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Babywearing on a bicycle - Page 2

post #21 of 59
It's very cultural, notions of safety. The US and Canada IMO are pretty darn uptight. The Storchenweige (babycarrier) site has a picture of a woman riding a bicycle with the babe on her back in a Storch.

eta - I just checked and actually it's a dude.
post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leilalu View Post
I really don't feel bike trailers are all that safe. Maybe they are safer then they used to be......
I would have to agree with the other mom as well here. Your balance could be thrown off. There are too many variables to not have him strapped onto the bike itself.
i'm a little confused - do you mean that having him strapped to the bike itself would prevent his wiggling from throwing off the rider's balance or that in the event of a crash, he would be safer strapped to the bike?

i've actually been thinking about this issue (on vacation in europe and seeing lots of kids in those bike seats - no babywearing on a bike yet, though) because, to be honest, the seats look pretty unsafe to me. and, although i'm not a big cyclist, it seems pretty clear to me that having a heavy kid strapped to the back of the bike would be a lot more likely to screw with my balance than having the kid strapped to my back (never mind his wiggling) where his weight would essentially just be adding to my own, not wildly changing the whole center of gravity of the bike. does that make sense?

then, in the event of a crash... everytime i've ever fallen off a bike, one of two things happened: either the bike and i both went down, or the bike went down and i managed to save myself and end up on my feet. so, a kid strapped to a seat would be hitting the ground in either case. you'd be depending on the plastic seat and helmet to protect him.

i do want to say that i know people who have unexpectedly flipped off the bike forward, over the handle bars (from an overly sudden stop with front-only brakes, or failed rear brakes, or hitting some kind of obstruction) and i think that could easily end up with the rider on her back and seriously injuring if not killing a baby strapped to her back.

i just don't know if the seat would be better in any except that last most serious case. does anyone know if the seats even have safety standards and, if so, what they're meant to cover? it does seem to me like the trailers are probably safest in general, although in certain traffic situations, i'd think not.

and i think the mama in question knows best what kind of traffic, etc. she is riding in.

that was long and rambling. i honestly don't know what the safest option is. the idea of bike riding with my son on my back frightens me, but i don't really think you're putting yours at a dreadful risk. i wouldn't be surprised if a cop gives you a ticket or something, though.

maybe there's some data to be had from europe on the issue, if it's a common thing in some countries.
post #23 of 59
Thread Starter 
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post #24 of 59
My main worry is a car hitting your bike and sending you flying. You have no idea how you will land. My father rides a bike 150 miles a week for the past 15 years, and he's been in 4 bike accidents, two of which were caused by cars hitting his bike. In one of the accidents he was sent flying off of his bike, hit the hood of the car which hit him, then flew into a low stone wall on the side of the road back first. So yes, it is very possible your son can be injured while on your back.

No all accidents are from hitting rocks or tipping over on your bike. It may be impossible for you to control what you hit and where you hit it.
post #25 of 59
As a side note, when I was checking if it was safe to have my child in my ergo when riding my bike, I discovered in Australia it was illegal to do so.

It's also illegal to ride a bike with no helmet, and I see people doing it all the time.

If it was legal for me to ride with her on my back, I probably would, as I believe my centre of balance would be better than in a bike seat, however - I also think it would depend on the mood she was in as I would hate her to start squirming too much.
post #26 of 59
We looked into some trailers and the more expensive ones seem pretty safe. If you fall over the trailer will stay upright. I personal wouldn't ride with my dd on me. I just would be too afraid of falling or being hit!! Are you riding for recreation or neccessity? If it is for recreation could you right alone and take your dc on walks until you can afford a trailer? I have a new bike a rarely get to ride because we can't afford a trailer right now and I am thinking of coverting it to an indoor so I can ride it while dd naps during the winter-hopefully by next spring we will have a good trailer.
post #27 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerawo View Post
My main worry is a car hitting your bike and sending you flying. You have no idea how you will land. My father rides a bike 150 miles a week for the past 15 years, and he's been in 4 bike accidents, two of which were caused by cars hitting his bike. In one of the accidents he was sent flying off of his bike, hit the hood of the car which hit him, then flew into a low stone wall on the side of the road back first. So yes, it is very possible your son can be injured while on your back.

No all accidents are from hitting rocks or tipping over on your bike. It may be impossible for you to control what you hit and where you hit it.
I've thought the 'what ifs' for this one too- what if they were on a bike seat, what if they were in a trailer, what if we were just walking and it were to happen. There's no telling what will happen in life, should we never do anything of hoping to avoid something?

