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Father and child on a bike

(33 Posts)
piprabbit Wed 03-Aug-11 20:45:19

Saw a father and his beautiful little DD (probably about 18 months old) riding along a busy road today.

The father was holding the child on his right hip and neither were wearing any form of helmet or protective gear.

He was whizzing along and decided to turn right across a mini roundabout just in front of me (I was driving). Of course he couldn't indicate his intention to turn right (what with having to hold his DD), nor did he look over his shoulder to see who was behind him, he just pedalled even harder and swooped across my lane and straight across the junction.

AIBU to think that he should have walked, carrying the toddler and pushing the bike instead of riding like a loon.

LineRunner Wed 03-Aug-11 20:48:15

But he might have been a hurry to get to the 'family area' at Wetherspoons.

birdofthenorth Wed 03-Aug-11 20:53:23

Shocking! I read the thread title & thought you were just going to moan about toddler seats on adult bikes (I have no particular view but the debate is s bit tired!). No seat, no helmet, on your hip, busy road, not indicating, 18 months -that's a whole other matter! Yanbu, obv

GotArt Wed 03-Aug-11 20:54:17

Good grief! He should've left the bike at home.

grin LineRunner

Mitmoo Wed 03-Aug-11 20:55:32

Get a helmet for the little one at least What a bottomburp!

piprabbit Wed 03-Aug-11 20:56:51

She was in a lovely frilly sleeveless summer frock - and all I could think about was the damage hitting the tarmac would do.

Mitmoo Wed 03-Aug-11 21:19:25

Stupid man!!

TakeMeDrunkImHome Wed 03-Aug-11 21:21:55

What an idiot. People like this make me really angry. If he wants to risk his own safety and potentially his own life then jog on, he's an adult, at least protect the child.

nojustificationneeded Wed 03-Aug-11 21:31:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

piprabbit Wed 03-Aug-11 21:33:35

Some people just seem to be oblivious to the risks. sad

QuintessentialShadows Wed 03-Aug-11 21:37:20

I once saw a man whizzing down the slopes on skis, holding a baby in the same manner. I really hoped some of the more frivolous snowboarders would not crash into them, in the same manner as some of them opted to JUMP over the kiddies teddy track (for slides and toddlers learning to ski)

I think your biking loonie was possibly a tad worse.

wellwisher Wed 03-Aug-11 23:08:18

I wouldn't do it but you see it all the time in poorer countries (Mexico and India spring to mind) - babies balanced on bike handlebars, whole families wedged onto mopeds without a helmet between them. Yes, there are accidents, but most people seem to survive to adulthood without death or serious injury.

givemushypeasachance Wed 03-Aug-11 23:22:40

It doesn't sound terribly safe behaviour - either the method of carrying the child or the basic cutting across lanes. But I will chip in my two 2p of cycling not actually being a bloodsport - what sort of protective gear would you expect someone (or a child passenger) to be wearing other than a helmet - which isn't compulsory anyway? Cycling is a method of transportation, and one that 999 times out of 1000 will get to your destination without you needing medical treatment - just like using a car or walking also comes with tiny risks. The false impression that bikes are only for children to play on and then mid-life crises men in lycra and that you should be wearing special protective gear before you touch a handlebar just puts people off an activity that is beneficial to their health and that is a cheap, reliable and environmentally friendly form of transport.

That's not to say that I wouldn't wear a helmet (I do) or that I wouldn't recommend that other people do too, as well as having a bit of road sense and not being a dick and cutting across lanes. There were several safer ways to do what he was doing, but carrying a child on a bike is not in itself a reckless and borderline criminally dangerous activity.

And if you want to see how other countries do it, try looking at this collection of photos from Amsterdam. They quite often transport their entire family on one bike and there's not a helmet to be seen!

catpark Wed 03-Aug-11 23:30:01

What I hate seeing is parents with those trailer things attached to the bikes with their babies/toddlers in them. Fine if your cycling down a country lane, but not on a main road with cars doing 40/50MPH !

kirsty75005 Thu 04-Aug-11 07:53:17

@givemushypeasachance I'm also a cyclist and believe that people often massively overestimate the risks of cycling, especially with little ones.

