Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Convincing the wife: biking the kid to daycare

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Convincing the wife: biking the kid to daycare

Old 10-15-08, 03:16 PM
  #1  
toekneebullrd
Yep, I'm a newbie
Thread Starter
 
toekneebullrd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Convincing the wife: biking the kid to daycare

I commute to work by bike every day. We're about to enroll my son in Daycare, and for one day a week I would need to drop him off and pick him up. Seeing as my bike is a perfectly good mode of transportation, I want to do it with my bike. But the wife is convinced it's too dangerous. I personally believe the area I'm in is pretty darn nice to bike in. There's no provision like bike lanes and such, but of the 4 months I've been doing it, I've only had 2 or 3 incidents of aggression, which is incredibly low compared to when I use to drive.

So, what's the best way to convince a wife that biking isn't as horrifically dangerous as people think it is?
toekneebullrd is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 03:43 PM
  #2  
girljen
Nerd
 
girljen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Wheat Ridge, CO
Posts: 450

Bikes: K2 T-9 Crosswind

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Invite her along for a ride from the house to the daycare. Get the little one all helmeted up and strapped in, and show her how mellow the ride is.
girljen is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 04:57 PM
  #3  
riddei
Needing more power Scotty
 
riddei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Northern New England (USA)
Posts: 588

Bikes: 2006 Trek T-80 (commuter) 1982 Bianchi SS (classic 12 speed)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Go out for recreational rides with son and wife. Don't argue. See if she changes her mind. If your wife insists it is still too dangerous, do what I do... Drive to daycare with your bike on the car (bike-rack), drop off your child, and ride your bike to work (leaving the car at daycare).

If you insist on riding your bike with your son, and something (knock wood) does happen, the both of you would never forgive yourselves.
riddei is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 05:32 PM
  #4  
BigDaddyPete
Senior Member
 
BigDaddyPete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Pittsfield, MA
Posts: 633

Bikes: Motobecane Fantom Cross 2008 Schwinn Super Sport 1972 SS. Surly Pacer Rando bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I take my two to daycare every day in a trailer which I then leave at the day care. So far I haven't had any problems with cars, but I am lit up like a Christmas tree so they see me and the kids. Best of all, the kids love it, they get upset if I have to use a car to take them.

Here's my rig


And from the back with the lights
BigDaddyPete is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 05:45 PM
  #5  
pacificaslim
Surf Bum
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pacifica, CA
Posts: 2,184

Bikes: Lapierre Pulsium 500 FdJ, Ritchey breakaway cyclocross, vintage trek mtb.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
In Tokyo I took my son to preschool every morning by bicycle. Between 6 months and 1 year old I carried him in harness thing on my chest and then later he sat on a seat that mounted to the front handlebars of a typical "mama chari" Japanese single speed. No, neither of us wore helmets or considered for one moment the "safety" aspect of this arrangement. It was just typical behavior in a country where people don't worry about stuff like that.
pacificaslim is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 06:07 PM
  #6  
noteon 
Drops small screws
 
noteon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,600

Bikes: Heavily modified Xootr Swift, Trek 1000SL that's been turned into a brevet bike, two 20" Torker Interurbans

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This is just a comment on my own situation. I don't pretend to know what's best for you.

I take my twins to preschool in a trailer often (see my avatar)--but I also moved my family to where we'd be next to a major NYC Multi-Use Path so I could do it more safely.

Now, this is NYC I'm talking about. I don't know what it's like near you. But for me, the consequences of a fabric trailer encountering trouble are far more convincing than any odds I could come up with in my favor.

The move was a huge expense and a huger inconvenience, but now I can tow them to playgrounds and preschool without worry.

Just something to add to the mix--and I hope it didn't come off as telling you what to do, since you're far more acquainted with your situation than I am. For us, I could think of no other way it could be made to work. The possible consequences just outweighed the odds.
__________________
RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
Learning to wrench better this year—current project: Fixie from build kit
noteon is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 07:44 PM
  #7  
cyclokitty 
Not safe for work
 
cyclokitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,119

Bikes: KHS Town and Country 100 & Jamis Durango Femme 1.0

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I see folks all the time carting their babies in baby seats on bikes and trailers. I've noticed cars seem to ride further away from bikes with trailers attached than normal, so that might be an idea. But definitely get baby a helmet.
cyclokitty is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 08:06 PM
  #8  
JeffS
not a role model
 
JeffS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4,659
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I can't imagine anything that could be said that would curb this type of fear. Either you just start doing it and she becomes comfortable with it, or you get her on a bike to get a feel for it. This could backfire though if she didn't ride enough to become comfortable with the traffic.
JeffS is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 08:15 PM
  #9  
uke
it's easy if you let it.
 