I don't think there's a right answer to this debate/discussion....mind you, I don't think there was ever a specific question either. I do appreciate all the input though!
post #28 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tianakaesha View Post
As a side note, when I was checking if it was safe to have my child in my ergo when riding my bike, I discovered in Australia it was illegal to do so.
Now this is interesting since it seems to be the first bit of legislation on the matter. Do you recall what the law said specifically? Was in an Ergo specifically or what were the carrier descriptions?
post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by eirual View Post
(I'm in Canada, btw)
Sorry, I confused your UserID with someone else, that is why I thought you were in the U.S.
post #30 of 59
I used to work for a bike manufacturing company, and the owner of the company's brother started Burley (he recently sold it). Lots of people who worked for that company were in at least one accident in the year that I worked there, most involving cars, none of them their fault. Allen created the Burley trailer as a safe alternative to the bike seat, but the bike seat is a safer method than wearing the baby. Because a] babe has a helmet on, b] babe has a 5-point harness, and c] the seat surrounds the baby, it's unlikely that tipping sideways onto the sidewalk is going to do much damage to the child - they're not going to go flying, for example, unless the straps fail. A trailer won't tip over even if you do. Check craigslist & freecycle, people get rid of them for very little when their kids outgrow them. Another option is to get one of those kid bikes that attaches to the back of yours, kind of turning the bike into a tandem. Your babe's probably too young for that yet, but by next spring will probably be able to get the hang of it.
post #31 of 59
Out of curiosity, why do you feel the benefits outweigh the risks in this situation? What benefit are you getting, other than saving money on a car or bike trailer?
post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leilalu View Post
I really don't feel bike trailers are all that safe. Maybe they are safer then they used to be......

I agree. We use our bike as transportation all the time. A lot of the time its city. In Chicago,its bike lanes. Its illegal to ride on the side walk in most areas. No way would I use a trailer in a bike lane. A seat is the safest. A trailer is really only good for trail rides where there are no cars.
post #33 of 59
I will always put my child in a bike trailer for the same reason I will always put them in a carseat when I am in a car.

I have never been in a car accident. But really that's no reason to think I never will be.

I have fallen off my bike. Not for many years and I don't *plan* on having a bike accident, but that's not to say I never will. I know plenty of people who have had very freak bike accidents. One guy in particular was unbelievably lucky that he survived and his fall was caused by a very small piece of uneven concrete. He was riding on a flat paved bike-only trail. No cars involved. He was wearing a helmet but still needed very risky brain surgery because of his accident (and for the record the helmet definitely saved his life).

It would only take one fall, and not even a bad one, to injure my child. Helmet or no helmet.

Mounted seat vs trailer: in general I feel the trailer is safer. I do, however make and exception to that. In very high traffic areas where I cannot go fast on the bike anyway, the mounted seat is sometimes safer. I've had some visibility problems with the trailer in high traffic areas.

Think about the risks involved. It might very well be worth it to you to find a used trailer or bike mounted seat.

(FWIW I live in a country where I have seen more than a few people riding with kids on their backs. And bike safety in general is pitiful. That is simply not something I would "conform" to.)
post #34 of 59
just found the following: http://www.ibike.org/education/infant.htm

they're against backpacks, but decide for yourself if you agree.

Quote:
Taking an infant on a bike in a backpack is potentially very dangerous -- and illegal in some jurisdictions. Some of the issues are: The center of gravity is higher; if you wear helmets -- as you should -- your helmets may bang together; the child is quite vulnerable in a fall because the distance is higher and there is a greater chance of the infant ending up underneath the adult in a tumble; and the backpack provides less protection than a child seat or trailer.
they do say

Quote:
In the event of a crash, with rear child seats -- even a well designed one with heaps of safety features -- the child is likely to suffer at least minor arm and neck injuries. With poorly designed rear mounted bike seats, there is also some danger of the child's foot getting caught in the spokes. In the USA, kid seats should meet the ASTM 1625-00 safety standard.
and

Quote:
Some road and traffic conditions favor trailers and other conditions favor child seats. Road and traffic considerations may be a more significant factor than stability issues so it can't be said that one method is better than another in a given situation.
and

Quote:
We know of no comprehensive study on the best method to carry an infant on a bike and there are risks associated with all of them..
post #35 of 59
We have lots of debates about riding a bike with a baby in a carrier here (The Netherlands, I'm in Amsterdam). Officially it's not against the law, but nevertheless I've heard of people being stopped by the police who warned them about the risks. I've read that there have been at least 2 deadly accident with babies in carriers (it's mostly Bjorns here, so that's a bit different). There are lots of people who do it, there are just as many who feel it's very dangerous and don't. It's definitely not common and still debated very much! Personally, after taken over a year of driving lessons here in the city, I would never do it myself. I've seen too many close calls, and you might feel you're careful but you can never control other people.
post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leilalu View Post
I really don't feel bike trailers are all that safe. Maybe they are safer then they used to be......
I would have to agree with the other mom as well here. Your balance could be thrown off. There are too many variables to not have him strapped onto the bike itself.


