Baby on My Bike

Well. It’s been a while. I have a very good, very adorable reason. But I’m back! I don’t know if I’m back consistently because divining the future is not one of my superpowers.

Anyway, I am here to tell you all about the saga of getting my Adorable Reason on the bike with me. Since Her arrival into my life, I have not ridden my bike very much. While we shared one corporeal entity, I had some issues so I was not allowed to ride my bike. The medical profession can be very, very mean. After our corporeal entities split, there were other issues, like the fact that there was this new human being who was completely dependent on me for survival. Seriously, who knew?

She has had her own corporeal existence for the entire time that it takes the earth to rotate around the sun and She is very keen to establish that actually She doesn’t need me for very much at all. Except for bringing that favourite toy to Her because She’s too lazy to crawl the whole distance. Or feeding Her yoghurt because She loves yoghurt but is not yet competent with a spoon, and knows I am Her servant so She just opens up Her mouth and waits, and I, mug that I am, dutifully spoon in yoghurt (although not always at a rate that satisfies Her greed). Or sleeping. She needs quite a bit of help sleeping.

Mmm sleep. Sweet friend whom I have not visited as much as I would like. We will meet again one day.

Once I was recovered from the cleaving apart of our bodies, I wanted Baby on the bike with me. I wanted to ride places, like I had in The Time Before. I pictured us blissfully doing our groceries and attending mothers group and playgroup, all by means of bike. I wanted to make us both reflective clothing. But – woe! – I learned that it’s not wise to haul a baby on the bike when she’s a little infant because, actually, they’re really quite fragile and wobbly jelly blob like things and now that I was a mother I discovered I had a fear of EVERYTHING endangering Her and a simultaneous nervousness that I was being terribly irresponsible ALL OF THE TIME, so I parked my blissful imaginings and awaited the arrival of that happy time When She Could Hold Her Own Head Up All By Herself Like A Genius Super Baby.

During pregnancy, I researched and coveted this pram bike things.

But you cannot get them in Australia. Nope.

Here’s a good summary of the options available, in Australia (and elsewhere too) for how to carry your own Adorable Reason on the bike with you. I went back and forth about cargo bikes (SO MUCH WANT), baby bike seats or trailer. I settled on the idea that I WANTED a box cargo bike (oh so very much) but it was overkill for the time being, so I was really just oscillating (or more accurately vacillating) between baby bike seat and trailer.

We eventually settled on a Wee Ride. Partially, friend’s recommendation; partially, succumbing to the marketing spiel. I love the idea that She would be in front of me and in my arms while riding, and that the mount of the Wee Ride is between the handlebar and the seat, so better centre of gravity and less effect on steering. Other front seats are mounted on the handlebar stem, which means they would affect steering. I read everything on the internet and watched a gazillion Youtube videos about the Wee Ride. This is research in the internet age.

There was some drama but in short, while the Wee Ride would fit on one of my bikes (a Trek Belleville ) and on my partner’s bike, neither of us could actually get on our bikes because there was not enough room to stand over the top tube with the seat in the middle. Some people had reported this as a problem, but it was reported as hitting the seat (and hence your baby) with your stomach. It was a bit more extreme for us: not being able to get onto the seat at all. For me, the mounting bar created a horizontal top tube that I simply could not stand over.

We decided to consider back seats. (Although I admit to having a moment of going, To hell with the expense and the overkill nature of a box bike, let’s just get a box bike!)

I set off to the bike shop again. The internet had let me down so now I wanted to explore my options with a real live person. Sadly, though the dude at my bike shop was most helpful, he was relying on the internet for information. He himself had never ridden a bike with a baby seat. I had done a little bit of reading. After inspecting all the available seats they had, and reading information on the internet with the bike shop dude, I left with a Bobike One Maxi seat. The bike shop was very happy for me to try it out and simply return it if it was not suitable. I left with a huge box* and a cheery, “Let’s hope you don’t see me again today!”

And they didn’t.

But mostly because it was a hot and windy day, and our desire to do anything remotely active or brain taxing melted away. Later, Partner did instal the bike seat on my bike and I rode away happily (Baby was asleep so she did not get to test ride it). All was well with the seat; it was not noticeable without a baby in it. We had a test ride with baby a few days later and it simply felt like riding with fully loaded panniers. Minor adjustment to riding style had to occur, like go more slowly and slow down quite a bit more when taking corners, but that was no different to riding a fully loaded touring bike and something I wanted to do while I was toting around my Adorable, but still fragile, Reason.
*I’ve yet to give the cardboard box to Baby, but I think She will like it.

Yay! We are cycling now!

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6 Comments

  1. horray for bike babies! Laurie was in a bike seat just like that one until he got too big… then onto a tag along until he was riding decent distances himself at around 6. Now at almost 11 he’s a confident and competent rider. Good to start them young!

    Reply

  2. What a pity the Weeride didn’t work for you. We had one for both our kids from first ride at 7 months to squeezing in with knees near her ears at almost 4 years. 🙂
    I found it easier to swing a leg over the back, and have always wondered how one would do that with a rear mounted seat without kicking the wee passenger in the head. Anyway, whatever works and has you rolling is the best.
    Happy trails!

    Reply

      1. I caught up with a friend recently who had a Wee Ride, but I forgot to stare at how she mounted her bike with the seat on … we both spent a bit of time ooh-ing and aah-ing each other’s baby on bike set up! I do still feel a bit sad about the Wee Ride, but we both love the Bobike and she loves being on the bike now (whenever I open up the garage, she walks to the bike and stands there, waiting/demanding, even if we are not travelling by bike that day. On the weekend I had to take her for a spin around the block to avert a tantrum…)

        I just *knew* that I needed a cargo bike! One day … and also a folding bike.

  3. Woohoo! I’m glad you’re back on the bike again. My kids are adults now but I’ve still been rather excited by all the great cycling inventions for babies on the Internet. Sadly, as you’ve discovered, so many aren’t available in Australia and if you order them from overseas, you don’t get a chance to try them out. I drool over shots of the Netherlands and all their cargo bikes. Sigh. I see a lot more trailers carrying young ones in my area these days. I often wonder what it is like to tow them with a bike. I wish you many happy hours on two wheels with the Reason! 🙂

    Reply

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