uke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: indoors and out.
Posts: 4,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
In Tokyo I took my son to preschool every morning by bicycle. Between 6 months and 1 year old I carried him in harness thing on my chest and then later he sat on a seat that mounted to the front handlebars of a typical "mama chari" Japanese single speed. No, neither of us wore helmets or considered for one moment the "safety" aspect of this arrangement. It was just typical behavior in a country where people don't worry about stuff like that.
The moment the US becomes a bike friendly country (should that ever happen), people here will stop worrying about that stuff. But as long as cycling in the US is several times more dangerous than cycling in Japan, it will remain a good idea to pay more attention to protective measures when cycling here. People didn't worry about stuff like that over there because they were far less likely to die than people in countries where cyclists do worry about that kind of stuff.
uke is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 08:42 PM
  #10  
pacificaslim
Surf Bum
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pacifica, CA
Posts: 2,184

Bikes: Lapierre Pulsium 500 FdJ, Ritchey breakaway cyclocross, vintage trek mtb.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
I don't know if the statistics would be appropriate difference. Cyclists may die more in the usa because of the types of roads people cycle on for sporting purposes and the higher rate of speed our cars travel on such roads. Daycare and schools are typically nearby in one's neighborhood, on roads that are safer. There are no significant safety differences between the path from my home in Japan to the preschool than there are from my home here to my kids current schools.

BTW, the one thing that makes Japan a "bike friendly country" is the train system. It's always been my contention that bikes will never be as popular here in the usa until we have a more solid public transportation system to augment cycling. People simply travel too far, in varied weather, to really rely on bicycles as transportation here. In Japan, we can bike to the station, and take the train anywhere we want to go in the entire country (in rural areas it may require a bus ride after getting off the train).

The train system is why a car is unnecessary in Japan compared to the USA. Higher cycling rates there have nothing to do with bike infrastructure or any of that (I've never seen a bike lane in Japan) or any of the things US cyclists like to talk about).
pacificaslim is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 09:25 PM
  #11  
foehn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The Alta Loma area of Rancho Cucamonga. About 45 miles east of Los Angeles, California. Uphill, downhill and across hill riding; not too level!
Posts: 1,328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by riddei View Post
. . .

If you insist on riding your bike with your son, and something (knock wood) does happen, the both of you would never forgive yourselves.

And if something happened with him with his son in the car, the same thing: they would never forgive themselves. Come on, they could get creamed walking down a sidewalk, but they are more likely to get hit/hurt in a car, since the car is used so much more.

Gee, the guy should map out a route on quiet side streets, avoid the faster, busier streets and all that and show his wife just how nice it could.

Taking the child to work via bike makes a wonderful example for the kid to copy.
foehn is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 10:34 PM
  #12  
toekneebullrd
Yep, I'm a newbie
Thread Starter
 
toekneebullrd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Here are some details:
Unfortunately, the street we'd be going down is fairly busy in the mornings. There's no real side roads. My area is a few major veins with windey, pointless subdivision roads that don't connect anywhere.

I've asked my wife to ride with me, but she doesn't have a bike, and isn't really all that interested. She's convinced the only people who bike their kids to school live just down the street in towns where there are no cars.

I think I may have to go with the car-to-daycare/bike-to-work situation. I just wish she didn't over estimate the safety of cars so much.
toekneebullrd is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 11:05 PM
  #13  
slloth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fairfield, CA
Posts: 413

Bikes: '72 peugeot PX10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I used to take my young youngest with me to drop my older kid off every morning. I would almost exclusively use the sidewalks. This was with a orange flag attached of course.

I would not suggest it on the road. Sorry.


If you where to do it make sure the kid has a good helmet, flag on trailer and lights/reflectors on back of trailer.
slloth is offline  
Old 10-15-08, 11:07 PM
  #14  
pacificaslim
Surf Bum
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pacifica, CA
Posts: 2,184

Bikes: Lapierre Pulsium 500 FdJ, Ritchey breakaway cyclocross, vintage trek mtb.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by toekneebullrd View Post
She's convinced the only people who bike their kids to school live just down the street in towns where there are no cars.
She's pretty much right.
pacificaslim is offline  
Old 10-16-08, 02:02 AM
  #15  
Jerry in So IL
Rabbit Habbit!
 
Jerry in So IL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Johnston City, IL
Posts: 458

Bikes: Specialized Sirrus 08

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I take the Young Prince to pre-k on Monday and anyday I'm home from work. I tow him on his tag a long and he wears a helmet. Smae thing when I pick him, everyday, from the sitter. He really likes it and likes showing off his "cool new alsome bike".

