Sunday, 24 February 2008

BIke Seats: First thoughts

So bike seats. We did some internet searching and looked on some forums and in some shops. I found 4 issues:
  1. They looked really upright, more suitable for a much older baby
  2. The baby was stuck behind you.
  3. They took up the whole rear pannier rack
  4. There were reports on forums of them making the bike unstable
By looking around i could find seats that didn't take up the whole pannier rack, but i really couldn't find a seat that looked comfortable for a long ride in the kind of terrain we live in. After a while i came to realise that bike seats are fine for round towns and short rides , but not for where we live... then i discovered front mounted seats. The front mounted seats seemed to solve all 4 of these problems.. time for investigation...

Saturday, 23 February 2008

How do you transport a baby by bike?

So we had the baby Michael, born in March which is of course time to start cycling.....

So we look around for what we can ride in. Well some brief reading seemed to indicate that bike seats were suitable from 12-18months onwards and trailers similar. Shocked by that i hit the forums and found people saying that 6 months onwards was OK in some trailers which took inserts, and we even found out that a couple of trailers do baby slings that look suitable from 3months..... 'Chariot' trailers seemed to be the best in the market and being new parents we wanted our little one safe, so we set our heart on a chariot... Great we think lets find a shop that sells them and try one out.....

Oh no, in fact no-one keeps them in stock and if they do they don't have the baby seats and definitely not the baby slings... At £600 a pop, we wern't going to buy one of these on the off-chance. Now our quest had taken him to 6 months old and we wern't any the wiser.  However, my wife had decided that she didnt fancy towing a trailer round our narrow windy roads with cars wizzing past, so we decided to look for bike seats....

Our situation...

18 months ago, my wife Julia and myself were keen cyclists. We had matching touring bikes (sad i know!) and a bike for commuting each.

We'd go for rides at weekends and the odd short UK tour. I'd cycle to work via the train station and my wife would often drive to the station and cycle at the other end. In short we love bikes and cycling.

We live in the essex countryside. The roads are hilly, muddy and sometimes a bit rough. In the winter it can be pretty windy and often below zero in the mornings. The train station is 4 hilly miles from our house. Our nearest shop is 3 miles away and our nearest town is 6.

When we found out we were expecting Michael we were overjoyed, but after his first trimester, Julia decided it was time to stop cycling. When he was born we started looking into options for transporting babies......

Intro to CycleDad

This blog will be about my boy Michael, his cycling parents and our quest to get back on a bike. I'm writing this blog, because i couldnt find any good websites on cycling with babies, the best i found was the occasional post on a forum , bland advice about trailers and bike seats and the odd blog. I'm hoping to share our troubles and quests to find the right system for us.

Most of all I hope something on this blog will help or inspire parents to get the family on bikes.