Tips for safe cycling with children
Not least because of the high fuel prices, more and more families saddle up their bikes in summer to tackle larger or smaller nature exploration trips with their small children. But what is to be considered? Also read: Road safety education for children
Child seat or trailer?
There are two suitable means of transport for small children when they go on a bike tour with mum and dad. On the one hand, kids can ride in the child seat attached directly to the bike, on the other hand in the trailer. Both options have advantages and disadvantages in equal measure. You should therefore be aware of the length of the route before you start driving. The child seat is particularly suitable for short distances or city trips. For longer trips, on the other hand, the trailer is more suitable. Depending on the version, up to two little ones can sit here protected from the weather.
Child seat: Safety first
There are also a few things to consider when choosing a child bike seat. Like the trailer, it should have a seal of approval, correspond to the size of the offspring, have safety belts, have height-adjustable brackets and straps for the feet and a backrest as a headrest.
Trailer: Pay attention to payload and construction
With the trailer you should definitely pay attention to the payload, a stable construction, the interior equipment and the lighting. In addition, the permissible total weight – a maximum of 40 kilograms for an unbraked trailer, a maximum of 80 kilograms for a car with its own brakes – must not be exceeded. There are also applicable rules for size: two meters long, one meter wide and 1.40 meters high are the maximum dimensions here. A solid frame, a roll bar that can take a beating, and weather protection as a structure with enough headroom are a matter of course. And with wheel covers you can prevent the little ones from grabbing the spokes.
Trailer and cargo bike
Trailers are rods with which the children’s bike is attached to the bike. So the child can simply stop pedaling and is pulled along. Cargo bikes are becoming increasingly popular, especially in big cities. You can not only transport the children in it, but also the shopping or packages and save yourself the search for a parking space. However, the children only sit in the load basket without security. Therefore, the kids should at least wear a bicycle helmet here. This should be customized.
The birth preparation
Draft horse must be roadworthy
What’s the point if you place the dwarves safely and well, but make do with an old, maybe even rusty, bike. Of course, the draft horse must meet the requirements of road traffic. These include effective brakes, intact lighting, good tyres, spokes and fenders that have not seen any rust, solid chain links including chain cover, a permanently mounted steering and saddle, tools, a tube repair kit and spare bulbs.
Important: good lighting
The lighting of the appendage is particularly important: two white reflectors at the front, two at the rear that glow red and a red, battery-powered tail light on the left. On the side, yellow reflectors or reflective material on the sidewalls of the tires ensure conspicuousness in poor visibility.
Riding a bike needs to be learned
For a child seat or a team, you have to shell out around 100 euros to a good 500 euros. No matter how you take the rascals in tow, buckle up and helmet are mandatory. When buying a helmet, just like when buying a seat or trailer, it is advisable to take the child with you. After all, what good is a well-tested protective headgear if the dwarf refuses to put it on, for example because it pinches or wobbles, or simply doesn’t like it. When buying the cap, you should also make sure that the forehead, temples and back of the head are covered. It should also be remembered that a child seat or trailer fits the bike. And: You should be clear about one thing: With a child seat or trailer, the handling, stability and center of gravity changes. Therefore, driving should be practiced on safe terrain.