Dads on Bikes Series: Jeremy Gamm
We use a Chariot Cougar Trailer
What added precautions do you take when transporting a child? (How do you keep your child safe and what do you avoid?)
We tend to ride trails more than we normally would. Riding on the road has not changed much since hauling our daughter. We have always tended to ride on the less traveled roads anyway. We have not taken her out on any highways yet and more than likely will not until she is on a trail-a-bike in the future.
What is one thing you would like to see different about bike safety/transport in general that would make you feel safer transporting your child via bicycle?
I wish law enforcement would enforce the full lane rule that was passed this year so fewer drivers would get too close to you. For the most part drivers do give you more room when hauling a kid trailer than when riding by yourself.
Have you ever had any close calls while biking with your child? If so, what happened and what was the outcome? Were you fearful to ride with your child again? How did you overcome?
So far we have not had any close calls while hauling her; hopefully it will stay that way.
What are tips/suggestions you have for starting a bike riding routine with your child?
Start out with shorter distances and make it a fun trip for your child. Like a short trip to a playground or to get a treat. Gradually you can add more distance if they end up liking it.
For people wanting to incorporate children into bike riding, what products/accessories would you recommend for a parent and their child?
We have a Chariot Cougar trailer which is really nice because it has a suspension and more comfortable seats than our old Burley did. Unfortunately she will not keep her helmet on in the trailer despite the cutout for a helmet being built into the trailer seat. I would highly recommend it to people who ride a lot and want their child to be more comfortable. In the future we plan to pick up a Wee-hoo trail-a-bike which is more like a recumbent than a standard tow behind bike. We would prefer this in case she gets tired and wants to nap.
What are tips/suggestions that you have for teaching your child to learn to ride on their own?
She is only 21 months old so has not done much riding on her own, but we do have a Strider Bike that she has tried a few times. A Strider bike has no pedals or training wheels so they push with their feet and learn how to balance without pedals first. At some point I plan to find a nice little hill to push her down to get started, but will wait until she is a little older.
What do you enjoy most about including your child/children in terms of bike riding?
I really like to ride my bike and my daughter loves to ride in the trailer so really it is a win win. She also tends to get car sick a lot, but has never gotten sick in the trailer which is also a bonus. Parking is a lot easier on a bike in Iowa City as well. Believe it or not I like to hang out with her so it’s just a good excuse to spend time together.