Riding a bike at 9:00 pm with your baby in a Mei tai.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 78 Old 12-16-2010, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Would you take your baby for a bike ride, in a mei tai?  At night?

 

I came home from the gym tonight, and there was a guy in the middle of the road (in the neighborhood) and he moved to the side.  As I drove buy him, I saw that his 12-ish month old son was on his back in a mei tai.  

 

My first thought was "Cool carrier!".  Then I thought "I wouldn't take my baby on a bike!" (neither one had a helmet)  Then, I thought, "It actually looks kinda nice.. maybe years ago, I would have done that".

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#2 of 78 Old 12-16-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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No, I wouldn't.  I come from a family of avid cyclists and am very interested in safety.  When you've been in the bicycling world long enough, you start "knowing" the people who are in serious accidents, instead of just seeing them on tv.  There is no way I would take a young child out into traffic, especially one that is not old enough to sit properly with their own helmet.

 

To look at it another way:  I wouldn't think of not buckling in to a car properly.  Yet in a car accident you at least have the car itself taking some of the impact.  On a bike, it's just you and the road. 

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#3 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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Different families and cultures have different norms.

banagan-john-young-family-on-motorcycle-phnom-penh-cambodia.jpg

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#4 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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I live in Holland. This kind of thing happens all the time, though most bikes have kid seats on them. I used to bike with DS in a baby bjorn before he was old enough to be in a kid seat. It was really the only way I could get around the big city (driving was almost impossible as the cities weren't set up for cars) and I lived too far away to walk comfortably, nor did I live very close to public transport.

Here, however, motorists are very used to bikes, there are bike lanes, and bikers (generally) have right-of-way. Doesn't mean accidents don't happen, but it's much more of a biking culture. I can imagine you'd be a bit alarmed/worried if you saw this in parts of the US where motorists aren't going to be on the look out for bikers (especially ones with babies!) and aren't as used to driving with bikers on the road.
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#5 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 05:35 AM
 
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I would never put my kids on a bike without a proper helmet and carrier, in North America. Sure, different cultures have different norms - and many have different injury stats, biking cultures, etc.

 

The downside of that is that you can't put a helmet on a smaller baby due to the weight, so you have to wait longer. I'm actually mulling over how I feel about a suspension-loaded bike trailer (Chariot) at what age for next spring/summer/fall; haven't decided yet where I fall on that one.

 

I once cracked a bike helmet I was wearing, and broke my wrist. I was on a biking path down by the lake with no cars whatsoever - but an unleashed puppy ran out in front of my bike. The ER doctor said it probably would have been my skull that had cracked. So - yeah.


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#6 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 07:07 AM
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I have ridden a bike with a 1 yr. old on my back in a carrier and probably will again once my baby is a year old. We wear helmets and ride on the sidewalk. I've read that most baby bike injuries are caused by the bike falling over when the parent is getting on/off the bike, putting groceries in the basket, etc. When my little guy was 1 my oldest was 4 and newly riding without training wheels and I wanted to be able to get to him quickly in case he needed help. I actually felt a lot more balanced with the baby on my back compared to when he was in a bike seat. 

 

But helmets are a must and if it's night, proper bike lights. 

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#7 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 07:30 AM
 
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If I were in a situation where the only way I could get around was a bike, then yea, I'd ride it with my kid in a carrier. My son can ride in the child seat in the back, but if I had to go somewhere with a new baby and and no choice, yep! They'd go in the carrier. Necessity drives a lot of actions in the world and I'm lucky that the lifestyle I have at the moment doesn't necessitate it.


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#8 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 09:59 AM
 
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I wouldnt want my baby attached to me b/c if I fell, I'd squish the baby.   

 

Helmets on in a bike seat or trailor, over 12months I have no problem with.   At night, reflectors on clothes or bike so you can be seen.   Ds rides his bike with a helmet on and a reflective vest at night (here its too hot in the day time most of the year). 

 

When ds was tiny I didnt have a car and had to walk everywhere, it took a lot longer than a bike, but it was safer. 

