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help me make the arguments re: cycling with baby(58 posts)

help me make the arguments re: cycling with babyDougSloan
Jul 17, 2002 6:47 AM
Ok, I'm getting no sleep and hardly any riding in. I decided either to get a baby trailer or a Computrainer. Please help me make the arguments to my wife, in light of her objections.

Baby trailer

Cons: She fears crashes, bumps, speed, and he's "not ready" (at four weeks now). The cost is about $300. If the baby needs something while riding, the ride is done. It tends to be pretty hot here, even in the evening. I can't see the baby very well while riding. The workout is not ideal, being on the Milano and limited duration and no terrain change.

Pros: We live in a small gated neighborhood with pool table smooth new streets, almost no traffic, I'd use the very stable fat-tired Milano, and the trailers have anti-turn over designs and roll cages. There are good street lights everywhere. The baby might well enjoy the movement, and I get outside.


Cons: It's expensive, at around $1500, plus the use of a computer. I'd have to bring a bike in the house, or take the baby to the garage (and it's extremely hot out there in the summer). It might be a little noisy.

Pros: We have a spare bedroom right next to the baby room with a black rug I'd put the bike on to avoid messing up the carpet. I can watch the baby and stop and take care of him whenever necessary. I can get a better workout on this than on the Milano on our perfectly flat streets. No risk to baby.

I'm talking about doing workouts around 1 hour in the evenings, but possibly longer on weekends. The idea is to workout while at the same time watching the baby, so as to free up my wife to do other things. Any help or thoughts here? Thanks.

Have your monster-in-law move in....mlester
Jul 17, 2002 6:54 AM
only for the first couple of your wife can get into a routine...and you can duck out the house and get back to worked for a friend of mine, but he used his grandmother.

not a bad ideaDougSloan
Jul 17, 2002 7:04 AM
We discussed that this morning. However, her mother is 80 years old and has sleep apnea, which prevents her from being reliably alert and clear thinking. Might help, though.

I second that, takes a load off everybody, andrwbadley
Jul 17, 2002 7:07 AM
you know at four weeks baby is really a bit young for this. They really need to be able to hold their heads up before that trailer will be comfy, or even safe.

My thinking is if you want to get baby involved in athletics, take her swimming. At that age they are just out of the womb water, they still have auto reflex. Swimming is a great life long sport. We started our son at 3 months or less, and he is quite a fish. Tho' a big fish at 16 yrs.

Time goes by fast, and you will be back on the bike in no time.

Opt for the trainer, or Mom-in-law.
I second the trainer or mom-in-law.look271
Jul 17, 2002 9:41 AM
A bit risky to take a 4 week old out on a trailer. Doug, believe me, he will be walking before you know it and you'll be WISHING he couldn't =) Trainer sounds as good as it can be right now.
re: help me make the arguments re: cycling with babyMXL02
Jul 17, 2002 6:57 AM
Doug- I agree with your wife that the baby is too young for the trailer. So the trainer is, IMHO, the best option...why get the computrainer? Your option of riding a fat tired Milano says to me that your level of riding does not have to be that intense, so why not just get a regular trainer for $200-$300? Park it in front of the TV and watch the tour while you ride, and park the baby next to you. Its never too early to get them interested in your favorite sport! ;-)
Jul 17, 2002 8:47 AM
plus put HRM so you know you're not saging. TdF tapes make good company ;)
re: help me make the arguments re: cycling with babyBecky
Jul 17, 2002 6:58 AM
Baby in a trailer at 4 weeks?? That sounds kind of risky to me....aren't their skull bones still only partially fused and their necks very weak at this age? I'm no mom yet, but I think I'd wait awhile if it were my kid.
Doug, as a lawyer who does a fair amount of PI, I have a healthybill
Jul 17, 2002 6:58 AM
appreciation for under-diagnosed brain injuries. Maybe an overdeveloped appreciation, but I still would worry. I would not put a four-week-old in a trailer. As a matter of fact, I've read some stuff suggesting that before about 18 mos is too young.
Get the computrainer. When baby Sloan takes a nap, head for the garage with a monitor turned up loud. Have a party.
I still think that you eventually should get a trailer, but it's no way to train. It does, however, get everyone out of the house for awhile. My babies didn't stay happy in the trailer more than about 45 min- 1hr. On a good day. And you have to have a stop at a park or it's a total disaster. It's a very mixed bag.
Once the little one gets mobile, and then up on his feet, btw, even the computrainer party is likely going to be over for a little while. There is no rest, no peace. Treasure naptime. Do nothing to disturb him while sleeping.
my .02SteveO
Jul 17, 2002 7:00 AM
1. 4 weeks is WAY to young, imo (2 years is too young, imo). I (personally) could never forgive myself if something, otherwise avoidable, happend to my infant. It doesnt take much at that age.

