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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a young daughter and have never even considered putting her in on of those Burley-type trailers. It seems like it could be relatively safe on a bike path or MUT, but then I always figured she wouldn't really enjoy it much (I often see kids crying in those things). But I really think it's nuts to take these trailers out on busy streets with cars. And lately, with gas prices going up, I've been seeing it more. I drove to work today (first time in a while) and saw some guy riding down a very busy and fast four lane street (with little or no shoulder) towing a kid in a trailer. The trailer was sticking out into the lane and cars were backed up behind him and/or swerving around the guy. Now, if you get hit by a car from behind, you usually get thrown. A kid in a trailer will be run over and crushed, pure and simple. Obviously, I think it's perfectly fine for an adult to ride in traffic (I commute by bike 12 months per year), but I don't think it's fair to drag a kid into it, since they a) have little or no choice in the matter and b) stand much less chance of surviving an accident. Honestly, I don't even think it should be legal.
 

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oh come on ...

The guy dragging his baby through traffic has no other option? He's too poor not to subject his child to possibly being road kill. Yeah, blame it on the economy.

That's your fantasy. Here's mine: This guy doesn't want to grow the f- up and deal with the fact that he's a parent and that his kid is going to "interfere" with his ride.

He's hanging on to that pre-parent narcissism to the extent that he's willing to risk his kid's life.
 

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I would no more let my kid play in traffic than I would tow him into it. But on a low-traffic street with nice, wide, marked bike lanes, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I would never get into a situation where cars were backing up behind me. There has to be a better option for a safer route.
 

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The problem is it's not safe. We shouldn't have a society where the only option is getting in a car and driving. The bike lanes I rode on to school are gone. They widened the road just a little, eliminated the bike lanes, and made traffic lanes. They'll tell you, quite correctly, that it's legal for bikes to use the traffic lanes- it's just suicidal. The easiest fix would be to require five foot wide bike lanes (with no obstructions, no bottlenecks, no grates, no access hole covers, and no trenching) on all roads with 35MPH or higher speed limits. I guarantee you, if it's a requirement they'll find the money. If it's not, they'll say they're broke.
 

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California L33 said:
We shouldn't have a society where the only option is getting in a car and driving.
You are exactly right. Big oil and the Big three auto companies built the American suburbs like sh-t and now at $4/gal we are paying dearly for it. If it was viable to boycott poorly designed suburbs I would recommend it.
 

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If you saw me pulling my trailer in traffic, you probably didn't notice that it was full of groceries, not a kid.

Otherwise, I agree. I had to do it for about 1/4 mile with one of my kids (and an 8' wide shoulder), and I was paranoid as hell, sprinting for all my worth, just to get off that road. Luckily it wasn't busy at the time.
 

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SteelEDan said:
The guy dragging his baby through traffic has no other option? He's too poor not to subject his child to possibly being road kill. Yeah, blame it on the economy.

That's your fantasy. Here's mine: This guy doesn't want to grow the f- up and deal with the fact that he's a parent and that his kid is going to "interfere" with his ride.

He's hanging on to that pre-parent narcissism to the extent that he's willing to risk his kid's life.
Easy there, cowboy and hop off the assumption train.

PeanutButterBreath asked a hyopthetical, he wasn't talking about this particular guy, of which we really don't know anything. Maybe he is poor, maybe he's an idealist, maybe he's a fool. We don't know. Nor do we know that he doesn't want to grow up, as you so eloquently said.
 

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mohair_chair said:
I would no more let my kid play in traffic than I would tow him into it. But on a low-traffic street with nice, wide, marked bike lanes, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I would never get into a situation where cars were backing up behind me. There has to be a better option for a safer route.
I agree. I don't have a kid (and I'm not sure what age we're talking about here) but I have taken other people's kids (of various ages) on rides. It's really a case-by-case call.
 

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Just another reason people should pass a test before they become parents... regardless of who's at fault for the lack a bike lanes, it is extremely irresponsible of a parent to put their child at risk by having them in traffic....

Slightly off topic but there was a moron rollerblading down the street last week. He was holding a small infant....needless to say, neither was wearing a helmet either...
 

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Dave Hickey said:
Just another reason people should pass a test before they become parents... regardless of who's at fault for the lack a bike lanes, it is extremely irresponcible of a parent to put their child at risk by having them in traffic....

Slightly off topic but there was a moron rollerblading down the street last week. He was holding a small infant....needless to say, neither was wearing a helmet either...
My mother, a devout Catholic, always half-jokingly said that we should put birth control in the water and people should have to apply for the antidote for this very reason.
 

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Henry Chinaski said:
Honestly, I don't even think it should be legal.
It's already illegal to hit a cyclist with a car, I don't think more laws are the answer. More awareness is the answer.

MUT paths cross streets on a regular basis, one that I know of actually zig-zags across a busy 2-lane highway about 6-8 times within a 6-8 mile stretch which I consider more unsafe than just riding along the road as it tells the car/truck drivers that they have the priority. But I'm not trying to get all Forester-esk here.

At what point would you draw the line about where kids can be taken in trailers and where they can't? I personally have had more issues with car drivers on quiet neighborhood streets than I have had on major arterial roadways. My nearest bike "trail" and MUT integrates a small rail-to-trail with various city/county roads and crosses several heavily trafficed roads. If it was made illegal to take kids in bike trailers on various roads then people would be limited to just going back and forth on one short section of trail, and then be forced to load their bikes up on a car rack and drive to a trail/path and begin their back and forth ridette there.

