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  1. #1
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    risk acceptable riding with toddler?

    Hey - I am waiting for an adult trike to be delivered with a built in child seat.
    Trying to be green by doing more shopping via bike, and thought the exercise would be good for me and my child would enjoy the ride.

    In preperation I've read "The art of cycling". The safety stats cited by the author freaks me out a little though that he suggested that an "experienced" biker could expect an average injury every 15,000 miles, and a complete wipe out every 30,000 miles.
    I know there is risk in any transportation (cars etc) but at least in the car there is a much built in protection with all that steel.
    Just wondering if the risk is really that high - since if I wipe out I could try to defend myself but my toddler would be pretty much defenseless.

    I'm still leaning towards doing it I think but just wondering what other people think on the topic.

    Thanks!

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    Despite stats, I personally feel much safer on a bike than a car, especially after the car accident I witnessed yesterday (never witnessed even a close call with a bicycle). Personal perception. I plan to have my kid in a trailer and on a bike as soon as possible.

  3. #3
    Senior Member st0ut's Avatar
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    I ride with my kids all the time. alomost everyday. my 3 yo uses a trailer while my 6yo for parks is on his bike and LIGHTLY used roads for short distenaces but for long road rides we use a trail a bike. TAB.
    we went down once i could get unclipps edfter we stopped. He had a helmet and GLOVES on IMHO the gloves are more important than the helmet.

    a philosophy that i have raised him with is we can do dangerous things as long as we understand the risk and the dangers and make a thinking decision about what action to take. we call it thinking more than you play. If you play more then you think you get hurt fast and there is nothng daddy can do.
    Last edited by st0ut; 05-21-08 at 11:17 AM.
    Cars make you weak.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by accorn View Post
    Hey - I am waiting for an adult trike to be delivered with a built in child seat.
    Trying to be green by doing more shopping via bike, and thought the exercise would be good for me and my child would enjoy the ride.

    In preperation I've read "The art of cycling". The safety stats cited by the author freaks me out a little though that he suggested that an "experienced" biker could expect an average injury every 15,000 miles, and a complete wipe out every 30,000 miles.
    I know there is risk in any transportation (cars etc) but at least in the car there is a much built in protection with all that steel.
    Just wondering if the risk is really that high - since if I wipe out I could try to defend myself but my toddler would be pretty much defenseless.

    I'm still leaning towards doing it I think but just wondering what other people think on the topic.

    Thanks!
    The vast majority of bike accidents are not car-on-bike crashes, they are solo crashes. I've had two-- one, I took a driveway at too sharp an agle, my wheel turned, and I went over the handlebars, landed on my hands and injured my wrists. The second, I got momentarily distracted, rode up against the curb, and went down. My first and only case of road rash.

    Although the possibility of car-on-bike crashes is what worries cyclists most, because they are potentially more serious, the likelihood is much higher that you'll have a solo crash.

    To protect your toddler in that type of crash, you might consider a trailer, which will place your child in a protective cage.

    Of course, with that trike, I think your chances of solo accidents are significantly reduced (so you might not even have to worry about getting a trailer)-- as long as you don't go tearing around corners in it.

    Or you can just not worry about it-- once every 30,000 miles means you'd have to put a lot of miles in to get to that wipeout, by which time your toddler won't be on the bike with you anyway. Of course, you could have that wipeout in your first mile, but it's not very likely.
    Last edited by Blue Order; 05-21-08 at 11:18 AM.

  5. #5
    Just a guy with a bicycle cyclemission's Avatar
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    I ride in the Southern USA and the biggest danger to cyclists on the road are red necks or red neck wannabes. 'Tis a sad but true fact of life down here. I have 5 kids and all of them rode with Mom and Dad at some point. I have pulled a trailer, done the toddler bike and then later some have continued to ride a full century with their ol' fat dad. It is extremely rewarding that my 18 and 17 year olds will still ride with me. At one point I lived in Argentina. One of my boys would not stay in line and would not stay with the group. One day he got hit by a pick up (South American red neck) he jumped up beside his crumpled bike and and said "don't tell mommy, she'll never let me go anywhere again." About a year later he rode off alone and did not hear a taxi behind him and was hit by the taxi. He broke the windshield had a mild concussion and scared us all to death. Last year he was riding his mountain bike in college and broke his wrist. None of my other kids have ever had a single safety issue. The moral to the story is this. If your kid will LISTEN TO YOU then his likelihood of getting hurt is not high. There is nothing you can do unless you want him/her to live in a bubble. Ride with your crumbsnatchers, enjoy them while you can. You will blink your eyes and they will want your car keys.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Falling over is the biggest cause of injuries to small children transported on an adult bike. A two-wheel trailer or an adult trike virtually eliminates this risk.

