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-   -   Babywearing on a bicycle (http://www.mothering.com/forum/245-babywearing/733041-babywearing-bicycle.html)

eirual 08-18-2007 12:11 AM

So I'v ebeen riding my bike with my 21 mo old on my back in the Ergo (wearing a helmet).

Today a lady with a kid in a Wike stopped and asked if DS wanted a ride and implied that I was putting him in danger.

My theory is that after looking at some of the baby bike carriers/seats on the market, I feel the Ergo is comprable and I'm more comfortable with him centred with me and close to me than doing his own thing on the back or handle bars.

Anywhoo, her comment kinda bugged me and got me thinking- is there something I'm missing? Obviously, if I thought he was in any added danger I wouldn't do it, but I feel like the benefits way outway any possible risk involved (risk I think goes along with ANY other bike carriers/wagons).

june'smom 08-18-2007 12:33 AM

I actually agree with the other mama. I think it is dangerous to have the baby on you when you are riding. It could throw off your balance. I don't like those seats on the back or front of the bikes, either. I think they are unsafe. I use a trailer when we ride. It is so unlikely to tip. When the baby is on you, if you fall, not only do they fall, but you could land on top of them.

Sorry, but I think a trailer is much safer.

sparklish 08-18-2007 12:43 AM

I think I would be surprised to see someone babywearing on a bike too - if you fall over, you could fall right on top of them. I'd agree that a trailer is probably the safest way. sorry.

Quirky 08-18-2007 12:46 AM

A bike seat or a trailer is definitely safer. If you fall on him, you could crush him. The trailer or the bike seat will offer more protection.

Also, I don't see how he could safely and properly wear a helmet while riding on your back -- it needs to be level on his head and if he's on you in an Ergo, it's going to get pushed to the back of his head.

mommystinch 08-18-2007 01:02 AM

Unfortunately, I also agree with the other woman. In fact, I was just picturing myself trying to ride a bike with ds on my back today. I don't know why the picture came to mind since I don't ride bikes (I think it was in relation to my friend being told by a cop that she was endangering her baby by powerwalking with them on her back) Anyway, I was thinking of times with exercising with baby would be dangerous, and biking was one of them. I know I would have a hard time keeping balance with ds on my back and a helmet wouldn't protect his little body if I fell on him

eirual 08-18-2007 01:16 AM

I don't see how I could possibly fall on him. I haven't fallen since I was a pre-teen trying to ride with no hands and no feet. It's not like I'm bareling down hills and around corners or even going fast.

His helmet stays on correctly. I've instructed ropes courses and know how a helmet should fit to protect the wearer properly.

A trailer's out of the financial/convenience/functional realm.

I dunno, It honestly just feels so right, and so much more secure than any other bike-mounted seat could.

eirual 08-18-2007 01:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklish View Post
I think I would be surprised to see someone babywearing on a bike too - if you fall over, you could fall right on top of them. I'd agree that a trailer is probably the safest way. sorry.
...no need to be sorry, I'm honestly curious if I'm missing something, so looking for feedback.

It seems the main concern would be me falling onto him. And I'm just not sure that's realistic possiblity.

mommystinch 08-18-2007 01:22 AM

I don't know, I nearly fell walking down the sidewalk today with ds on my back in the Mei Tai. I tripped on something on the sidewalk. Fortunately, I would have fallen on my face and not on him. Yeah, you probably won't fall. But, you never know when he might throw you off balance or you swerve to miss running into the ball rolling down the sidewalk and end up going over. I know those things aren't likely to happen, but just pointing out that you really never know.

The thing is, if you feel safe, then you probably are. But, I wouldn't be surprised at on-lookers being worried. As a babywearing mom myself, I would be concerned if I saw someone riding like that. But perhaps that is just because I don't have the confidence that you do.

Paxjourney 08-18-2007 01:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by june'smom View Post
I actually agree with the other mama. I think it is dangerous to have the baby on you when you are riding. It could throw off your balance. I don't like those seats on the back or front of the bikes, either. I think they are unsafe. I use a trailer when we ride. It is so unlikely to tip. When the baby is on you, if you fall, not only do they fall, but you could land on top of them.

Sorry, but I think a trailer is much safer.
I totally agree. I think it is dangerous. I wear my 22mo old on my back when I ride my stationary bike and when she wiggles I know it throws my whole body out of balance.
I really think a bike trailer is the way to go.

Meg Murry. 08-18-2007 01:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by eirual View Post
I don't see how I could possibly fall on him.
With all due respect, this comment is the one that makes me fear for your child's safety and your own the most. To say that and mean it requires either ignorance of your own risks or dangerous overconfidence.

yamilee21 08-18-2007 02:11 PM

I think this is one of many situations in which ideas about safety in the United States differ from that in other parts of the world. There are pictures of babywearing while biking on the Storchenweige website, and I've read posts from people in Europe indicating that babywearing while biking is acceptable. But the OP is in the United States, so the safe thing would be to use a bike seat or trailer to conform to the safety notions of the society.

BusyMommy 08-18-2007 02:19 PM

Quote:
But the OP is in the United States, so the safe thing would be to use a bike seat or trailer to conform to the safety notions of the society.
Yesterday 07:56 PM
I disagree. People are suggesting alternate ways of transport based on real experiences, not to help the OP avoid a ticket or dirty looks. Posters are considering the safety of the OP and her child rather than simply urging "conformity."

