Friday, February 22, 2008

Kid trailers, bike seats and dirty diapers.....

Well, my grandson Caleb is almost a year and half old now and I think that’s plenty old enough to ride with grandpa on the local bike trail. I have a couple of concerns though before I head down that path. (literally and figuratively speaking)

First, how safe are the trailer things? What about the bike seats? Do kids need a helmet when in the trailer like they do on the seat? What separates a $100 trailer from a $400 trailer?
Surprisingly, Google generates very little information on this topic although I did find one site that had some good info.

So, after reading everything I could find, it looks like the trailer is the best bet. Even if only because I can put toys and books back there to keep him occupied. And when he’s not riding I can fill it with beer and chips to survive the longer rides.

The question then becomes, which one? There are at least a dozen brands out there and finding a site with information comparing one to the other was tough. The sites I did find tended to compare them based on the marketing literature put out by the manufacturers.

So, after much digging and reading, I’ve narrowed the search based on a couple of key features (all related to safety obviously)
- The hitch where it attaches to the bike must pivot. This is so that in the rare case where I fall over, the trailer will stay upright
- The cover should allow protection from sun, wind and rain – not that his mom would ever let me actually take the little guy out in the rain, but the wind and sun protection are important
- Roll bar – again, in the case of a tipover
- Harness – it looks like there are various methods offered for containing the kid and since the mom says duct tape isn’t a viable offering, I need to look at those
- Ability to convert to a stroller. Not sure this is important but would be a nice option.

I think that’s it as far as key points. Now it’s a matter of shopping and seeing which one I can get the best deal on.

The second and last issue I have with the whole "take the little guy for a ride" thing is, that as the grandpa, I have resolved to not change diapers.
I know I know…you’re saying but why? Well, cuz I’m the grandpa dammit! I don’t have to.
I explained to the two people that Caleb lives with that I've done the parent thing already and as the grandpa, it was my right to enjoy my grandson, spoil him rotten, feed him stuff that’s bad for him and then give him back when he smells bad or acts fussy.

Obviously, if I have him for any length of time, this is going to come in to play. And, seeing as I don’t have a staff of nannies (or au pairs for the snooty people), I’m going to have to work it out so I leave right after a diaper change and return just before the next one…..these things do come with a schedule right?

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