 

FTR:  I grew up in asia where more people had bikes than cars, and most people didnt have cars - they would walk, ride bikes, or ride the bus.  But also, cars move a lot slower (more traffic) and are much more aware of bikes around.  

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#9 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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Would I do it? No.  But then again I have the economic advantage to buy a Burley, or take a car.

 

Do I judge other who do it?  No, it's not my choice and everyone has different comfort zones and economic means.


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#10 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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You know, honestly, I probably would. I haven't, but then again, I have nowhere to ride a bike (Ok, thats not entirely true. I suppose I could ride it into town - but thats 7+ miles each way...), and I have the luxery of alternatives. Not everyone does. 

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#11 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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Not in a non-bike centric culture. So, not the US or Canada for sure. Not in any way worth the risks. 

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#12 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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We live in a VERY bike culture. I bike to the city, to public transport to work, to pick up kids from daycare and school... but I am willing to fall myself. I am not willing to fall and injure my child as well as myself. So no carrier or Mei Tai for my kids. I am happier that they are biking themselves. They are much lower to the ground, and they know what speed is best for themselves, and they are excellent bikers. DD has been biking on a two wheeler since she was shy of 3.5. She bikes a mile per day, in sun, rain, ice, snow.... Because she has the experience of all these environments, she knows when its dry how fast and close she can get to something before quickly swerving out of the way, versus when the snow is powdery how her traction will be, compared to when she sees glassy ice, and knows to get off and walk her bike instead. Though honestly, in snow she prefers me to pull her on a sled, but she is a darn good biker. 

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#13 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post

versus when the snow is powdery how her traction will be, compared to when she sees glassy ice, and knows to get off and walk her bike instead. Though honestly, in snow she prefers me to pull her on a sled, but she is a darn good biker. 



I'm such a weenie.  I wouldn't ride a bike in the snow, ice or anything below 65 degrees f.   (about 19 c)  It never occurred to me that everyone else does. 

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#14 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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No, I would feel terrible if I gave my child a head injury.  He does ride in a trailer, and did before we had a helmet for him (in a state park where the speed limit for cars is 10 or 15).  He has a helmet now.


"Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?"~Mary Oliver

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#15 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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No, I would feel terrible if I gave my child a head injury.  He does ride in a trailer, and did before we had a helmet for him (in a state park where the speed limit for cars is 10 or 15).  He has a helmet now.



I would put my child in a trailer in a state park - they are SUPER strict about speed limits.  There are NO other circumstances where I would put my child on a bike or in a trailer without a helmet.  My dad is a cyclist, and he's really strict about biking safety and always was when I was growing up. 

 

Yeah, and bike lights are a must - even in daylight reflectors at the very least need to be used.  I hate it when I see bikes that don't have reflectors or lights on them, I live in NYC and people who bike don't seem to have much sense (this is from what I've seen - I practically cheer out loud whenever I see someone practicing safe cycling b/c its so rare here!).

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#16 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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I don't think I'd feel safe wearing ds and riding a bike.  I DEFINITELY wouldn't be riding with neither of us having a helmet.  My mom would have died if she wasn't wearing her helmet on one bike trip a few years ago.  There is no way I would ever ride without one, and even less likelihood that I'd have my kid on a bike with no helmet.


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#17 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 09:02 PM
 
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I'm in agreement on the helmet thing for sure. DH is a cyclist, so bike safety is something that's ever present in our home. We don't put kids in the bike trailer until they're a year old and can wear a helmet. We don't use bike seats, only the trailer, but it would be no younger than a year for that, too, because of the helmet issue. 

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#18 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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Did anyone notice in Skreaders pic #2, that the man is wearing a helmet, but the little boy, and the 2 women are not?  What is wrong with this pic? 

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#19 of 78 Old 12-17-2010, 09:15 PM
 
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That would upset me greatly. I don't think its safe.

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#20 of 78 Old 12-18-2010, 08:26 AM
 
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Did anyone notice in Skreaders pic #2, that the man is wearing a helmet, but the little boy, and the 2 women are not?  What is wrong with this pic? 