I would strongly suggest a bike trailer as there are simply too many variables at play. You may be able to find a deal if you look on Craig's List. I know I'm putting up one of our old Burleys for $20 just to make more room in my garage.


And, yes, my neighbor moved here from Holland last year and uses a bike trailer.

AmazoniaBelly 08-18-2007 02:25 PM

hi,

I live in Germany where I always see people wearing their baby while bike riding.
Most people wear the baby on their chests....which is really dangerous. Because we own no car, biking is our main form of transportation. My daughter is two now and has been in a bike seat since about a year. Before that, I was always really tempted to ride with her in my didymo (long strip of cloth carrier) or ergo. All my friends could get around a lot faster and always tried to convince me it was OK. I, like you, feel very confident while riding...But, since I can't control or predict the way that other people ride around me I don't do it. I have been nearly hit a few times. LUckily, even after a sleepless night, my reflexes were fast enough.

Leilalu 08-18-2007 02:26 PM

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.

BusyMommy 08-18-2007 02:31 PM

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......
There are tons of diff quality trailers. Please check it out thoroughly. A friend bought a cheapie and yes, the bolt disconnected on a ride and it was dragged by the cord.

yamilee21 08-18-2007 03:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyMommy View Post
I disagree. People are suggesting alternate ways of transport based on real experiences, not to help the OP avoid a ticket or dirty looks. Posters are considering the safety of the OP and her child rather than simply urging "conformity."
Who said anything about tickets and dirty looks? "Conform" is not a negative word; it means:
Quote:
1. To correspond in form or character; be similar.
2. To act or be in accord or agreement; comply
3. To act in accordance with current customs or modes.
Here's an analogy to help you understand: People in the U.S. use car seats; many immigrants to the U.S. are from countries that do not have car seat laws, but they use car seats in the U.S. - thus, they are conforming to the society's safety standards. (Many people are unaware of the actual laws, which vary from state to state anyway, so car seat usage is for many conforming to a societal norm.)

Since the OP does not live in a society in which people tend to ride bicycles while babywearing but rather use bike seats or trailers, it makes sense to conform to the societal norm for biking with a child by using a bike seat or trailer.

MsElle07 08-18-2007 03:22 PM

I agree with the other posters, that it's not very safe. Europe is very different than the US -- bike riding is far more commonplace, cars are accustomed to lots of bike traffic, there are generally fewer cars on the road (more public transportation), and the types of cars are usually smaller. (Not many Hummers driving around Paris.)

You could easily fall while trying to veer out of someone's way -- a runner, another biker, or a car. It may not due to your lack of bike riding skills, but because of obstacles beyond your control. People can and do fall off of bikes every day -- even professional cyclists. If you were to fall backwards, you could kill your child or do serious damage to him -- crush his ribcage, for example.

I'm not an alarmist, someone who thinks *everything* is unsafe and wants to keep their child in a bubble. My kids do some things that other parents might not consider the safest, but this is one thing I wouldn't feel comfortable with.

e.naomisandoval 08-18-2007 03:54 PM

My in-laws don't use seatbelts. If I ask them to, they say, "I trust your driving." Yeah, well, do they trust every driver on the road?

Accidents happen to everyone!

One time I was minding my own business roller blading and next thing I was airborne. We went back and found a rock that must have sent me flying. You just never know.

eirual 08-18-2007 04:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by yamilee21 View Post
it makes sense to conform to the societal norm for biking with a child by using a bike seat or trailer.

MMmm...I disagree with this statement. Most people in this society keep their babies in buckets and use strollers. Some out of convenience, some out of tradition and not knowing that there's another way of transporting your baby.

Why isn't babywearing on a bike more socially acceptable here (I'm in Canada, btw) because it's not normalized or because it's honestly not safe? I'm not convinced it's the latter.

Meg Murry. 08-18-2007 05:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyMommy View Post
I disagree. People are suggesting alternate ways of transport based on real experiences, not to help the OP avoid a ticket or dirty looks. Posters are considering the safety of the OP and her child rather than simply urging "conformity."

I would strongly suggest a bike trailer as there are simply too many variables at play. You may be able to find a deal if you look on Craig's List. I know I'm putting up one of our old Burleys for $20 just to make more room in my garage.


And, yes, my neighbor moved here from Holland last year and uses a bike trailer.
Thank you for saying this. I'd like to add, moreover, that the laws of physics remain constant regardless of one's country, one's concern for safety or lack thereof, or one's level of ignorance.

thismama 08-18-2007 05:04 PM

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.

threadbey 08-18-2007 06:45 PM

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.

eirual 08-19-2007 12:12 AM

...

jerawo 08-19-2007 01:18 AM

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.

tianakaesha 08-19-2007 01:32 AM

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.

lilysmama1124 08-19-2007 01:36 AM

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.

eirual 08-19-2007 01:38 AM

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!

eirual 08-19-2007 01:42 AM

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?

yamilee21 08-19-2007 01:46 AM

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.

jennnk 08-19-2007 02:01 AM

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.


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