|Ferrying children around on a bike - as easy as ABC in|
(c) The Writing Well
*A recent article confirmed that it's actually safer to ferry your children around in a bakfiets (a carrier fixed to the front of the bike) than a child seat fixed to either the front or back of your bike. The reason for this is simple - if you are involved in an accident with a car whilst on your bike more often than not your head tends to meet the windscreen. In a bakfiets this won't happen. The other reason cited for it being safer than a child seat is because drivers notice a bakfiets more than child seats. It all makes sense to me when you think about it logically - with a bakfiets the centre of gravity is lower and it is therefore more stable.
With the imminent birth of our third baby I have thought about a fietskar (a child carrier in the form of a trailer that fits to the back of a bike) as getting about would be a lot easier by bike as the kids get a little bigger. It is safer than two children in seats on the front and back of my bike - particularly given my amateurish, shaky cycling skills. The downside of bike trailers or bakfiets is that they are not cheap!
For a bakfiets you can expect to part with more than a thousand of your hard earned euro - but it is a replacement for a car for many. A bike child seat will set you back anything from 50 to 100 euro depending on the model and the price for a trailer for your bike starts around 170 euro (but remember you need to buy accessories to attach your children safely in the trailer....) and rises easily to near 1000 euro.......
Do you cycle around with your children on your bike? Do you use child seats, a trailer of a bakfiets? Which form do you feel is safer? Did you transport your kids by bike before you moved to the Netherlands? I would love to hear your views!
*This article first appeared on my other blog, A Letter from the Netherlands in September 2011.