I don't have the hassles of poor parking to deal with.

I hope you can do it. Its great fun.

Jerry
Jerry in So IL is offline  
Old 10-16-08, 04:29 AM
  #16  
noteon 
Drops small screws
 
noteon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,600

Bikes: Heavily modified Xootr Swift, Trek 1000SL that's been turned into a brevet bike, two 20" Torker Interurbans

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by foehn View Post
And if something happened with him with his son in the car, the same thing: they would never forgive themselves. Come on, they could get creamed walking down a sidewalk, but they are more likely to get hit/hurt in a car, since the car is used so much more..
Well, there are odds, and then there are odds.

The odds of a car being hit by another car may be greater than those of a bicycle being hit by a car. I don't know that that's true, but I'll take your word on it for the purpose of this conversation.

However, once that collision occurs, the odds of a bike passenger being hurt are higher than those of a car passenger being hurt. When it was just me, and my 26-mile-round-trip route included Queens Boulevard ("The Boulevard of Death" to locals) and 2nd Ave in Manhattan (a zoo at rush hour), I found that risk acceptable. I have good reflexes and a lot of trouble-avoiding experience. When I started wanting to tow my children to preschool, though, it wasn't. So we moved to where I could tow them on the sidewalk to a MUP, down the MUP for most of the distance, and then on the sidewalk again to preschool. The odds of tangling with a car dropped considerably.

I realize NYC is not average--but even on quiet side streets, where you've minimized the chance of being hit, you haven't minimized the chance of being injured if hit. For me, that was enough reason to keep my children off them. I labor under no illusion that there's such thing as 100% safety, but there are also odds I'm in the position of improving.

And again, to the OP: You're in a position of judging these things in your area, and I'm not. My contribution to your specific situation is only to share my own. I just thought foehn's argument was incompletely considered enough that the thread could use a response to it.
__________________
RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
Learning to wrench better this year—current project: Fixie from build kit
noteon is offline  
Old 10-16-08, 04:40 AM
  #17  
Lizzylou
Dropped myself
 
Lizzylou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 397
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
When I was a tyke my father used to cart my brother and I around in a trailer. Though back in the day, kiddie trailers faced backwards, so we got to wave at all the cars passing us. He claims he was safer with us back there because people can be mad at cyclists... but they don't want to hurt cyclists pulling cute children. It's kind of like having a visible child humanizes you. Turns you from "stupid cyclist holding up traffic" to "caring attentive father spending time with his family."

I'm from a fairly rural area... not NYC like above though.
Lizzylou is offline  
Old 10-16-08, 07:38 AM
  #18  
GV27
Light Makes Right
 
GV27's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Green Mountain, Colorado
Posts: 1,520

Bikes: Gianni Motta Criterium, Dean Hardtail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Here's how I'd deal with it:

1) Brush off the safety "issue". Just act like it isn't a big deal (which is right). When she says "it's too dangerous" just say, "no it's not" and change the subject.

2) Sell her on the future health benefits for your son. American kids are fat and lazy. Here's Dad's chance to be a positive role model for his son at a time when he's incredibly impressionable. Now's the time to model physical fitness, outdoor activity and energy-independent transportation. He won't just be learning in Preschool, he'll be learning ON THE WAY to Preschool.
GV27 is offline  
Old 10-16-08, 09:05 AM
  #19  
tjspiel
Senior Member
 
tjspiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 8,097
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by toekneebullrd View Post
I think I may have to go with the car-to-daycare/bike-to-work situation. I just wish she didn't over estimate the safety of cars so much.
That's a reasonable compromise.

One of the first and more expensive child accessories we bought after our first child was born was a Burley D'lite. In fact, I've never spent as much on a bike as we did that trailer. We bought it for recreational rides but have used it for utility rides and transportation as well. It was money well spent. I've used it to haul kids and other stuff to a wide variety of places.

As far as commuting and daycare goes, if I had been more of commuter 7 years ago, I might have used the Burley to take our son to daycare. My wife only works a couple of evenings a week now, but at the time she would get some day shifts. On those days we brought our son to a home day care about a mile away.

I live in a city but the residential streets I would have traveled to get there are relatively quiet. I'd have my reservations about taking a child in a trailer on a busy road. Safety concerns aren't entirely rational. Sometimes things just don't feel or sound safe and I think it's in your best interest to respect your wife's feelings in this case. Why make her worry?

