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Old 05-14-11, 03:46 AM   #1
bendembroski
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Nice blog post on the perception of risk of cycling with kids on the road

http://pavementsedge.blogspot.com/20....html?spref=tw

I'm not saying I agree with it in it's totality but I strongly agree with the sentiment.
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Old 05-14-11, 08:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by bendembroski View Post
http://pavementsedge.blogspot.com/20....html?spref=tw

I'm not saying I agree with it in it's totality but I strongly agree with the sentiment.

Yep, I think he covered it pretty well.

I ride with both of my kids in traffic on any road that I feel comfortable on alone. There are some that just aren't feasible for anyone, IMHO - the main road through our town is a feeder for an expressway, for example, and has no shoulders and blind curves, so I never take it, kids or no kids. Sometimes the sidewalk is the only sane option.

When I talk with other parents about road riding, I find almost invariably that their kids don't ride at all ( wtf? ), or that they're so thoroughly indoctrinated into a culture of fear about EVERYTHING that they wouldn't even consider letting their kids ride on anything other than a cul de sac with armed guards at the end. It's pretty sad.
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Old 05-22-11, 01:12 AM   #3
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I bike with my kids all over the place. Man people are always acting like I don't care about my kids because I bike with them, as though it isn't "safe." No one cares that my kids get safe riding lessons before leaving home and that we practice a lot of quiet roads before hitting the busier areas. Besides..since when is being in a car 100% safe..we just have gotten used to it and no longer see the danger.
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Old 05-23-11, 02:47 AM   #4
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My kids are stil too little to ride themselves, (3 yrs & 9 months). We're a one-car family, and my wife needs the car for her job. By necessity and choice I trailer the kids when running errands, dropping off at nursery, etc. The majority of comments -- and I get a lot of comments -- are positive. There is a a significant proportion of people who can only see the perceived danger of mixing kids in a trailer with cars. Of course, they don't see the risk involved in getting in a car with kids, or even crossing the street, or getting out of the shower in the morning. I'm still honing my response to these concerns. It's not that I feel the need to defend my actions, but rather think of it as opportunity to introduce a different way of approaching a problem to others.

It's hard not to come across as overly sanctimonious or defensive though.
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Old 05-23-11, 10:33 PM   #5
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Good article. My kids are 6 and 8, and ride their own geared bikes (not on tagalong or trailer) and we've been riding on more roads lately -- but still mainly on subdivision roads, with some quick crossings of busier roads. The kids want to ride more around our town, but I've been a bit hesitant to go on two busier roads that kind of lock us in - one 35 mph posted (people go 45 or more) but narrow, and one 45 mph posted (people go 55 or more) but wider. I got flashing front & rear lights for both kids, but am still struggling a bit with taking them on those roads.
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Old 05-26-11, 12:34 PM   #6
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My family rides all over town; the kids are still too young to ride on their own but we use trailers. We do avoid the highest speed, busiest arterials, but we can get to most destinations on either 25 mph residential streets or 35 mph collector streets with wide lanes. The avoidance is more about wanting to avoid having the kids experience potential harassment over violating social taboos than fear of collision. I ride any road in town on my own, but the slower streets are more enjoyable with the family. And even if a road is very busy, it can still be enjoyable for all of us if the traffic is slow enough, such as when we are pedaling through downtown and taking the lane at intersections.

All of the comments I've every heard have been positive. We ride lawfully in the travel lanes and I teach the kids how to negotiate intersections and merges appropriately. (I'm an LCI, too.) I haven't had any negative experiences, and don't expect to; looking at the police crash reports for my town, it's clear that the sidewalk cyclists and wrong-way cyclists are the ones who keep getting into crashes on the routes we use. Sidewalk cyclists getting hit by drivers entering the road from a side street are the most common crash type in town.
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Old 06-13-11, 06:09 PM   #7
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I'm a step dad. When our kids were young they had to learn that when they were at their father's house they had to ride on the sidewalk. When they were with us they were not allowed to ride on the sidewalk when they rode with us. They dealt with it quite well.
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Old 07-02-11, 10:44 AM   #8
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Given the way many cyclist ride the bike trails around here (Denver) it very well may be safer to tow my daughter on busy streets. On the trails, the "go-fast, look at me in my spandex" crowd is passing going into blind corners, passing with on-coming traffic, passing without giving warning, etc. Clearly, to many of them, maintaining their speed far outweighs my daughter's safety.

Last edited by Jimi77; 07-04-11 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 07-04-11, 03:20 AM   #9
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Given the way many cyclist ride the bike trails around here (Denver) it very well may be safer to tow my daughter on busy streets. On the trails, the "go-fast, look at me in my spandex" crowd is passing going into blind corners, passing with on-coming traffic, passing without giving warning, etc. Clearly to many of them maintaining their speed far outweighs my daughter's safety.
I have started to see this more and more around here too. It is like speed is all that matters and they will run a person down and then act angry at you for not going as fast on a curve.
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