2. Set of rollers is a whole lot cheaper than a computrainer.

3 (most importantly). Your child only grows once. Be careful not to forgo playing with them (ok, 4 weeks? bonding with them) for saddle-time.
Sloan will NOT settle for rollers (he already has them). Y'allbill
Jul 17, 2002 7:09 AM
dont get it -- he WANTS the Computrainer. And he should get it; the guy works hard, and he gets one life, and he should get what he wants.
But, yeah, I agree with you about everything else.
I think you are deludedPaulCL
Jul 17, 2002 7:01 AM
..if you think that either a computrainer/rollers/baby carriage are going to satisfy your desire to ride. Accept that as positive input from a father of three.

I have never been satisfied with riding indoors. Watching a baby while on a trainer?? Yeah right! Everytime your son cries, you'll have to get off. That ain't no workout! Buy the baby carriage, ride outside, enjoy the time - but don't think of it as a workout. Personally, I wouldn't ride on the roads with my child behind me - too dangerous. I agree with your wife. Ride on a bike path or sidewalks.

Here's my recommendation: Accept life as it is now. Right now, you can't ride as much. You will be able to ride more in the very near future. Yes, you'll lose fitness. In ten years you won't remember that epic century, but you will remember you and junior playing on the floor.

Just my $.02 Paul
NO TRAINERS when you can ride almost year-round...retro
Jul 17, 2002 7:02 AM
Jeez, the only reason to live in Fresno is because you can ride almost year-round there. Bag that trainer idea right away.
Actually we went through this twice, 20 and 16 years ago. That was before trailers were common, so our options were the rear-mounted baby seat or cranking on the mag trainer. That delayed the decision until the kids were old enough to hold up their heads, at least...
FWIW, our old pediatrician is an ultra-distance cyclist,and he's used trailers for both his kids from 4-6-8 weeks until they got old enough to ride one of those bolt-on kids' tandem things. They're about 10 and 7 now, and I see them all over town riding with Dad. The younger one has done several 50-mile rides on the back, and the 10-year-old rides his own bike. No fat kids in that family.
My vote, assuming the conditions you've described and a helmet even for a baby the size of a rutabaga, is for the trailer. It's more fun; it makes a father-son activity out of what would otherwise be an isolating experience and it edges him toward exercise as a participatory activity, rather than a chore to be gotten out of the way before you can go do something fun. But if you do decide on the trainer, why the hell do you have to spend $1500 on it? You can get just as good a workout on a $150 one.
Jul 17, 2002 7:02 AM
Honestly, I don't think the trailer's a great idea for a 4 week old baby, and I doubt you'd get much satisfaction out of that kind of ride. The C-trainer's expensive, but I suspect you can afford it (especially when balanced against vast psychotherapy bills if you don't get your cycling fix restored soon!) The noise should be minimal. Baby might even find it soothing.

