Carrying your child by bike has several advantages. In particular, you can introduce your child to your passion for cycling and clean means of transportation. However, this requires a minimum of organization and equipment that meets the standards. Here are ten tips for a safe and comfortable ride.
Opt for an electric bike
When you transport your child by bike, you must make more effort to pedal. An electric city bike is the best solution to avoid getting tired quickly. Your pedaling steps won't be eliminated, and the physical activity is just smoother, which is always good for your health. As a bonus, you can cover more distance without expending much energy on the road. Plus, it's a convenient way to get around town.
Use an approved bicycle seat.
Depending on the age and size of your child, you should use approved equipment to transport them on a bicycle. It is even a legal requirement for any child under five. In other words, putting your child in a baby carrier or sling is forbidden. By law, the bike seat must also be equipped with a restraint system to prevent accidental falls.
Front seat for children under three years of age
While the use of approved equipment is mandatory, especially for children under five, it must also be installed properly. The bicycle seat can be attached to the handlebars if your child is under three years old or weighs less than 15 kilos. This allows you to communicate with and monitor your child more easily. To maximize his comfort, it is possible to install a windshield. This way, he is protected against headwinds.
Install in the back the more than fifteen kilos
If your child weighs more than 15 kilos, placing him at the back of your bicycle is recommended. However, it would help if you always used an approved bicycle seat to ensure their comfort and safety. You can use a rear seat until your child is six years old or weighs up to 22 kilos. However, you need a junior seat between the ages of six and ten or 22 and 32 kilos.
Cargo bike and trailer as alternatives
Riding a bike with a child requires some precautions. There are alternatives to the bicycle seat: the cargo bike and the trailer. The first one allows you to transport up to five children. Without being more comprehensive than a classic bike, it is more stable. The second has the advantage of being practical. The trailer can be attached to any bike. It is available in a stroller version when it is not connected.
Acquire the right accessories for more comfort
Your child will not fall out of his bike seat if sitting still. However, you can always improve his comfort. To do so, you must acquire specific accessories. These are materials to protect against rain, wind, cold, or sun. You can also buy cushioning supplies if he falls asleep during your trips.
Never forget the helmet for maximum safety.
In the country or the city, helmets are mandatory for children under 12 years of age. This equipment protects your child from severe head trauma and injury in an accident. Whether they are drivers or passengers, it is necessary for their safety. Therefore, any adult transporting or accompanying a child without a helmet on a bicycle is liable to a fine.
Avoid congested and polluted areas.
Carrying your child by bicycle is a great way to get away from it all, especially on weekends. However, to make the most of your outings, you should keep a few things in mind. First of all, it is strongly advised against riding in areas where pollution is high. Secondly, you should avoid congested routes. Either way, you reduce the risk to yourself and your child.
Drive safety throughout your trip
Riding a two-wheeler makes you more vulnerable than other types of vehicles. You must be more vigilant and focused on your and your child's safety. Also, it is necessary to adapt your driving. For example, since your bike is much heavier, it is imperative to lengthen the braking distances. In addition, it is recommended to revise your Highway Code.
Practice on quiet routes
Riding alone is different from carrying a child on a bicycle. Indeed, the weight and balance are not the same. The hills seem more difficult, while the descents seem steeper. When you brake, your bike takes more time and distance to stop. This sometimes requires time to adapt. It is best to practice beforehand in an area with little traffic.
When transporting a child on a bicycle, it is essential to know the regulations. You should also take a few precautions for your comfort and safety.