Babies on bikes?
I’m a pretty liberal-minded parent. I took Jack to restaurants when he was a baby, and I’d not bat an eyelid if I saw someone breastfeeding in a public place.
But I just can’t bring myself to take a baby or toddler out on a bike. Rear-mounted, front-mounted and even bike trailers – they all send a shiver down my spine.
I’m a pretty keen cyclist myself. I cycle to work almost everyday and I’m very keen to get Jack riding his own bike (although he does seem too obsessed with his scooter for that to be a consideration at the moment).
My own experience is probably why I’m so fearful of taking my own child onto the road. Despite considering myself a very safe cyclist (I never run red lights, or dodge between traffic), I’ve had too many near misses – mostly where I’ve just not been seen – to even consider it a safe place for a child.
This is not to say I’m going around tutting my disapproval at every parent and child combo I see on the road. People can make their own choices.
What surprises me, however, is how few people put their child in a cycle helmet when they’re on the road. It’s a long way from the top of a bike to the floor, and even the most competent cyclists fall off their bikes through no fault of their own.
Wearing a helmet – which reduces the chance of head and brain injury massively in the case of an accident – also effects the age a child can be before they are a bike passenger.
At the very least, baby should be able to sit up unaided, but definitely needs to be able to support its own head. Otherwise wearing a helmet will pose a hazard in itself.
Does anyone take their baby with them as a bike passenger? Would you cycle on the roads with a baby on board?