You list cons as expense and noise. If your wife has no other objections, I think those are minor (in your case; I don't mean to minimize the expense to average folks). Unless there are other objections you haven't mentioned (and I suspect there may well be, such as paying FULL attention to baby) it seems the C-trainer is the way to go and a good solution.
just consider this season over early...shawndoggy
Jul 17, 2002 7:08 AM
Wake-up call man. I've read lots of your posts, and I know that you ride a lot and that it's important to you. Believe me, I know that balancing a family with a job and riding is VERY difficult (two kids here, 3 and 6). My solution, especially for the one hour workout you are proposing is (a) get a headlight and get up at 5 and go before the rest of the family is up, or (b) go at lunch. Option (a) is actually great right now (except for the fact that the sun comes up a little later every day) because it's warm in the mornings and you get to see the sun rise. No better way to start the day in my book. That said, neither of those solutions may work for you. I mean c'mon, you've got a new baby, and it's your first too, I believe. That's a huge life changing event for you AND for your wife. You've got to start looking at the world through a whole new lens... that of a father, then a husband, THEN maybe a cyclist. If you are going a little crazy because your life feels interrupted, your wife is probably going through the exact same thing. I can't imagine you are going to have too much success laying down a "honey I've just got to spend $300 or $1500 or else" ultimatum on her. After all, what are you doing to accomodate the transition for her!?

Your wife is right, four weeks is too young for a baby. How you gonna get the helmet on the baby? I mean don't they still have the soft spot in the top of their skull at that point (it's been a while for me)? The "roll" cage on any trailer does not reduce the need for a helmet on your child, anymore than airbags reduce the need for seatbelts, etc....

As far as the price goes, though, good news... go to Costco. Bell makes a Burley knockoff that's sold (exclusively I think) at Costco for about $150. 95% of the goodness of a burley at 50% of the price.

Computrainer?! What's wrong with a $20 treadmill mat from sears, a set of cheapo $200 rollers from Nashbar or Performance, and a TV remote? You don't need a computrainer to get a decent indoor workout (sure it would be nice, but do you NEED it? no way!). That's pretty much all I could do all winter (with occaisional lunch rides when the weather cooperated).

Finally, I'll say what I've said to several other griping new dads (and I was one too once) -- suck it up and deal. Your wife needs you to help with the transition to family more than you need to ride your bike.
I agree...DINOSAUR
Jul 17, 2002 7:29 AM
I'm going to have to agree with this post. I have elected to remain silent on all of the posts regarding balancing fatherhood and cycling. With parenthood comes sacrifice. This means that cycling will have to take a back burner in your life for awhile. It could mean that you might not be able to cycle for a couple of years and find some otherway to keep in shape.

You seem to act like you are the first guy in the planet who has ever had a child and had to give up doing something.

Yes, suck it up. My wife had a baby when she was 40 and I was 43. I gave up cycling completely and adjusted my schedule so I could take care of the baby in the morning. You will survive, it will be hard. I did it without the fanware of the internet or asking for advice. It's a no brainer.

Find another way to keep in shape for awhile, cycling will still be there. You might even enjoy it more the second time around.
true dat DINO!shawndoggy
Jul 17, 2002 7:38 AM
I'm actually on my second go round now, and in better shape than ever. I get up early, or I ride at lunch, or I commute, or I use the trainer, AND I thank my spouse profusely for accomodating me. In fact my wife is training for a marathon right now, so that means several evenings I watch the kids while she runs. We've got sort of a tag team arrangement going and it works great. On Daddy's twilight race night the kids are fed and bathed and tucked in by the time I get home. Not quite so on Mommy's run nights, but they have gotten a little better at the video games with me!

