After a bit of initial research on biking with babies, I was somewhat resigned to spending the first nine to twelve months postpartum traveling either by foot, p-trans, or car, except for the rare occasions I ventured out without baby. The idea that a young infant could not be safely transported by bicycle, when we give no thought to putting them in cars, seemed quite ludicrous to me, but I couldn’t find much information on safe options.
Then I saw the “Cycling with Children” post on Simply Bike, which inspired me to dig a little deeper. The author and I are both pregnant with our firsts, and we’re at about the same stage in our pregnancies. S linked to an article in Momentum magazine, which featured this great quote:
Todd Litman, founder and executive director of the Victoria Transportation Policy Institute. who started cycling with his oldest son when he was just days old, addressed the risk. He said: “There is no reason why, if a child is able to be carried in a car, they shouldn’t be able to be carried in a bicycle trailer. A lot of people overlook the risks and stresses associated with driving, but make a big deal about bicycling.”
Finally, a voice of reason! Now the question is not if, but how. So far, these resources seem helpful:
- “Baby on a Bicycle?” from TotCycle
- “Family Biking Ages and Stages,” also from TotCycle
- “About Cargobikes,” from Chicargobike
- A few posts on biking with babies from Girls and Bicycles: here, here, and here.
And there is a decent chance a new bike purchase may be in our future, as most sources recommend some form of cargo bike rather than just adding a trailer to a regular bicycle.
Three cargo bikes I’m drooling over:
- Xtracycle Radish — most affordable of the three, but lacks the “cargo bin,” so I’m not quite sure how a car seat would work here.
- The Madsen
- Bakfiets CargoBike
I’m not 100% sold on a cargo bike over a trailer, and I still have lots of questions, but at least I’m more hopeful that baby and I can get around by bike this fall, which makes this mama-to-be quite happy 🙂
Update (March 2, 2013)
Check out these posts to see our current set-up for biking now that our little dude is part of the picture:
Awesome collection of resources here! I’m so excited to look into these! I just figured we’d get a trailer to attach to our current bikes since it’s the more affordable option but a cargo bike sure sounds nice. Especially if you think that you will use it for years to come while the kids are young. Looking forward to seeing what you end up doing, I will blog about what we end up doing as well.
I’m still pretty torn about the best way to go — good luck with your choice. Either way (cargo bike or trailer), I’m really hoping we have garage access in our new apartment. It’s tricky enough carrying a regular bike up and down the basement stairs, and I don’t relish the thought of maneuvering with anything heavier and more awkward.
Thank you for the link to our blog. We just found it as a few people have come our way. We have watched the newer comment from Momentum and some other places on cycling with babies with interest having used pretty much every method of carrying a small person through three kids. We did use our bakfiets with our youngest in a maxicosi car seat fastened in the bottom when he was very small though don’t talk about it much. Must say I found the article in Momentum a bit of a backwards hip parent coolness piece more than a really helpful discussion of riding with a baby. Probably don’t need our two cents as you must be getting plenty these days. We’d just say don’t be in a hurry with baby carting. There is plenty of time to ride with your small person and test ride anything you might buy to find the most comfortable thing for you for the long term/ best investment. Babies are small for a shortish time and then you will be biking with your bigger person too, then maybe another… there’s nothing wrong with waiting to ride with a baby either. Hope you are having a wonderful time with the end of your waiting and even better time as your small person arrives.
p.s.didn’t mean don’t ride ealry with your little person either! I think I mean take good care of yourself and have fun and you’ll know when it’s the best time to get out. I just wish Momentum had some more sort of nuts and bolts! J.
No, your comment makes sense. I don’t want to rush out and buy something that we’ll only use for a few months (not good for the planet or our pocketbook!). On the other hand, I do like the idea of having a car-free transportation option that can include baby. If I lived in Chicago, I would probably just opt for walking and public transit for awhile, but, while I already use that somewhat here in St. Louis, the options are a bit more limited.
I know this comment is a little late, but have you seen the Kangaroo bikes at http://www.kangaroobikes.com? These are cargo bikes and the comany sells baby seats that can be put into the child carrying pod.
After a bit of initial research on biking with babies, I was somewhat resigned to … bacarrier.wordpress.com