    If they are attached to you, as opposed to them being on their own bike, there is less risk of them doing something dangerous.

    If you follow the vehicular rules of the road, you'll be at minimimal risk of collisions with other road users, and you'll be teaching good habits that will pay back safety dividends for them later.

    (I have put a few hundred miles on my bikes towing my son in a Burley, without incident)

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    Quote Originally Posted by accorn View Post
    In preperation I've read "The art of cycling". The safety stats cited by the author freaks me out a little though that he suggested that an "experienced" biker could expect an average injury every 15,000 miles, and a complete wipe out every 30,000 miles.
    I fall fairly often for an adult cyclist. I'm rather clumsy, and have some minor mobility issues that made a diamond frame bike too difficult for me to use comfortably. So I have had bruises more often than I'd prefer, and that does count as an injury. I've switched to a step through frame, since that seems to accomodate my mobility issues better. After I've got a few hundred miles on it, I'll know for sure

    For both cars and bikes, I've never been responsible for hitting another vehicle. I've also never had another vehicle hit me while I'm on my bike, tho I have had that happen twice in a car (both times, I was at a complete stop). If you are a reasonable and cautious person, you should not have any trouble. I would recommend going over the most common sorts of bike/car accidents, as some of them are very preventable. It is also useful to review the rules of the road so you have some idea of what to expect.

  8. #8
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by accorn View Post
    In preperation I've read "The art of cycling". The safety stats cited by the author freaks me out a little though that he suggested that an "experienced" biker could expect an average injury every 15,000 miles, and a complete wipe out every 30,000 miles.
    you can always talk to Robert about this ... he lurks in these waters.

    just remember that these are population averages and you can change your personal odds by riding in a more cautious fashion.

  9. #9
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    Back when our twins were toddlers, my wife was towing them in a Burley trailer. She misjudged a curb at speed and it flipped the trailer, and her in the process. She went down hard (luckily into grass so she wasn't injured), and the whole thing came to rest with the Burley trailer upside-down. The kids were surprised but fine, not even crying!

    So with a toddler, I'd feel a lot better about a Burley trailer than a seat. Those overhead bars provide a lot of protection.

  10. #10
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    Lots more kids die in car accidents than bike accidents.

    Ride the bike and ask other road users to please do likewise for your kid's sake

    Seriously, if your child is beyond the infant stage (where any hard impact can cause major injuries), get him or her a helmet, ride cautiously with your precious cargo, and feel concern about the parents who subject their children to the risks of a single vehicle accident in an SUV (most common type of accident for motor vehicles as well as bikes, as well as the ones where SUV's perform the worst).

    Good luck

  11. #11
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rajman View Post
    Lots more kids die in car accidents than bike accidents.
    Gigantic understatement.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  12. #12
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    I'd like to say that pulling my toddler in the trailer gets me more leeway from cars, but I cannot.

    On two of our last three rides we have gotten passed close and screamed at.. both times on 40 kph side streets, both times when I was stopping at a stop sign.

    I'm at a loss to explain it. Perhaps the lower speed combined with the flag, lights, and wider stance of the trailer makes it look like we are TRYING to be a roadblock, enough to set motorists off...and have then scream profanity at me and my one-year-old.

    I'm currently fitting a rearward-facing camera on the trailer.

  13. #13
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    Gigantic understatement.
    Ain't that the truth. Being a passenger in a car is the leading cause of death for kids.

    FWIW I have ~ 50,000 miles since being back on the bike and no contact with an auto yet. But it does happen once in a blue moon I'll do an Art Carny routine and fall over with the bike, nothing serious but for that fact I really like kid trailers.
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  14. #14
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    Hey again everyone. You guys had a lot of good points -and helped put things into prospective for me.
    Hopefully no knuckleheads yell at my toddler .. we'll see.