But I could never do it without the cooperation of my wife. And a lot of the time it means accomodating her too. But Sloan IS ABSOLUTELY FREAKIN' WACKED ON THIS ONE... I can't imagine telling a new mom that daddy can't help out right now because he needs to ride. I mean this isn't his job after all. It's as hard for her as it is for him.
have to agree with Dino and the others ...tarwheel
Jul 17, 2002 8:15 AM
You would never forgive yourself if something happened to your child. It's just not worth the risk at that age, and personally I wouldn't be comfortable until the child was at least 2. Like Dino, I gave up cycling completely when my child was born -- whicht I now think was a mistake. There are ways to continue cycling, but it is hard to continue at the level you ride. A trainer is one option, but the other suggestion to ride early in the morning or at night is another.
I second those thoughtsjtlmd
Jul 17, 2002 6:24 PM
Your baby and your wife are your first priority now. No matter what you end up choosing you'll be riding less. Pretty soon you'll realize that the time spent with you child is more rewarding anyway.
re: help me make the arguments re: cycling with babyWannabe
Jul 17, 2002 7:16 AM
With a son who turns 2 this week, I can relate.

The trailer is out IMO. Waaayyyy to young for the trailer. Your baby can't even sit up yet, much less be able to sit in a moving trailer. My son, in only the last month or two, has become comfortable in the trailer.

If those are your only two options, the trainer is the choice. But why spend the $1500? Especially if the trainer is not going to be a long time training change? Get the $200-$300 trainer and watch old cycling videos. That's what I do when I am relegated to the trainer.

Not to get you down or anything, but it was about 10 months before I even got back on my bike for any decent training. Now, at a week shy of 2, I'm riding more than I ever have (but doing less of some other things).

The wife is right, the baby is not ready.djg
Jul 17, 2002 7:20 AM
Less expensive trailers are fine when the kid is ready (I had good luck with a 150 buck Bell from Costco), but there are issues about head stability and brain development that you should discuss with your pediatrician before strapping an infant into a trailer, and I don't know anybody who recommends this in the first 6 months. Also, even in the long run, you should know that most kids (in my unscientific non survey experience) seem to enjoy this for a certain amount of time--45 minutes, ok; 3 hours, not so good. Still, within their limits they can be enjoyable for both child and parent and if you ride safe (and in safe places) the child can be pretty well protected--AL cage, 5-point harness, and a helmet seems good to me. My trailer never flipped, despite my daughter's best efforts to get it to do so (when she was 3).

Computrainer? Go ahead and make your pitch. How about rollers and a discman?

I've found commuting to be a good way to keep the riding up with family demands.

Look, I dunno if anybody explained this to you in advance (and if not, maybe you can get your money back), but the first weeks of a baby's life can be pretty brutal for the parents. It's unrealistic to expect otherwise. Suck it up, look forward to the future, and enjoy the cute moments that punctuate the frantic, exhuasted, stinky haze. Things do get better. Not easy, necessarily, but considerably better. Sleeping through the night is a huge milestone and it will happen. Really. Pretty soon if you're lucky, and before you know it in any case. Then life will seem way better and you'll be in a better position to figure out how to get your cycling in and not go crazy while meeting your new obligations.
Jul 17, 2002 4:41 PM
"Look, I dunno if anybody explained this to you in advance (and if not, maybe you can get your money back), but the first weeks of a baby's life can be pretty brutal for the parents. It's unrealistic to expect otherwise. Suck it up, look forward to the future, and enjoy the cute moments that punctuate the frantic, exhuasted, stinky haze. Things do get better. Not easy, necessarily, but considerably better. Sleeping through the night is a huge milestone and it will happen. Really. Pretty soon if you're lucky, and before you know it in any case. Then life will seem way better and you'll be in a better position to figure out how to get your cycling in and not go crazy while meeting your new obligations"

THAT needs to be on the front page of every baby-book in print(just substitute "life" for "cycling" in that last sentence. Well put!
Well thanks. Actually,djg
Jul 18, 2002 8:13 AM
I may have been a little hard on Mr. Sloan, who really does seem prepared to do at least what it takes, and then some.
Get both!ColnagoFE
Jul 17, 2002 7:38 AM
The baby trailer thing is a must have if you wanna ride. Just don't think you're gonna get the same quality of workouts with a trailer on back as when you're solo. Make sure the baby is old enough because they need to be able to support their own necks or it can be bad for them. You can generally fit a car seat in there and that helps some. Don't you have a trainer already? Computrainer would be nice, but it's definately not a must-have. Might cut the boredom factor somewhat.
Get him a paper route. Problem solved.AllisonHayes
Jul 17, 2002 7:48 AM
Pros: He is learning the value of a buck. He is out on his "mini" bike. You can help him fold the papers in the morning and join him on his route.

