Riding your bike with a baby

It’s true that Vietnam traffic conditions don’t seem to be the best for parents to combine their passion for cycling and the love for their children. But there are a few places in Ho Chi Minh City where this is possible, where traffic is not heavy and roads are ready for you to bring your child along on your bike, like Phu My Hung or District 2. All parents who love cycling will want to share their experience with their son or daughter as early as possible, but for that there are a few security concerns that you have to consider: age, helmets and seats.

Credit: University of Minesotta
Credit: University of Minesotta

Most experts agree that you shouldn’t put a baby younger than 9 months on a bicycle with you. From 9 months to 3 years old they can go with you on a special bike seat. As for helmets, we see a lot of Vietnamese who refuse to put a helmet on their children when they travel with them by motorbike. Many do it simply because the Police won’t punish a child for not wearing a helmet but others fear that it will be bad for their spine to put too much weight. There are special bicycle and motorcycle helmets for toddlers, so there is no excuse not to use them.

When it comes to the seat, yothere are two options: the seat that goes on the handle bar and the one that is attached to the rack, behind you.

Advantages of the front-mounted seats

  • You can see your baby all the time, which gives you peace of mind
  • You can react quickly if something happens
  • You can communicate better and share you experience

Advantages of rear-mounted seats

  • If you fall, you are not as likely to do it on your child
  • He will be less exposed to dust, flying debris or insects
  • Usually bigger children fit better
  • You will always have enough room for your legs as you pedal, which will help you keep balance and avoid falling.
  • There is no risk that your vision will be blocked.

Both options are valid, you just have to consider advantages and disadvantages. Be safe and enjoy together!

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