Cycling with 1 yr old in cambridge

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Amom, 19 Jun 2008.

  1. Amom

    Amom New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I came across this site while searching for child bike trailers and child seats in general. Well, here is my problem and hope you guys can give me some wise advise...

    I have a 10 months old and in 2 months time I am planning to take him to the nursery on my bike. I can't really make up my mind whether to use a child rear seat on the bike or to go for a child trailer. I am more swayed towards using a child trailor, but my husband likes the other option. He is worried about the rude car or bus drivers not noticing us and other issues that come up while cycling as the trailor increases the length of your vehicle.

    My thinking:
    against the child rear seat:
    I am worried about baby sleeping during our commute
    me loosing the balance during cycling (major concern)
    No protection from weather

    against the trailer:
    no more shortcuts through the parks
    cars/buses not noticing us as the trailer is too low on the ground
    will people on the road be kind enough to you when you are taking up so much space in the busy time?

    You can see how confused I am :laugh:. From your personal experience, can you tell me what in your opinion is a better option. Please help me out with this. Thank you.

    - A mom
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Amom

    Amom New Member

    Thanks for your reply User.
    In some of the parks/grounds they have these poles with ears at the upper end (no idea what they are called) at the entrance/exit points (eg: Midsomer common - for those live in cambridge) . I doubt a trailer will fit in there.
     
  3. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    Here's a child trailer safety review for you:
    http://www.londonskaters.com/cycling/article-child-trailer-safety.htm


    Having used both, I'd heartily recommend the trailer over the child seat. It's better, safer, carries more shopping, and lets the bike handle nicely. Drivers give you an amazing amount of time and space, far more than I get on a recumbent.
     
  4. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Hi Amom, I have an eighteen month old girl that I have been taking to nursery since she was nine months old. I have always used a child seat as it gives you a bit more flexibility and ease of use than a trailer.

    There is no worries about falling asleep, she regularly sleeps for ages in the seat if we go out at the weekends. You can take short cuts through the park very easily with the seat which is nice if you want to stop off and see the ducks on the way home, or even sometimes on the way there! :sad:

    I actually fell off on ice last winter with her on the back, she had just before taken her helmet off as well!! Fortunately the seat does give lots of protection and she was not hurt in the least although shaken up quite a lot. She was still eager to get up on the bike the next morning though so no lasting harm.

    I can not claim that having her on the back gives any special treatment from car drivers, they do not give any particular extra space whatsoever. That is in East London though, not known for its understanding, polite or well mannered residents! xx(:biggrin:
     
  5. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Location:
    Brighton
    I wouldn't worry about the trailer not being seen. They are big, brightly coloured and unusual. People always spot them because they're not used to them and their something instinctual in the back of their brains is going "What the hell is that?".

    When I've cycled with my trailer, other traffic is nearly always generous and courteous - they do things like stop to let me out of side roads and stuff like that - the kind of things that never happen when I've just got my son on a child seat on the back.
     
  6. User482

    User482 Guest

    A work colleague has one of those fancy Chariot trailers - he thinks it's great as it can be used as a push chair once he has parked the bike, so handy for doing the shopping with junior in tow.
     
  7. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    I think the swing-gate entries on Midsummer Common are big enough to get a trailer through - trouble is, they're springloaded so you would need to be careful...I know I've taken a pushchair through a few times...you've got those cattle-grid bars on the floors of some of the gates (to stop the cattle they have there sometimes from escaping!).
    You might be right, tho...need a closer look next time.
     
  8. botchjob

    botchjob Über Member

    I've never tried a trailer but have become a huge fan of the Bobike front seat which we've been using for our daughter for the past 9 months (she's now 18 months). It's much more compact than the rear seats and easily unclips so can be left in the nursery in the buggy cupboard.

    The only slight issue is that you may not be able to put two feet down at junctions as, depending on your bike, there's not usually enough room between saddle and childseat to dismount by standing up. But so long as you can put one foot down comfortably, it's no problem.

    The only other thing to note is that the standard bracket will only work if you have an inch and a half spare at the top of your stem for it to bolt around. If you don't, you'll need to order a mtb fitting which bolts around the frame where it meets the headset.

    Available here (screen optional!)

    http://www.dutchbike.co.uk/Accessories5.htm
     
  9. DP

    DP Chasse patate

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Mrs Delftse uses a Bobike front seat (with windscreen). She also has a rear seat so can take both children. She agrees that the distance between the saddle and frontseat prevents standing up. However, here in NL you can buy "mother" bikes which have an elongated step-over to get around this problem.
     
  10. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Shouldn't we be recommending the good ol' LOCT?

    http://www.loct.co.uk/
     
  11. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
  12. Freewheeler

    Freewheeler Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Warrington
    If you do get a child seat, make sure it reclines. We have a cheap one from Aldi which doesn't recline, when my daughter falls asleep in it she ends up lolling forward and doesn't look at all comfortable.

    My wife and I are also currently debating whether to get a better seat or a trailer. The only things that concern us about a trailer are the ability to get it through 'A' frame barriers on paths (we often ride off road when together as a family), and also the possibility of impatient drivers pulling out of side roads once the bike has passed without seeing the trailer. I'm not really concerned about rear end collisions.

    A trailer is definitely more versatile though, being good for carrying shopping and stuff. It also means that your little one could go out in the rain without getting cold and soaked.

    Has anyone with a trailer been concerned about vehicles pulling into it from a side street? Is this something that has ever happened to you?
     
  13. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Location:
    Brighton
    I'd be very surprised if a driver saw you and didn't see the trailer - they're very hard to miss, especially as (as I noted earlier) they are unusual which leads to people taking more notice.
     
  14. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    Location:
    South London
    +1 to Tim. It's very unlikely, and if it did happen, see the safety report linked earlier in this topic.
     
  15. rshall

    rshall Well-Known Member

    I've had a trailer for about two years now and my daughter, now three, has no problems with it, plenty of room inside it for toys, drinks etc.

    I didn't buy and expensive one (Burley), think it is Avon/Philips/Raleigh but it is great. The trailer attaches to the chain stay with a coiled spring link in it so if my bike falls over the trailer remains upright, it converts into a stroller, and is bright red and yellow so pretty visible. Had no problems with other road users and do seem to be given a wider berth.
     
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