Yep! Noticed the same thing. I'm wondering if maybe there is a law that says the driver must wear a helmet. 

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#21 of 78 Old 12-18-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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Based on my username, it's pretty obvious that cycling has been a major part of my life.  Cycling is fraught with dangers, but you can reduce the probability that it will result in injury or death.  Riding at night is particularly dangerous.  Riding where there is automobile traffic is dangerous.  Riding without appropriate safety gear is dangerous.  Riding carrying something that will throw off your balance is dangerous. Combine them all, and it's a recipe for disaster.  Riding at night, in traffic, with a baby in a Mei-Tai without any protective gear?  I'm usually a MYOB kind of gal, but in this case, I would probably have stopped the people and called the police.  As an experienced cyclist, I see this as nothing less than child endangerment... probably resulting from ignorance or just plain stupidity, but someone needs to knock it into this parent's head how dangerous it is.  That can be done the easy way (getting the authorities involved) or the hard way (getting hit and killing the child or both).

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#22 of 78 Old 12-18-2010, 09:49 AM
 
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At that time of night, no...........but my mind would go why does have have to?  

 

I think many times our privlage does not help us see that other people have less options and have to take risk we would not take.  

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#23 of 78 Old 12-18-2010, 10:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post

Based on my username, it's pretty obvious that cycling has been a major part of my life.  Cycling is fraught with dangers, but you can reduce the probability that it will result in injury or death.  Riding at night is particularly dangerous.  Riding where there is automobile traffic is dangerous.  Riding without appropriate safety gear is dangerous.  Riding carrying something that will throw off your balance is dangerous. Combine them all, and it's a recipe for disaster.  Riding at night, in traffic, with a baby in a Mei-Tai without any protective gear?  I'm usually a MYOB kind of gal, but in this case, I would probably have stopped the people and called the police.  As an experienced cyclist, I see this as nothing less than child endangerment... probably resulting from ignorance or just plain stupidity, but someone needs to knock it into this parent's head how dangerous it is.  That can be done the easy way (getting the authorities involved) or the hard way (getting hit and killing the child or both).



EVERYTHING is fraught with dangers.  I still take showers on a  regular basis! 

 

Cars and bikes can mix safely, but I've never seen it in North America.  In places where bikes are normalized as a form of transportation, and not just entertainment or exercise/sport, they (car operators) expect bikes and have a different attitude.  The Dutch come to mind.

 

I would hope that if someone saw me doing something they considered very unsafe or neglectful they would talk to me first rather than just call the police. It could have been a dead end road with streetlights!

 

I remember my first time seeing entire families on motor bikes riding down major roads the wrong way.  Or in the median strip.  I was both shocked that there weren't dead bodies lining the roads and horrified at how I must appear to the taxi driver- with my 6 month old snug in a car seat (alhtough not strapped to the car since it had no seatbelts!)  It is all the culture in which you come from.

 

We all take risks and different people have different comfort levels.


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#24 of 78 Old 12-18-2010, 10:14 AM
 
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I just wanted to point out, as regarding picture #2, that I had a different take on that - most likely the man is the main rider in the family - he probably has to ride that bike every day, or at least more often than anyone else.  Therefore he has a helmet.  The other passengers probably don't ride very often, so they couldn't afford to get helmets for everyone.  That would be my assumption.


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#25 of 78 Old 12-18-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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Hykue,

 

That would be my take on it as well (the guy is the more frequent rider). I just found them by googling "families on motorcycles", so

I don't know the story.

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#26 of 78 Old 12-19-2010, 07:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by skreader View Post

Different families and cultures have different norms.

banagan-john-young-family-on-motorcycle-phnom-penh-cambodia.jpg

family-on-motorcycle.jpgCA1077-001.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=F5B5107058D53DF5A92A9DB40D82D8E19520932BE0507878B32D5678746CDE3DE30A760B0D811297


 

Love this!

