I am not normally gleeful about things that cause our toddler meltdowns when he's told he can't have or do... but he really likes bike-rides, so I am. I now ride to daycare with him a few days a week, leaving the bike seat and his helmet there as I continue on to work. The gent brings the seat & helmet home when he picks Torben up from daycare. The first day, Torben had a fit because he got put in a a car-seat rather than on a bike even though he could see that his helmet & seat were right there! The second time he insisted on wearing his helmet from daycare to the car, then from the car to the apartment. Since then he has gotten better at acceptance, but still occasionally lets his ire be known.

The downside to this whole thing is that the bike seat that I purchased 8 months ago based on reviews and ratings (and was described as universal fit) does not actually work with any standard US style road bike. I mean, yes it fits on my bike, but the bike is then close to unrideable. Finally, last month, rather than solve this problem by getting a different bikeseat I just got a new bike: an oversized beach cruiser.

Alas, beach cruisers are not performance vehicles. This isn't a problem on the flat, sedate, mostly bike-lane'd route to daycare, but it is a frustration on the rest of my commute. Downtown San Francisco is a mess of construction sites on top of the usual congestion. Even where there are bike lanes I feel like the awkward little old lady in a land yacht doing 45 on the freeway and annoying all of the regular road-bike commuters. The Oakland end isn't great either if I take the ferry (a longer but much nicer trip) I have to ride through the port of Oakland just as all the big-rigs are queueing up for the morning.

Ah well. The kid loves going on bike rides and the bike means I am more likely to get to work at a reasonable time. Woohoo!
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From: [identity profile] randomdreams.livejournal.com


What does the bike seat look like, that doesn't work well?
You could do some stuff to the cruiser to speed it up, but that's sort of like putting racing kit on an old Caddy.

From: [identity profile] blue-estro.livejournal.com


So this is the bike seat as attached to a mountain bike frame, somewhat similar to my commuter bike:
Image

I can't reach the handle bars with the bike-seat at normal (levelish with the handlebars) height without crushing my chest into the child-seat seat. When the bike-seat is lowered my knees hit the bottom of the child seat unless I splay them out and Torben's head still was pushed down by my chest.

You can see some of the child being smooshed forward in this image. Also, I am not sure how she is pedalling without the knee knocking, or how she is going to put her foot down when she stops without tipping far to the side:
Image

I don't think I need to make the cruiser faster so much as accept that it isn't going to be as quick or maneuverable as what I am used to (because it does have a lot in common with an old caddy). Also, had I time to mod a bike, a set of lowrider bike handlebars might have solved the original problem.

Who knows, maybe the couch on wheels thing will grow on me. :}

From: [identity profile] randomdreams.livejournal.com


Oh, got it. I thought you were talking about _your_ seat, not your young corider's seat.

From: [identity profile] mrcairo.livejournal.com


pictures do make it much much more clear!

I imagine that you only have to endure this for a year or so before you'll have to find another configuration to hold a larger child, so that's... something.


From: [identity profile] blue-estro.livejournal.com


Yeah, then the question becomes "how do people not roundhouse kick their child when getting off the bike?" :} Torben has about 7lbs of growth before we hit that point.

From: [identity profile] mrcairo.livejournal.com


I assume that you also have Torben wear a helmet while he's on the bicycle. "for his own safety."

From: [identity profile] mrcairo.livejournal.com


Pictures would be fascinating to see.

there are some increasingly lovely options for electric-assist, which apparently
would work very well in the bay area. I've been doing some research on this for my own purposes, but I can give you some lovely options via IM if you like.
ivy: (grey hand-drawn crow)

From: [personal profile] ivy


I wore my ballerina tutu (aka "a slip") EVERYWHERE when I was a kid at a certain stage. Refused to take it off. So I have some sympathy for helmet-affinity Torben. [grin] Hooray for biking!
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