Patience and persistence finally paid off in both our bike trailer and jogging stroller Craigslist searches. (I’ll get to the stroller in a future post.)
We actually bought the bike trailer a few weeks ago, after many failed attempts where we either just missed the item, or offered a lower price that wasn’t accepted. I had narrowed the search to something with suspension, which meant either a high-end Burley model or a Chariot — both retail in the $600-$700 range new. I hoped to get a new-to-us version for $250 or less.
In the end, we came up a little from that, but we are now the proud owners of a double Chariot Cougar with the stroller conversion kit. We will be spending a bit more to buy the baby supporter accessory. Once we have that, I will be sorely tempted to get out on the bike with The Dude.
The product website says the baby supporter is for, “children approximately 6-18 months of age,” but most of the reviews mention using it starting at 2-3 months. The Dude is 3 months now, and a big 3 months at that, so basically it comes down to a helmet dilemma. We could most likely ride with him now, but, even if his head were big enough for a helmet, I don’t think it will work with the head support.
So . . . bike helmets. Riding a safe bicycle, in a safe and confident manner, is a cyclist’s most important safety tool, and a helmet only protects so much, but why not have it as a back-up? I don’t get preachy about it, but I do always wear a helmet, and think non-helmeted bikers look rather stupid.
So is it hypocritical to consider my baby NOT wearing one? Perhaps, but on the other hand, The Dude will be protected by the trailer and the baby supporter, not just sitting on a bicycle seat. I would argue that this is not much different than riding in a car, and I don’t know of any parents who put a helmet on their baby in the car.
For now, we’ll take things one step at a time. The next step is actually buying the baby supporter. Then we can put The Dude into the trailer, with the supporter, and evaluate his security and stability. If all systems are go, we can sneak in a few rides gorgeous fall rides before winter weather hits.