Cons: He becomes too independent. He is too good of a cyclist and embarrasses you on the sprints.

Seriously, he is too young to even consider. Secondly, your wife will be forever paranoid about something happening and would never forgive herself it it did.

In a short while, he will begin sleeping through the night. You will feel that someone from above has bestowed upon you a great gift. And it will seem like an eternity until that time occurs. Et fait pour avoir la rigeur les enfants.

Solution: Computrainer or maybe CycleFX. Harmony at home is far less expensive that what you would shell out here. Just ask RWBadley (that is R-dubbayaa, now that I think about it--kind of like George dubbayaa Bush).
California Law?PsyDoc
Jul 17, 2002 7:58 AM
I would check to see if there is a law in place about how old an infant can be prior to being placed in a trailer. I think in Georgia they have to be 8 months or a year before you can place them in a trailer. Bicycling...yeah, yeah, I know...tested a number of trailers and recommended the best; those that did not tip over, were comfy, roomy, and provided good ventilation. My wife is all for Sean riding in a trailer when he is old enough, but she cycles as well.
Give it some time, Doug...biknben
Jul 17, 2002 8:10 AM
Sorry to hear things aren't going well. Get that baby on a schedule and then work out the schedule with your wife. One sleeps while other handles the baby and vise-versa. I realize that it's not easy and sometimes hard but this needs to be priority one. Once you get a schedule going then you can work in the saddle time.

A trailer should be out of the question before 8 months or so. I have one. I got it when my daughter was about 10 months old. She couldn't handle all the bouncing around. She could keep her head up but eventually she would slump or lean badly and couldn't readjust on her own. I'd have to stop regularly to straighten her out. You'll get nothing more than a recovery ride out of it.

Damn expensive toy that you won't end up using a few months down the road.
Jul 17, 2002 8:29 AM
Ok, I'll go away and shut up. No trailer. I appreciate the advice.

To all those who assumed I've abdicated my responsibilities at home, just let me say that I've not worked a full day in a month, I've ridden about 15 hours total in that month, and I got 3 hours of intermittent sleep last night. My wife is not the slightest bit displeased with the participation. The whole point of the post, I thought, was to try to find a way to train in a way that frees her up and allows me to watch the baby, too, for only 1 hour several times a week, and maybe a bit longer one day a weekend. This isn't training for RAAM or anything of that sort, but fairly minimal.


Go with the monster-in-lawmlester
Jul 17, 2002 8:59 AM
or if you feel she may not work out, maybe someone else in the family or in your family. imo, it is the cheapest solution and also the most rewarding for everyone.

and lets be many of you actually remember bonding time with your parents when you were four months old??? give doug a break, he can sneak out to ride without hurting the lad's feelings....sheesh!

Only way I've found to fit riding inColnagoFE
Jul 17, 2002 9:02 AM
You gotta really schedule it like you do appointments at work. Sometimes 5am rides are the only option and then only for an hour--sometimes that isn't early enough. Forget trying to ride in evenings. You'll be too tired and your wife will need the help then. Make sure you schedule some "bike days". For instance an organized ride down the road or even a week long cycling vacation that your wife agrees to so you don't go crazy. It does get better. Before you know it your kid will be a teenager and want nothing to do with you. Cherish the time you have now.
Help help you...biknben
Jul 17, 2002 9:06 AM
Why is it that you're only getting 3 hours of sleep? I assumed you were working 12 hour days. Not working full days should allow you to get more sleep.

You shouldn't be forced to "Suck it up".

Here's an idea for that I use on weekends all the time: Take baby to grandma's house and ride from there while grandma watches him. You're wife will be thrilled since she'll have the house to herself. You'll get your ride. Grandmas never turn down a chance to see the little one.

