 years, I actually just stopped riding my toddler on my bike in the Ergo. I never even thought twice about it. I was riding safely and my feet could reach the ground so I imagine if had fallen, It would have been easy to catch myself. I have a bike seat that he sometimes rides in. But I would think the bike seat would be more dangerous. Like  I said before, if I come close to falling I could very easily catch myself, but I have had my toddler lean over in the bike while I was getting off and I nearly dropped the bike.

post #48 of 65

I agree it doesn't seem safe at all. It will throw off your center of gravity on the bike and make you more topheavy, for one thing.

post #49 of 65

question for anyone here: If it's not acceptable to have a child in a car w/ no car seat, how come riding a bike in traffic with a child on the back or in a trailer is okay? Not snarking, just genuinely puzzled.

post #50 of 65

I've read this thread with interest. We're pretty avid bikers and I have had a fall, when a dog ran in front of my bike on a bike path (no cars) and broke my wrist and split my helmet (I went over the handlebars).

 

We don't believe in having a child under 1 on a bike, because their head is still too big to take the shocks (and a helmet makes that worse). It's a pain. I live where it makes sense to bike to the library, grocery store, etc., and walking triples if not quadruples the time...but I walk or jog it. My baby is 5 months old. Next spring we'll get a trailer.

 

IMO the trailer is the safest, if you're not in traffic. Plus it's great for hauling stuff. Most trailers are designed not to tip if the bike goes over. You can tip a trailer if you corner totally wrong but the kids are lower. In traffic, there is a risk a car will hit a trailer and in that case it's just not going to be a good outcome.

 

For the seats on bikes...I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan. I read somewhere that the most common injury in those is that the child is strapped in, the bike is stationary, and it gets tipped over for whatever reason while the adult is getting on or off.

 

That said, I would take it over an Ergo I think. Just from my experience with my fall, it would have been my weight coming down that would have been the worst - I went over the bars onto my wrist, then over onto my back and my head. If there had been a child there, the child would have hit the ground and then I'd've hit the child. Just not a good outcome.

 

At 3.5 we put my son on a trail-a-bike. :)

 

 

post #51 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrysta View Post

question for anyone here: If it's not acceptable to have a child in a car w/ no car seat, how come riding a bike in traffic with a child on the back or in a trailer is okay? Not snarking, just genuinely puzzled.



I wold venture that statistically it is still more dangerous to take a child in a carseat in a car than it is to take a child on a bike in an ergo.  Biking is just plain safer - no matter how you slice it.  I've got my 3 year old rear facing in the car still.  I just realize that biking isn't that dangerous.  Ergo - seat - trailer, whatever you choose.  It's STILL safer than traveling by car. 

post #52 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by swede View Post





I wold venture that statistically it is still more dangerous to take a child in a carseat in a car than it is to take a child on a bike in an ergo.  Biking is just plain safer - no matter how you slice it.  I've got my 3 year old rear facing in the car still.  I just realize that biking isn't that dangerous.  Ergo - seat - trailer, whatever you choose.  It's STILL safer than traveling by car. 


Honestly, it might be because my city is notorious this year for accidents, but I'm not sure you can say that on a per-trip basis. Maybe you can. But I'm not sure there are good apples-to-apples stats.

 

There might be more deaths or injuries in a car simply because everyone is in them all the time. But bikes share roads with the same drivers. :)

 

post #53 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post




Honestly, it might be because my city is notorious this year for accidents, but I'm not sure you can say that on a per-trip basis. Maybe you can. But I'm not sure there are good apples-to-apples stats.

 

There might be more deaths or injuries in a car simply because everyone is in them all the time. But bikes share roads with the same drivers. :)

 




CErtainly I would take into account where I'd be riding.  I just don't feel like it's a  crazy, completely unsafe idea to ride a bike with a baby in an ergo.  Perspective, people, is all I'm suggesting.

post #54 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by swede View Post






CErtainly I would take into account where I'd be riding.  I just don't feel like it's a  crazy, completely unsafe idea to ride a bike with a baby in an ergo.  Perspective, people, is all I'm suggesting.




I really think it depends on one's tolerance for risk, especially in the face of a lack of research.

 

In Ontario we have a big push going on with bike safety, but the stats are: Accident rates per kilometer are 26 to 48 times higher for bikes than for automobiles. I'm not sure that's great research, but  it certainly doesn't lead me to "it's safer to ride a bike than put your kid in a car", especially if you are travelling to the same places with them.

 

We still bike; in fact my 5 year old biked to school and back with my husband (on a trail-a-bike) most days this spring and summer. But it is a factor in deciding when we put our kids on bikes, helmet use, and carrier choice.