  15. #15
    Senior Member littlewaywelt's Avatar
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    May be true, but on public roads, I'd rather have my kids belted into a steel cage in a Britax child seat than sitting in an open trike. If a kid gets hit by a car going more than 25 mph (helmeted or not) the survival likelihood is low. I'm not interested in playing the lottery (however dismal the odds) with my kids' lives. Unlike a car you're not apt to walk away from severe impacts when you're on a bike.

    Maybe it's just the roads around where I live, but there's no way I'd do it, especially on a trike which sits low to the ground out of the normal mental processing zone for most people in cars.
    One Less Car
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  16. #16
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    I took my kid everywhere in a trailer. Now that he is too tall and only wants to use a tag along we do not ride on the roads. I found that riding an unstable bike near or in traffic with a 4 year old on it is nerve wracking. We stick to the trails now.
    Anyhow, I expect we will venture out together on a bike via the roads eventually. Perhaps with a tandem.

  17. #17
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlewaywelt View Post
    . . . especially on a trike which sits low to the ground out of the normal mental processing zone for most people in cars.
    Though it is a bit counterintuitive, trikes actually get more notice and clearance from drivers than bikes.
    George
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  18. #18
    Senior Member st0ut's Avatar
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    becasue they are worried that the axle will scratch there paint
    .
    Cars make you weak.

  19. #19
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by accorn View Post
    Hey - I am waiting for an adult trike to be delivered with a built in child seat.
    Trying to be green by doing more shopping via bike, and thought the exercise would be good for me and my child would enjoy the ride.

    In preperation I've read "The art of cycling". The safety stats cited by the author freaks me out a little though that he suggested that an "experienced" biker could expect an average injury every 15,000 miles, and a complete wipe out every 30,000 miles.
    I know there is risk in any transportation (cars etc) but at least in the car there is a much built in protection with all that steel.
    Just wondering if the risk is really that high - since if I wipe out I could try to defend myself but my toddler would be pretty much defenseless.

    I'm still leaning towards doing it I think but just wondering what other people think on the topic.

    Thanks!
    Where do these ridiculous statistics come from??! I swear, you can get ANY statistic to meet any need. For me, that would be at least one injury every year and that just isn't the case despite mostly city riding.

    Anyway, I say that transporting a child by bicycle is abundantly safe. In fact, I think the old bicycle seat that mounted to the rear of the bicycle is especially safe with it's full-body shell.

    If you have not yet bicycled with your child, you are in for a wonderful experience.
    Mike

  20. #20
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    If you have not yet bicycled with your child, you are in for a wonderful experience.
    Dat's a fact! The twins are now 25 years old and both enjoy bike riding still, as do I.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  21. #21
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    I'll do an Art Carny routine and fall over with the bike
    Ya mean Artie Johnson from Laugh-in don't ya?

  22. #22
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Dat's a fact! The twins are now 25 years old and both enjoy bike riding still, as do I.
    Oh, man, I-Like-to-Bike, that is a great photo. I hope the twins are staying in touch and I hope you have plenty of laughs over great meals together talking about all the stuff you did with them - like bicycling them around.
    Mike

  23. #23
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    Oh, man, I-Like-to-Bike, that is a great photo. I hope the twins are staying in touch and I hope you have plenty of laughs over great meals together talking about all the stuff you did with them - like bicycling them around.
    Thanks. Doubt if they remember the pictured ride, they were only 9 months old at the time. They do remember the time when they first got off their training wheels at 7 years old and we took a car trip to The Netherlands from Germany with their 10 year old sister and mother and our 5 bikes and rode the bike paths around the tulip and hyacinth fields near Keukenhof Gardens south of Haarlem.

  24. #24
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Thanks. Doubt if they remember the pictured ride, they were only 9 months old at the time. They do remember the time when they first got off their training wheels at 7 years old and we took a car trip to The Netherlands from Germany with their 10 year old sister and mother and our 5 bikes and rode the bike paths around the tulip and hyacinth fields near Keukenhof Gardens south of Haarlem.
    For real adult adventure, bring them for another bicycle trip to Harlem - Harlem NYC that is.

    WEEEeeee! Daddy, you are the BEST!

    Mike

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    Where do these ridiculous statistics come from??! I swear, you can get ANY statistic to meet any need. For me, that would be at least one injury every year and that just isn't the case despite mostly city riding.
    Well the interesting thing is the book in question is a very pro biking book, but I think the author was trying to very fair about the possible dangers so you would take safety seriously. But, yeah, that seemed really high to me.. especially since it was specifically referencing experienced riders too.

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