I travel to my parents in the morning (1.5 hours). I go for a ride with a friend that lives near there. Grandma takes my daughter to the park and stuff. When I get back we all chill and stay for dinner. My wife considers it a day off. The next day she is rested and doesn't mind letting me going for another ride.

Don't let these disgruntled dads distract you. After my first was born I actually rode more. Now I race and do much more organized training. My second is just two weeks old. I've ridden each day since he was born. I had to cut back on the time but still maintained the intensity. My wife thinks I'm the best dad in the world.
I agree that the commitment to the baby should be balanced bybill
Jul 17, 2002 9:22 AM
commitment to yourself. Not a damn thing wrong with it and pretty healthy, if you ask me.
By commitment to baby and family, I don't necessarily mean hovering with maniacal intensity. I mean taking responsibility for baby's needs, and recognizing that the kid has two parents, of which you are one-half, and one daddy, of which you are it. It is very easy (and actively if unconsciously encouraged by many moms, regardless of what they say to the contrary) for dad to be the "helper" while mom is the "doer." You have to take responsibility as a doer. Then go ride your bike (within reason) lustily, with a clear conscience.
By the way, do as I say, not as I do. Balance is hard, and imperfect people (of which we all are) sometimes teeter.
that works fine assuming you have grandmas and mother in lawsColnagoFE
Jul 17, 2002 9:29 AM
when our first was born both of our mothers had died previously and the grandmothers also right around the same time. i do have a sister but she lives in another state so she was no help. those of you with relatives willing to help out are lucky. be thankful for them! it really helps to have someone that can take care of the baby once in a while. babysitters are expensive. the going rate in boulder is around $10/hour now which makes a evening out pretty expensive.
Help help you...shawndoggy
Jul 17, 2002 9:31 AM
Ben, when I said suck it up, what I was getting at is what you've clearly figured out -- that life post kids is different from life pre kids. Family needs to get balanced first (like what you've suggested about giving your wife a day off) in order to make time to ride, rather than thinking about it from the single guy (or married w/o kids) perspective of rides first, then family. Before kids there's generally plenty of time for both. Post kids, it's more difficult and the spouse needs to buy in (which yours clearly has).

Second kid, hey man that's a piece of cake. But remember being four weeks out with your first? Maybe it was easy for you, but for me (and I suspect quite a few others) it was a rude awakening to being TRULY responsible to someone else. Sleep deprivation, stress of learning how to parent, stress of a post-partum spouse who is healing and learning and tired along with you... it all adds up to a pretty stressful time. I remember thinking that the sleepless nights would NEVER END. Think about it, it's really not all that different from the tactics used to brainwash people... stress, lack of sleep, etc. And it really is a brainwashing for lots of us -- we emerge from being selfish men to caring fathers. Maybe it was easy for you, but not for me, I'll tell ya. Can't remember what life was like pre-kids, but I do remember that the transition was not easy.

So that's really all I meant by suck it up... get through the transition, THEN worry about riding bikes.

And for the record, this is coming from a guy who counts bike rides as a big part of his life... out there on the road where you can ride your troubles away and get right with the world.
wow, now that's helpful!!!DougSloan
Jul 17, 2002 9:53 AM
>Here's an idea for that I use on weekends all the time: Take baby to grandma's house and ride from there while grandma watches him. You're wife will be thrilled since she'll have the house to herself. You'll get your ride. Grandmas never turn down a chance to see the little one.