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#27 of 78 Old 12-19-2010, 07:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Geist View Post

If I were in a situation where the only way I could get around was a bike, then yea, I'd ride it with my kid in a carrier. My son can ride in the child seat in the back, but if I had to go somewhere with a new baby and and no choice, yep! They'd go in the carrier. Necessity drives a lot of actions in the world and I'm lucky that the lifestyle I have at the moment doesn't necessitate it.



Bravo!

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#28 of 78 Old 12-19-2010, 08:07 AM
 
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Not in a non-bike centric culture. So, not the US or Canada for sure. Not in any way worth the risks. 


For me, I guess it would depend on what the risks of not getting to where you need to go, as well.  Maybe he was riding out to get some medication.  Or not.  I don't think it's statistically more dangerous than driving.  But lots of people take that risk every day.

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#29 of 78 Old 12-19-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mumm View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

Based on my username, it's pretty obvious that cycling has been a major part of my life.  Cycling is fraught with dangers, but you can reduce the probability that it will result in injury or death.  Riding at night is particularly dangerous.  Riding where there is automobile traffic is dangerous.  Riding without appropriate safety gear is dangerous.  Riding carrying something that will throw off your balance is dangerous. Combine them all, and it's a recipe for disaster.  Riding at night, in traffic, with a baby in a Mei-Tai without any protective gear?  I'm usually a MYOB kind of gal, but in this case, I would probably have stopped the people and called the police.  As an experienced cyclist, I see this as nothing less than child endangerment... probably resulting from ignorance or just plain stupidity, but someone needs to knock it into this parent's head how dangerous it is.  That can be done the easy way (getting the authorities involved) or the hard way (getting hit and killing the child or both).



EVERYTHING is fraught with dangers.  I still take showers on a  regular basis! 

 

Cars and bikes can mix safely, but I've never seen it in North America.  In places where bikes are normalized as a form of transportation, and not just entertainment or exercise/sport, they (car operators) expect bikes and have a different attitude.  The Dutch come to mind.

 

I would hope that if someone saw me doing something they considered very unsafe or neglectful they would talk to me first rather than just call the police. It could have been a dead end road with streetlights!

 

I remember my first time seeing entire families on motor bikes riding down major roads the wrong way.  Or in the median strip.  I was both shocked that there weren't dead bodies lining the roads and horrified at how I must appear to the taxi driver- with my 6 month old snug in a car seat (alhtough not strapped to the car since it had no seatbelts!)  It is all the culture in which you come from.

 

We all take risks and different people have different comfort levels.

The dangers of bathing are different and have a different set of probabilities and outcomes.  If one can reduce risks, it seems rather foolish to not do so.  Sure there are dangers of taking a shower, but why stand on the bar of soap while doing so?  There are also safer ways to ride a bike with a child and even an infant.

 

And yes, I'm well aware of what happens in different cultures.  My dh is from the Middle East and we've lived abroad several times around the world over the past 25 years.  Trying to say that it occurs in, for example The Netherlands is a ridiculous comparison.  The US isn't the Netherlands.  The bike culture is not the same.  I've ridden in over 2 dozen countries.  It's different everywhere and you have to be aware of where you are.  The OP's incident took place in the US.  It was negligent.  I stand by my opinion as a veteran (former competitive) cyclist who has ridden all over the world (including Amsterdam).
 

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#30 of 78 Old 12-19-2010, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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Not in a non-bike centric culture. So, not the US or Canada for sure. Not in any way worth the risks. 


For me, I guess it would depend on what the risks of not getting to where you need to go, as well.  Maybe he was riding out to get some medication.  Or not.  I don't think it's statistically more dangerous than driving.  But lots of people take that risk every day.

No.  There's literally no way to ride a bike to an actual location in this neighborhood.  You can ride to someone's house, (which is entirely possible) or you can drive a car to a store, but you couldn't ride a bike to a store while carrying a child on your back.

 

He was probably just out for a bike ride.   I think I'd have gone later at night too, just to avoid all the parents looking at him and wondering what he was thinking.   If  I didn't worry about the "What ifs" of that situation, it actually looked like a great idea.  If I could just get past the whole "dangerous" thing,
 

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