 

post #55 of 65
I'd be more likely to do it with a smaller child in a front carry. I would be scared that a 2.5 yo could swing his upper body around to look at something and throw me off balance.

That being said, if I were you, Id do it on trails but not on pavement. If you are biking up trails to me its not much different than hiking with a kid on your shoulders.
post #56 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by swede View Post





I wold venture that statistically it is still more dangerous to take a child in a carseat in a car than it is to take a child on a bike in an ergo.  Biking is just plain safer - no matter how you slice it.  I've got my 3 year old rear facing in the car still.  I just realize that biking isn't that dangerous.  Ergo - seat - trailer, whatever you choose.  It's STILL safer than traveling by car. 

How is it safer? You are sharing a road filled with cars, and you have not got a car's metal frame protecting you. If everyone rode bikes, there would be far fewer road fatalities overall. But on any given road, a cyclist is more likely to come to grief than a car driver. 

 

http://cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog/cycling/how-dangerous-is-cycling/

http://travel.uk.msn.com/news/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=151174892
 

 

post #57 of 65

look, we're talking about two different things here though. quite a while upthread it was agreed that biking on quiet, recreational, bike-only trails is a whole different thing than biking on a busy street to work or the grocery store. no way would i commute anywhere on mixed use roads with a baby in an ergo on a bike. i am hesitant to bike on roads without dedicated bike lanes with young kids at all, whether it's a baby in a bike seat, in a trailer or a kid on their own bike, let alone an ergo.

 

biking on a trail at lower speeds though, i think you could probably do a whole lot of things very safely that would not be possible to do on a mixed-use road with motor vehicle traffic. i don't think it's wise to make a blanket statement that using an ergo on a bike is fine, but i do think that it COULD be fine if it were done in a specific location under specific circumstances.

 

 

post #58 of 65

I am a nationally ranked, CAT 2 cyclist. I have been biking for more than a decade. Last weekened, I was on a training ride with a ranked cyclist. We were on a leisure ride, on a paved bike path where motorized vehicles are never allowed. My friend lost momentary control of her bike on a hill descent, over-corrected her wheel and slammed into a tree going about 20MPH. She was thrown from her bike, and skidded more than 30 feet after hitting the pavement head-first. The good news? She was wearing a well-fitted helmet. She had some intracranial bruising, swelling at the base of her brain, and a lot of road rash alongside about 50 stitches in her face. She will be fine.

Had she been doing what you are talking about doing, hypothetical baby would be dead.

She is a seasoned rider, who was being totally safe, who got in an unfortunate accident. They happen. Often. You don't hear about kids getting killed in Ergo carriers because few cyclists would take that chance in the first place. That's why Burley trailers and kids bike seats are desinged as they are, and must meet ANSI standards to be sold in the US. I would never, ever, ever keep my baby in a carrier and cycle with them. If your baby is under one, they are too young for a helmet, and you shouldn't ride with them until they can wear one. If you have a toddler, buy a trailer.

post #59 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post

look, we're talking about two different things here though. quite a while upthread it was agreed that biking on quiet, recreational, bike-only trails is a whole different thing than biking on a busy street to work or the grocery store. no way would i commute anywhere on mixed use roads with a baby in an ergo on a bike. i am hesitant to bike on roads without dedicated bike lanes with young kids at all, whether it's a baby in a bike seat, in a trailer or a kid on their own bike, let alone an ergo.

 

biking on a trail at lower speeds though, i think you could probably do a whole lot of things very safely that would not be possible to do on a mixed-use road with motor vehicle traffic. i don't think it's wise to make a blanket statement that using an ergo on a bike is fine, but i do think that it COULD be fine if it were done in a specific location under specific circumstances.

 

 




Well I think that taking the location and speed into account is fine - but having been in a crash on a bike path as I said upthread, I wouldn't assume that it's way, way safer. The thing is your velocity on a bike is just totally different than walking, and the angles of falls are also totally different.  I was amazed that at the speed I was going, when I clipped the dog (who was ok in the end) I really went up and over, landed on my side and arm and then over onto my head...and my helmet cracked. I have a plate in my arm (it was a pretty bad compound fracture) and a scar.

 

Sure, it was a freak accident but on foot? I'd've stopped and said "cute puppy."

post #60 of 65

Right you are, GuildJenn! The risks of hitting a tree while walking? Remote. And any injury sustained will probably be inconsequential.

 

Honestly, even a minor fall with a baby in an Ergo could be quite serious if the child were pinned under a person. I see no reason to take that chance. You can cycle safely with a baby over one year of age. As we are talking about a "toddler," why not choose the best option - either a mounted seat with a roll cage or a trailer - and ride your bike with the peace of knowing your kid is secure. I might also add that this situation - a child in a backpack or sling - would be illegal in our jurisdiction. I would check the laws, too!

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