Family Biking: Reassuring relatives about biking with baby

A popular way to bike with baby: car seat in a bakfiets.

(Photos: Madi Carlson)

How do you handle well-meaning concerns about biking with little ones?

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

This can be a tough topic, so I’d love to hear from you about successful conversations you’ve had with friends and relatives. I’m specifically interested in what you’ve said for biking with a new baby, but I think it’d be just as useful to hear talking points for any age. Have you calmed concerns about biking with kids, or even about your own adult biking? Even if you haven’t had to tackle this maybe you have an idea you’d like to share in the comments.

As I shared in my post about 10 years of carrying my kids by bike, I didn’t start biking with my first son until he was one year old. So by the time I put my second son on a bike at 10 weeks old I’d been at it for a couple years. Also, most of my relatives are in the Netherlands so they’re used to babies on bikes.

I first took to Twitter to ask for advice:


I got a lot of suggestions to talk statistics and data and while that sort of information speaks to me, I don’t think it’s the sort of thing that will sway someone trained to think babies belong in cars.

My favorite response was from @FBorgal in Canada:

I am fully expecting this eventually so am planning my strategies. So far it’s: asking what their fears are, asking why they don’t have those fears in a car, showing footage of cute kids riding in bikes, showing the routes I’d be taking (and how they’re pretty safe).

For wee babies (probably the hardest) I would just point out that they are in a car seat. Going roughly 20km/hr. Parents have no problem flying down a highway at 100 kph with their baby strapped in, why is this worse?

Have you had these conversations? If so, how’d it go? If not, what would you say?

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

We’re looking for people to profile. Get in touch if it sounds like fun to you. I’d especially like to feature families of color so please get in touch or ask friends of color who bike with their kids if they’re interested in sharing their stories. And as always, feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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