Wow. That's the best damn suggestion I've heard in a year. I called my wife, and she loves the idea, assuming grandma is up to it. I owe you big time.


wow, now that's helpful!!!Sruggle
Jul 17, 2002 12:14 PM
Doug as the Dad of a 10 month old I have been lucky enough to be a stay at home Dad and when my wife gets home she actually gets upset with me for not riding more. While I try to catch up on other stuff while she takes care of him. We have had him in a trailer for the past month and while that works good for around 5 miles if he starts to fuss it is not pretty when trying to get home with a crying baby. So with that in mind you can not go to far and he is by far to young to be in a trailer. I asked our Ped Dr. before using the trailer and she said at the time he was OK for it for height size and strenght etc. Your baby is number one now and yourself and wife take second place behind him. You think it is tough now wait until he is crawling and pulling everything you can imagine off tables and out of cabinets. Then it gets harder. You have to have a wife that wants you to go riding as she may need to understand that you need cool off time from baby, but knowing that baby is still number one to you and her. My wife said treat your riding like a job and make a set time for it and go. Trainer is not as easy as it seems. I ride a fluid one and while I am watching TDF tapes and cranking and getting off the bike to settle him may take 30 minutes or more. It is hard to set down with a baby while you are drenched in sweat and have a HR of 170. The baby will sense that and may not be to happy about that ether. The only trainer miles I did after a while was during nap time and watching the tapes with the baby moniter near by. Save your money do not buy the trainer.
Struggle on
Sorry but, you'll get no sympathygrandemamou
Jul 17, 2002 9:27 AM
from me. I'm on my second round of fatherhood. My youngest before the new baby is 11. My routine, wake up at 5 a.m. feed the baby do a 1 hr ride shower and off to work 6 days a week. Group ride every other Thurs. (compromise with the wifey) On Sat. group ride back home by 10:00 a.m.

It will get better to a point, but your time is no longer your own. My two oldest kids play sports year round. We all ride our bikes to practice. I do my ride, and meet them for the ride home. There is a way around it. You just have to work at it and compromise.
More advice, FWIW...MXL02
Jul 17, 2002 9:38 AM
As a father of two going 17 years, my opinion is that the best thing you can do for relationship with your family, wife and/or kids, is take care of your mental and physical health. Your goal of trying to see to your own health, whilst taking care of your family responsibilities is noble and in step with the times. Nothing but praise and "best of luck" from yours truly.
Coming in late, but.........Len J
Jul 17, 2002 5:11 PM

Sounds like your trying to find some way to do both, good for you. I'd go with the trainer (& knowing that you never let equipment get in the way, I won't try to talk you out of the computrainer ;-)).

Sounds like you know this, but when my kids were very young, I mistakinly thought there would be plenty of time, found out almost too late how quickly they grow. Believe me, it is more than worth the sacrifices you are making now. I'd give anything to have the first few years of my kids lives back. (I've always learned things the hard way).

Good luck with the trainer, I'd save the trailer until hes a little older, maybe a year.

Good Luck

Jul 17, 2002 8:31 PM
Yo Doug,

How old are you now, early 40's? Flip the clock ahead about 16 years and picture of some old guy trying to stay awake at night watching the late night news and trying to keep your eyes open because junior is out driving the family car and you are wondering if he will make it home safe and sound.

Your problems are just beginning...
now you tell me?DougSloan
Jul 18, 2002 5:30 AM
I'm beginning to realize that. Everyone parent who never said a word before is now coming out of the woodwork with their stories. I'd bet you are particularly worried, as you no doubt have seen lots of horrific things in your career.

I can only hope my son is not as bad as I was.

now you tell me?DINOSAUR
Jul 18, 2002 11:46 AM

I apologize for being so abasive with my post. Our 16 year old daughter is on a flight to Ukraine for a mission trip with our church and I was a bit on the nervous side (still am).

I think there must be something about the age 15 factor. But all-and-all I have 3 kids and they are the richness of my life. Just make sure to take a lot of photos and videos as they grow up very fast.

Hey, I taught my daughter how to drive and within the first 3 minutes of our first lesson she ran off the road and nailed a stop sign. Worrying about them driving by themselves is the hard part, I just hope all my rants got into her part Italian skull...learning to let go I'm still dealing with...

You will learn to balance fatherhood and cycling, you are just more confined to a schedule, but you will suceed.

