DeeJay, I have no idea if lowered top tubes are voguish or not. The last time I was in fashion was 1983.
Sorry, B-C ... badly phrased ... I meant the idea of women still needing/wanting a lowered crossbar as a 'dignity aid'?
bikely-challenged wrote:Is this a mixte?
meic wrote:Wheras Firebird is joking,
In my case it is true that cycling does allow me to enjoy chocolate with impunity. Without the cycling the chocolate would see me wearing the 8 stone that she just lost.
In the last 2 weeks I have gained over 2kgs because I am cycling less in the bad weather.
Why don't more parents cycle with their babies or toddlers on the back of their bikes? I live in the overpopulated south of England and although I ride for two or three hours a day with my two-year-old daughter Molly strapped to her seat on my rear rack, months go by without me passing anyone else with a similar load. Were I in the Netherlands or Germany or Denmark I would be one of thousands sweeping along on two wheels with accompanying offspring. No one would bat an eyelid. But here I am treated like a rare species - the cause of much head-turning, pointing and smirking.
For Molly and I, travelling by bike is a normal, wonderful experience. Ever since she could hold her head up she has been planted in prime position on the back of my bike. During the early months, motorists might have been a little confused with our intended direction: Molly indicated right when we were turning left, or vice versa, more times than is healthy. But we always stayed upright.
So why don't more people do something that is easy, fun and costs so little? Judging from other parents' responses to me, it's because they don't have the confidence - they find the roads too dangerous and don't want to risk their child's safety - they don't have time, or they worry about their child getting wet and cold.
Wet and cold is good for a child - it makes them hardy. Pile on those layers and a pair of good waterproofs and sally forth in all weathers. Molly has been through freezing temperatures, torrential rain, hail, snow, buffeting winds and is yet to be ill. Nor have social services been on to me, so what I'm doing can't be that cruel.
There are, of course, those parents who would like to cycle with their small bundles of semaphoring joy but aren't confident enough riders to get the wheels turning. Confidence is all-important before you think about bunging a baby on board. I've cycled every day since I was 10, and have plenty of experience of how drivers react to cyclists and a good understanding of the rules of the road. Once you have attained that degree of trust in your ability, you can plant a baby on the bike. If you're worried about instability (in my experience, children do anything but keep still), practise cycling with a 15 kilo sack of potatoes - or better still a live cow.
The advantage of having a child attached directly on to your bike is that they are close to you: you can touch them, talk to them, show them things as you cycle along. And once they are a certain size (bigger than toddler, smaller than teenage) they can sit on a small seat in front of you on the top tube, cocooned in the relative safety zone of your arms and legs. This method is very popular in Japan and Holland and clear-screened farings are available that attach to the handlebars to keep off the worst of the wind and rain.
Another alternative is to tow a trailer. I have recently acquired a Molly-mobile - a sort of tent on wheels that even includes a boot to stash a lorryload of shopping. I have retained the child seat on the back so Molly now has a choice of seating area.
Naturally, being an articulated vehicle of considerable weight, we have slight haulage problems, in that we travel even slower than we used to. Luckily, along with taking delight in the painful slowness of the ascents, Molly also relishes the speed of the descents - top speed achieved so far is an eye-watering 36mph.
Rocketing downhill on a bike with a whooping infant is probably not the sort of advice you find in your average childcare manual - which is partly why it is so enjoyable. And when I reach the bottom of the hill it is sometimes quite a relief to find Molly still attached to her seat and not lost to the wind a mile back up the road. But for both of us, there is no better way to travel.