I have a good friend who is a professional cyclist. When parents come into the bike shop to get a seat fitted onto their cycles, the guys won't even do it. They do not feel that even a bike seat is safe and they always suggest trailers. I would never ever wear a babe while cycling, they only go into the trailer and not onto any part of the bicycle itself. The pros I know all are wary because no natter where the extra weight is (that is, directly ON the cycle,) it has serious potential to throw off your balance.
post #37 of 59
I have a lot of friends who ride bikes. One, who rode as her main transportation, had a couple of accidents involving cars opening doors in front of her or turning abruptly in front of her. This happened to another friend, as well. Once, I fell simply by misjudging a turn slightly and hitting a slick spot. Several of my friends have ended up across car hoods, flipped, etc. They're not amateurs, but people who ride all the time in a city designed for bicycles (we have bike lanes everywhere).

Strange as it may seem, riding on the sidewalk is VERY dangerous. It is extremely hard for cars to see you--I almost hit a boy who was riding on the sidewalk in front of my house--he came flying by, though the neighbor's bushes completely block my view, and he smacked my hood with his hand as he went by... if he'd been riding correctly, he would have been in the bike lane on the other side of the street, and very visible to cars pulling out of driveways.

A few years back, I stopped to help a young woman whose leg was broken when a car hit her. She was riding on the sidewalk, and the car was pulling out of a driveway.

But the upshot of all of this is that the possibility of flipping over a car hood MUST be considered. I might toy with the idea of babywearing while bike riding on a dedicated, paved bike path with high visibility over a long range. Which covers about 3% of the hundreds of miles of bike paths in my town.
post #38 of 59
IMO...

If concern over being hit by a car is being considered a valid reason to say no to wearing the baby while biking, then it should be considered a valid reason not to have the baby in a trailer while biking as well. Trailers are not as visible, being under the sight line and could be hit , crushed just as easily as the bike. I think all these car crash arguments should be just tossed out as silly... just my opinion and I respect that those making the arguments have their own valid reasons... I just don't care to see things that way.

An adult is very unlikely to flip over his/her handlebars. I can't even imagine using my front brakes and haven't since I was a child. No need for it... so I'd throw that argument out too.

It will mess up your balance: Not really. I don't believe that a wiggly child would really cause an accident. I have a wee ride, and I let DS wiggle to his hearts content. He causes just as much off-balancing as my babe does in his carrier.

The only argument that even approaches valid to me is that you could land on him/her in a fall. Here I think it is actually safer to have the child on your back than in a seat like the Wee Ride I use. For one thing, you can twist your body to bear the impact of a worn child but there is no way for you to cushion the fall of a child in a seat. For another, if you were to begin to fall but caught yourself, you can really jerk the head/neck of a child in the carseat ... but one on your back or front would not get jerked around as much.


I say do what you feel is safe... and don't let others make you "conform". It's a darn good thing for my kids health that I just don't conform and get them fully vaxed and chock full of cough syrup when they are sick!!!
post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannughes View Post
i'm a little confused - do you mean that having him strapped to the bike itself would prevent his wiggling from throwing off the rider's balance or that in the event of a crash, he would be safer strapped to the bike?

I guess I am.

But I guess I need to research them some more.

My dh was in an older bike trailer when he was young and my FIL hit a bump and it actually detached and flipped over. This was a long time ago. But I still have issues with them.

For one, what if a car saw you, but did not see the trailer and started to make a turn? it happens. I have had people nearly run their car into my jogging stroller!Several times!

Second point: What if it did detach, or you hit a bump and the kids got knocked around?

Anything CAN be dangerous. It just depends on the situation. Technically- not everyone who baby-wears with an infant with fall to a horrible death. It could be a lot of fun , actually. But it could happen, which is why safety laws are enforced. I would personally feel safer not riding a bike with an infant, but if I did, I would probably get a seat on the back of my bike. That way, I can control my bike and how it moves, and it is all one peice.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnearthmomma View Post
I have a good friend who is a professional cyclist. When parents come into the bike shop to get a seat fitted onto their cycles, the guys won't even do it. They do not feel that even a bike seat is safe and they always suggest trailers. I would never ever wear a babe while cycling, they only go into the trailer and not onto any part of the bicycle itself. The pros I know all are wary because no natter where the extra weight is (that is, directly ON the cycle,) it has serious potential to throw off your balance.

This is interesting, like I said before it is worthy of some research.

I personally will stick with a jogging stroller. There are many ways to exercise.
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