Still, I'd get a trailer for weekend rides so you can get your kid trained early ;-) Maybe your wife will develop an interest so you can make it a family activity.
tjspiel is offline  
Old 10-16-08, 09:36 AM
  #20  
phillyrider
peddling fool
 
phillyrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia PA
Posts: 509

Bikes: Mid 50's Frejus, Late 50's Frejus, Early 1960s Frejus Professional, Mid 1960's Frejus Professional, Early 70's Gloria (branded), 76 Blue Pogliaghi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
You may not want to hear this...I've driven my daughter to school a few times, but I don't really recommend it. Problem is that morning drop off and pick-up (before 6:00) is peak rush hour. Accidents/close calls for me are always during rush hour - particularly Fridays, when drivers are in a rush to get home or to happy hour, whatever.

Off peak is fine, but I avoid rush hour. It's one thing for adults to take on a bike commute, but I prefer not to put my kid in harms way. One day/week is not a big deal to drive. Bike ride in once is a while is fine, but in my opinion - I wouldn't do it all the time. Your wife is actually right. A harness or a co-pilot is pretty dangerous (you fall, you could fall on your kid). Trailers are a safe option should you want to ride in.
phillyrider is offline  
Old 10-16-08, 09:36 AM
  #21  
riddei
Needing more power Scotty
 
riddei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Northern New England (USA)
Posts: 588

Bikes: 2006 Trek T-80 (commuter) 1982 Bianchi SS (classic 12 speed)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think you're still a role model for kids by driving to daycare, and biking to work, leaving the car at daycare. My kids still see daddy getting on his bike every day to go to work. I do take the trailer to get the kids in the warm weather. Sometimes they like it, other times, it's a disaster. We're only 3/4 of a mile from daycare so it's no big deal if the kids are screaming. I will never pick up / drop off our kids in the winter with the bike, even though I bike commute year round.

As much of a bike advocate as I am, don't kid yourself that your kids are as safe (or safer) in a bike trailer than they are in a child seat in a car. What would be a mild fender bender in a car would be fatal in a trailer. It's simply a matter of physics. If I make the choice to bike to work in the winter, it is my choice as an adult. Children don't get to make those choices, parents do it for them. I stand by my statement that if something happened (knock wood), neither of you would ever forgive yourselves.
riddei is offline  
Old 10-16-08, 09:39 AM
  #22  
noteon 
Drops small screws
 
noteon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,600

Bikes: Heavily modified Xootr Swift, Trek 1000SL that's been turned into a brevet bike, two 20" Torker Interurbans

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by riddei View Post
We're only 3/4 of a mile from daycare so it's no big deal if the kids are screaming
I love that zipping rain cover. Instant 20-decibel cut.
__________________
RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
Learning to wrench better this year—current project: Fixie from build kit
noteon is offline  
Old 10-16-08, 09:45 AM
  #23  
riddei
Needing more power Scotty
 
riddei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Northern New England (USA)
Posts: 588

Bikes: 2006 Trek T-80 (commuter) 1982 Bianchi SS (classic 12 speed)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by noteon View Post
I love that zipping rain cover. Instant 20-decibel cut.
Isn't it amazing how fickle pre-schoolers can be? One day it's "YEAH DADDY!" the next it's "NO!!!! WHAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!, HE's LOOKING AT ME!!!!!". I'm sure if the other parents didn't know us, they'd think I was kidnapping them.

(girl 4, boy2).
riddei is offline  
Old 10-16-08, 09:49 AM
  #24  
noteon 
Drops small screws
 
noteon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,600

Bikes: Heavily modified Xootr Swift, Trek 1000SL that's been turned into a brevet bike, two 20" Torker Interurbans

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Two three-and-a-half-year-olds here. Most of the strife is over pushing--which isn't actually occurring. One of them just has shoulders like a linebacker.

I just zip the cover and figure anything that doesn't cause enough damage to defeat the soundproofing isn't worth stopping for. (And amuse myself by yelling over my shoulder, "Don't make me stop this bike!")
__________________
RIDE: Short fiction about bicycles • RUSA #5538
Learning to wrench better this year—current project: Fixie from build kit
noteon is offline  
Old 10-16-08, 10:02 AM
  #25  
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Posts: 6,521

Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by GV27 View Post
Here's how I'd deal with it:

1) Brush off the safety "issue". Just act like it isn't a big deal (which is right). When she says "it's too dangerous" just say, "no it's not" and change the subject.

2) Sell her on the future health benefits for your son. American kids are fat and lazy. Here's Dad's chance to be a positive role model for his son at a time when he's incredibly impressionable. Now's the time to model physical fitness, outdoor activity and energy-independent transportation. He won't just be learning in Preschool, he'll be learning ON THE WAY to Preschool.
+1, but use a trailer, as cars give them much more room, and are less antagonistic. Also buy your wife a bike that is more expensive than yours.
AndrewP is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.