On a personal note, I feel that the bike trailers are safer to use than those kid seats that put the kid up above the bikes rear wheel.

I don't know what the real answer is, but making it illegal to take kids in trailers isn't the answer in my opinion.

As a side note, this weekend I was at the local Home Depot and a guy rode up on his bicycle with his son in the trailer. The kid was asleep so the dad unhooked the trailer and took the kid and trailer into the store. When we left the store and started driving down the street there the dad was riding along a semi-busy road, seemed to be doing just fine.
 

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Did the Burley thing with my kid...

We did the Burley trailer thing with my kid when he was small (he's now 6 foot something and fourteen years old). You have to use common sense. Highways or busy urban setting? Not a chance. Bike trails or quiet neighborhood streets? Works well.

I accidently did a little crash testing with our Burley one day - I cut a corner a bit too close and clipped a wheel on the trailer, flipping it completely over on its roof. There is a reason why there are seat belts in Burley trailers....the little goofball was sitting there hanging from his straps, just grinning away.

We also did the trail-a-bike thing with Junior when he got a bit older. The little dude was a complete speed demon - egging Dad on for more speed. It was cool.
 

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It is not the cyclist's fault that it is "not safe" (in your estimation). If people drove responsibly, would you have a problem? I live in Europe, and you see kids on child bike seats, tagalongs, trailers--- you name it. It is not a problem. I have never seen anything in the media about a child injured in an accident.

I have a kid trailer--- my son loves it. I generally mountain bike on gravel trails, but have been known to use the road occasionally.



California L33 said:
The problem is it's not safe. We shouldn't have a society where the only option is getting in a car and driving. The bike lanes I rode on to school are gone. They widened the road just a little, eliminated the bike lanes, and made traffic lanes. They'll tell you, quite correctly, that it's legal for bikes to use the traffic lanes- it's just suicidal. The easiest fix would be to require five foot wide bike lanes (with no obstructions, no bottlenecks, no grates, no access hole covers, and no trenching) on all roads with 35MPH or higher speed limits. I guarantee you, if it's a requirement they'll find the money. If it's not, they'll say they're broke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
treebound said:
It's already illegal to hit a cyclist with a car, I don't think more laws are the answer. More awareness is the answer.

MUT paths cross streets on a regular basis, one that I know of actually zig-zags across a busy 2-lane highway about 6-8 times within a 6-8 mile stretch which I consider more unsafe than just riding along the road as it tells the car/truck drivers that they have the priority. But I'm not trying to get all Forester-esk here.

At what point would you draw the line about where kids can be taken in trailers and where they can't? I personally have had more issues with car drivers on quiet neighborhood streets than I have had on major arterial roadways. My nearest bike "trail" and MUT integrates a small rail-to-trail with various city/county roads and crosses several heavily trafficed roads. If it was made illegal to take kids in bike trailers on various roads then people would be limited to just going back and forth on one short section of trail, and then be forced to load their bikes up on a car rack and drive to a trail/path and begin their back and forth ridette there.

On a personal note, I feel that the bike trailers are safer to use than those kid seats that put the kid up above the bikes rear wheel.

I don't know what the real answer is, but making it illegal to take kids in trailers isn't the answer in my opinion.

As a side note, this weekend I was at the local Home Depot and a guy rode up on his bicycle with his son in the trailer. The kid was asleep so the dad unhooked the trailer and took the kid and trailer into the store. When we left the store and started driving down the street there the dad was riding along a semi-busy road, seemed to be doing just fine.
Your points about neighborhood streets and MUTs is why I personally won't put my kid in a trailer, period. I do agree that trailers are generally safer than the bike-mounted kid seats. Regarding making a law, maybe it's extreme. I just thought that someone towing their kid on a four lane road with no shoulder with cars whizzing by at 40+ mph was insane.
 

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New_World_Man said:
........ Big oil and the Big three auto companies built the American suburbs ..........
Wow - I was not aware of this.

Are you sure the NFL, NBA and MLB aren't in on the conspiracy too? That's where all the macho guys watch commercials forcing them to buy "Hemi's" and such, which need all that gas and wide streets to drive on.
 

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I trust you have never been to India or anywhere in Asia, for that matter.

Dave Hickey said:
Just another reason people should pass a test before they become parents... regardless of who's at fault for the lack a bike lanes, it is extremely irresponcible of a parent to put their child at risk by having them in traffic....

Slightly off topic but there was a moron rollerblading down the street last week. He was holding a small infant....needless to say, neither was wearing a helmet either...
 

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What kind of double standard is this? If you would bike solo on the road, it must be "safe"---- why is it suddenly insane because there is a child trailer? I am just raising the principle at work. If it is too dangerous for a trailer, it should be avoided by all bikes, right?


(In full disclosure, I adhere to this double standard myself--- and avoid "crazy" roads. It is not that difficult to find alternate, safer routes. But it bothers me that I do this.)

Henry Chinaski said:
Your points about neighborhood streets and MUTs is why I personally won't put my kid in a trailer, period. I do agree that trailers are generally safer than the bike-mounted kid seats. Regarding making a law, maybe it's extreme. I just thought that someone towing their kid on a four lane road with no shoulder with cars whizzing by at 40+ mph was insane.
 
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