But this wasn't "not terribly safe" behaviour it was "criminally irresponsible" behaviour. The equivalent for a car would be transporting a toddler without any kind of restraint in an unstable car with no brakes and defective steering and cutting other road users up whilst doing so. It gets cyclists a bad name.

@catpark. I understand your feeling - I wouldn't dare use one of those traillers myself - but the studies that have been done of them (which admittedly are few and far between) found them to be surprisingly safe, and my feeling is just that- a feeling.

levantine Thu 04-Aug-11 08:07:48

But givemushypeasachance you can cycle pretty much the whole of the Netherlands on dedicated cycle paths, where the greatest danger would be a stone or something in the wrong place. Very different scenario to the one the OP described

Northernlurker Thu 04-Aug-11 08:15:15

I cycle with my dd. I use a seat and a helmet for both of us so very different from the chap in the OP. I wouldn't be happy to see my child carried in that way but I agree with givemushy that cycling is not as 'lethal' an activity as it is portrayed and people do over-react massively to the sight of dcs cycling.

Pseudo341 Thu 04-Aug-11 08:16:05

wellwisher, I think you'll find a lot of people in places like India do not live to adulthood for exactly those reasons, there are huge numbers of fatalitities.

As a one off in an emergency I could understand it but you'd think he'd be cycling more slowly and carefully, unless he was rushing her to hospital? Defiitely should have had a child seat IMO.

niceguy2 Thu 04-Aug-11 08:50:47

What wellwisher said! Yes there are risks. There are always risks but you have to balance that against reward.

I'm not saying he was right, i wouldn't have done it but having been to developing countries you have to start thinking that we as a nation are overly paranoid.

One of the best examples I can give was whilst I was there in Bangalore, the government announced a new law that all motorbike drivers must wear helmets. I remember thinking "I can't see how that would work!

Sure enough on the day, motorcyclists wore helmets. They didn't fasten them but they wore them. Their wife sat behind him didn't wear one as she wasn't the driver. The son sat inbetween them didn't wear one either. Nor the little daughter who was perched on the handlebars! But hey....he was legal!

ragged Thu 04-Aug-11 09:06:28

I agree with you OP, but I also agree a lot with what Wellwisher & Niceguy said, I wouldn't rate the value of a helmet too much (I use a helmet but I don't expect a huge amount out of it).

Poshbaggirl Thu 04-Aug-11 09:11:30

You're being judgey. You dont know why he was doing this. At least he took the child with him. If he'd left the child home alone he'd have been a cyclist that you wouldnt have given a second thought to. Of course it doesnt look quite right, but you just dont know the circumstances!

givemushypeasachance Thu 04-Aug-11 10:36:26

I'm not saying what this guy was doing was right - he was clearly being a dick, and should be given a slap and told to cycle properly. My comments were mostly getting in first before anyone came along and started saying how dangerous it is for kids to be transported on bikes full stop, and how there should be a law against childseats/tag alongs, "won't somebody think of the children"...

Poshbaggirl - so what if he had left the child at home? The whole point was that in this case he was being reckless with his child as well as his own neck - if he was just being stupid and risking himself then it would be another matter entirely.

Iggly Thu 04-Aug-11 10:53:10

givemushypeas - would you drive a car without a seat belt on?

At least have the child properly restrained. I don't have a problem with kids on bikes but at least take some precautions.

givemushypeasachance Thu 04-Aug-11 11:02:16

I never said that in this particular instance what the guy was doing was okay - I think it is bloody dangerous to cycle along carrying anything in one arm, even a cup of coffee let alone a child! You need two hands to have proper control of your bike.

All I have said is that carrying children on bikes (in a child seat or a tag along or a cargobike bucket) should not be considered an inherently dangerous activity. Too many people go "ooh, isn't that dangerous?" at the idea of an able bodied adult cycling on the road, and hoist their judgey pants up high at the idea of sticking a child on there as well.

piprabbit Thu 04-Aug-11 11:03:30

I love the excuses for his recklessness and yes, I am being judgey. I avoid judging most of the time - but every now and then I can't help myself.

FWIW he was heading away from the local hospital so didn't appear to be seeking urgent medical attention.

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