biking with kids: baby’s first bike ride!

Just before we took off for our summer travels, our front of the bike child seat arrived in the mail. Even though we had a day full of packing and cleaning on the agenda, I couldn’t leave for two months without having given this much anticipated item at least a test run. So we cleared a half hour in our schedule, mounted the iBert onto my bike, and took our daughter on her first bike ride ever.

And she loved it! She started our fussing with her bike helmet but as soon as we got moving, she forgot all about it and took in the sights and experience of riding along on mama’s bike. Even though I couldn’t see her face, I could hear her happy squeals and could tell that she was enjoying the ride by her body language.

T. and I each took turns riding the bike with the child seat on it to get a sense of how it feels (more on that below). We also took the following precautions for our first bike ride with baby on board:

- We rode on traffic free trails near our house for the most part to not worry about cars while just getting a feel for the new bike attachment.
– We plotted a short route in order to be able to turn around and get back home quickly in case C. didn’t like the bike seat and protested its use.

Baby's first bike ride! Papa and baby biking together

We had nothing to worry about: while C. didn’t like the trailer when we sat her in it, the snugger and more proper fit of the bike seat meant that she relaxed into it right away. She also accepted her bike helmet (and as parents will know, that’s something!). We got a Schwinn infant helmet because of its adjustability to different head sizes (rather than a one-size-fits-all helmet).

Like father, like daughter Baby's first bike ride!

A few notes on the logistics:

Readers recommended a number of bike seats that they were happy about so in the end we just had to make a decision and pick one (since there was no obvious favorite). It sounds like there are several brands out there worthy of purchase according to the recommendations of other cycling parents. We chose the iBert because it’s a front of the bike seat (which is what we preferred) and because it’s mountable on any type of bike frame, whether step-through, road bike, mixte, etc. Some bike seats I considered could only be mounted on a bike with a top tube. We have a number of bikes between us and wanted a seat that could easily go on either one of our daily commuter bikes or on any other bike in our garage if need be.

But while the iBert is advertised as a comfortable fit on any number of bike frames, it did not fit on my vintage Raleigh or my vintage Peugeot because the handlebar stem on both bikes was too short. That said, it could likely be fixed with the replacement of a longer handlebar stem.

We settled on using my mountain bike because the seat was a good fit for it and I liked the idea of larger tires and a more forgiving bike until I got more comfortable in riding with a baby.

Also, there is little room between the bike seat (for the adult) and the child seat, so mounting, dismounting, and standing while straddling the bike can be a bit tricky. It helped to practice with the seat on the bike before putting C. in it.

Handling the bike, however,  was easy and not adversely affected by having the child seat on it. I couldn’t feel any problems with steering and didn’t register the extra weight in any problematic way.

**

Overall, our first bike ride as a family was a lot of fun for everyone involved. Our daughter liked it and we were happy with how to iBert functioned on my bike. I cannot wait to get a lot more bike rides with C. once we return home. And I’ll be keeping an eye out for the opportunity to ride with her while in Europe now that we know that she did so well with the child seat at home.

**

Are you a cycling parent? Do you ride with your child in a bike seat or a bike trailer and want to share your tips, tricks, and favorite anecdotes about riding with kids? I’d love to hear from you

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About simplybike

{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
This entry was posted in Baby, Biking with Kids, Helmet Head, How-To Posts, Summer Cycling and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to biking with kids: baby’s first bike ride!

  1. Dorothy says:

    Yay! I’m happy that she liked it and that you finally got to share biking with her! Was there any particular reason you preferred a front-mounted seat?

  2. I completely understand your eagerness to try the seat. That’s what I felt like all weekend — I found an iBert on Craigslist, but still need to get him a helmet. I went ahead and installed it and sat him in it though. He seemed to like it, so once we have the helmet, we’ll be ready to roll :)

  3. anniebikes says:

    Hey, lookey there, little C. is grabbing your handlebar. Those last two photos are precious.

  4. So glad you are starting baby C young! I love the idea of your family bike rides. :)

  5. Kara says:

    I love this! C has so many memorable rides to look forward to in the future. I love how happy she looks. She is right at home on two wheels.

  6. Sue says:

    Happy to see baby C on a bike seat and that she enjoyed her first ride.

    I also saw this today and thought of you… Enjoy.

    http://vimeo.com/43758455

  7. David Blake says:

    Very charming pictures indeed.I specially like the front baby seat.
    kids bike

  8. Linnea says:

    Question for you:
    My only bike these days is a mixte frame, and I’m 5’5″, average leg/torso for my height. A friend gave us a “Weeride kangaroo” seat, which I like in theory because of the sleep platform it has. But it takes up so much space between the saddle and the handlebars I can’t comfortably reach over our daughter to hold on/steer. How do you find the iBert works with your mixte frame? I’m wondering if maybe, with either seat, I just need to switch to a longer handlebar stem so I can have a more upright riding posture. Any thoughts for me?

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  11. Olivia says:

    I know this is from a long time ago but this picture came up on google images! I am interested in the iBert seat. My daughter is 6 mo old and I am not sure if it’ll work quite yet. How old is your daughter in this picture?

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