Monday 24 August 2009

Bikes for fathers

Judy asked these two if they would mind posing for a photo a few days ago in the centre of the city.

The bike is what is known as a "vaderfiets" - "Dad's Bike". The concept is quite simple - it's a practical bike, with an extra seat fitted for riding with your children and pegs for their feet to rest on. How wonderful is that ?

The cover on the front wheel is of hard plastic and intended to stop small feet getting into trouble with the spokes. These are not after-market adaptions, but come as standard with a vaderfiets. As the advertising slogan has it, with one of these bikes "every day is father's day"

And what's so special about this ? Well, it says a lot about what cycling is about over here. It's not only an activity for young sporty people on their own, but also something you do in the centre of the city with your children.

Cycling has to be extremely attractive in order that people will want to ride like this with their children. A very high degree of subjective safety is required to make it normal.


Mark W. said...

What a great picture to start a Monday morning with!
When I looked again I saw the child has no back support but that doesn't seem necessary from the age of 3 and up.
To have the seat this way the weight of the child doesn't interfere with steering. And your child is far enough to the back to be out of the way of the handlebars while you turn.
Perfect for a little father-son bonding!

DrMekon said...

Didn't sparta make the first long-carrier motherbike too?

Nipper said...

Great Bike.I have two little ones and have been taking them out one at a time on a trailer bike. This week I got a two seater buggy trailer so I can take them both out. I have to say I am only really happy to pull them on separated paths and very, very quiet roads, indeed to get safely around Taunton I have to ride on a couple of pavements... As you say this is subjective safety, but I really want to feel some separation from the cars when I'm pulling a trailer carrying my children.

In Taunton most car drivers seem to think it is safe to pass very close to a cyclist and many are just not paying attention to bicycles. I am worried that they will not see the trailer and pull out or across too soon.

I am getting increasingly fed up with the lack of joined up cycle path... On Sustrans route 3 which passes through Taunton, I am directed to ride through a car park to get from the separated path in a park to the separated path along the river. Riding though a car park is not a good experience when I am on my own, but when towing children, it really feels very dangerous. It seems mad to direct people to cycle through a car park!

I have to say my children love the trailer and think it the best way to travel. We have been on a couple of longer rides down the canal path and had a great time.


xxxxxxx said...

I will have to forward this to my brother who has been looking for a seat for his son. The foot rests are cute.

David Hembrow said...

David: The child seat isn't an aftermarket part that you can buy and fit to another bike, it's an integral part of the design of this bike. That's what is so special about it.