Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ridin' in style

In true Boulder fashion, we bought a bicycle trailer so that we can chauffeur Owen around town. We were so excited about the idea of Sean taking Owen to daycare in the trailer (so he wouldn't have to drive Owen to daycare then drive home to get his bike so he could ride to work). While we were waiting for the trailer to arrive, we decided to look up a good way to harness Owen into the trailer. Bike trailers are made for older children so would it be OK for Owen? We did a lot of research online. I always tell my patients to avoid the internet - it's full of extremes. And that's just what happened when we looked up babies and bike trailers. There were those who swore that it was the best thing ever to be able to take their babies along for long bike rides. And then there were others who were horrified by the potential risks.

So, the bike trailer arrived and we set it up. We still weren't sure we were comfortable putting Owen in it. We figured out a way to strap Owen's carseat in with bungee cords and it seems really secure. And Sean took Owen for a short (about 200 yards) test-drive on the bike path across the street from our house. Owen seemed content in the trailer as this picture shows (Sean looks a bit nervous):

The purpose of this post isn't to debate the risks and benefits of a putting a 6-month old in a bike trailer. I truly believe that you have to do what feels right for you and your child. We decided that we would try taking Owen to daycare one day and see how it felt to Sean. If he was uncomfortable, Sean could always walk his bike and the trailer to daycare. And, since the trailer coverts easily into a stroller, we could always walk Owen home. It's only 1 mile to daycare.

We've had the trailer for 2 weeks now and Owen has ridden in it 3 times to daycare. He doesn't seem to mind and Sean feels that it is safe. The street is very residential with few cars and no potholes. We splurged and bought the trailer with bigger tires to reduce bumpiness.

I'm not really sure why I am babbling on about this. But, I think my reason for wanting to post this is to put down on paper how difficult these little decisions are. When I was pregnant with Owen and when we were shopping for trailers, it never occurred to us that we wouldn't be 100% excited about commuting with Owen by bike. It never occurred to us, living in Boulder and surrounded by parents towing their bike trailers (with and without the kids) that we would question the safety. But when it came down to doing it, we were nervous. We are responsible for another life! That's a lot of pressure! And, I know we'll make mistakes along the way and we're certainly much more cautious than I ever thought we'd be. But, Owen seems to be doing well and that's really all we can wish for.

Ok, enough seriousness. Here's what you are really here to see... some cute pictures of Owen test-driving the bike trailer.

And, we did buy him a helmet. It doesn't fit when he is in his carseat (it pushes his head too far forward) so he doesn't wear it in the trailer but he seems to like wearing it when he is in his jumper:


Sally said...

So cute! I really appreciate the information on when to bike with baby. What kind of bicycle trailer did you get?

Marisa said...

Hi Sally-
We purchased the instep rocket. it's a bit more expensive than the other instep trailers but it's made of aluminum (lighter than a steel frame) and it has 20in wheels to increase shock absorption. We found www.bicycletrailers.com to be super helpful!

Jay Bird said...

Tour de France, here he comes! I'm proud of you for your commitment to family biking. The S.S. Tomato sails again!

rebecca said...

Boats Sail On The Rivers


Boats sail on the rivers,

And ships sail on the seas;

But clouds that sail across the sky,

Are prettier far than these.


There are bridges on the rivers,

As pretty as you please;

But the bow that bridges heaven,

And overtops the trees,

And builds a road from earth to sky,

Is prettier far than these.

-----by runescape gold