Computrainer - I'm curious to see how well that works. (nm)Sintesi
Jul 17, 2002 9:05 AM
Great AdviceGK
Jul 17, 2002 10:51 AM
Probably just wasting bandwidth here, but I'll be in this same boat with birth #1 in a November. I really appreciated this thread, and I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one worrying about this.

Methinks the 5 AM ride is the probable course of action.

oh you little pup you.bill
Jul 17, 2002 11:49 AM
What makes you think that 5 a.m. is a dad's off time? The best is when babies get it all turned around and want to sleep all day and party all night. "Only" getting up at 5 a.m. is a blessing, then.
Things usually loosen up around two-three months or so, but babies get up early, and, I'm telling you, 5 a.m., particularly when you're not back home until 6 or 6:30, ain't safe. Can you imagine how it's going to be when you return all charged up from this cool sunrise ride and mom, who was up for the 2 a.m feeding, anyway, has been awake since the minute you opened the garage door on your way out? Not pretty. Not pretty at all.
How about 4 a.m.? Usually safe but not always.
Look, you're going to have to work it out with the wife. You get a little time, she gets a little time. Don't get greedy (or comfortable -- flexibility is key).
LOL...Thanks for the reality adjustment. (nm)GK
Jul 18, 2002 9:30 AM
re: help me make the arguments re: cycling with babyflying
Jul 17, 2002 11:15 AM
If you have good weather just get a light.
Ride at night or very early am
While baby & mom sleeps at home.
Car seat in the trailer?TypeOne
Jul 17, 2002 11:28 AM
I have thought of this as I near fatherhood in 2 months. People seem to think a person would toss a baby in the trailer loose, but I wondered if I could add extra pounds and safety by strapping the kid down in a good carseat or carrier, then resting it in the trailer. There may even be a way to secure the carseat inside the trailer somehow.

And to those who say "what if something happened?" I guess I would ride differently, and with a great deal more caution. I have been lucky so far, so let's hope the trend continues. Then again, if a car should strike and kill my child I would want to be on my bike because they might as well get me, too. Strange logic, no?
The problem is not necessarily rolling over or getting hit (whicbill
Jul 17, 2002 11:54 AM
which certainly could be problems, don't get me wrong). The problem is that, on a good day, those things have little wheels and no suspension and they are little cement mixers. Babies' brains are particularly delicate (ever hear of "shaken baby syndrome"?), and they just shouldn't be in that situation, no matter how well secured, until they get older. Consult your pediatrician, and read up a little, because even some doctors are a little too blase about this stuff, in my lay opinion.
yeah, I got some thoughtsET
Jul 17, 2002 12:35 PM
Your one and only baby you finally got after much trying, and you're gonna take it out on a baby trailer, and at that age, no less? Completely insane (not that it's that much more sane if you have 10 kids). Think how the rest of your life would be if something wrong happens. The risk is not minimal, since we may be talking just about going down, not necessarily get wiped out by a semi. I wouldn't do it when baby is older either; you don't strike me as the type taking a leisurely family ride, as seems typical in the pictures promoting these trailers.

Aside from the other comments already made about living up to fatherhood, here is my suggestion, which no one else made:

If it's OK with your wife (she may even like it, as it makes some things easier for her too), you get a helper or live-in (au paire or whatever they call it) to help take care of the baby, and you, Big Boy, go riding for real. You're a lawyer, you buy C-40s, you probably can afford it, or at least lay out the cash for this time in your life. You'll be happy, wife will too (maybe). But DON'T RISK THE BABY!
yup...spend that $1500 on a sitter or au pair...great idea (nm)ColnagoFE
Jul 17, 2002 1:58 PM
au pair is a good idea..dotkaye
Jul 17, 2002 2:26 PM
the au pair costs about the same as mediocre day care, plus the cost of lodging and food. About $13 000 per year altogether: for the agency fees, plus monthly allowance to the au pair, plus paying for a college course (that's how they get the visa). Plus that $13k is tax-deductible, as childcare. We seriously considered it.
Just got one.djg
Jul 18, 2002 6:27 AM
Seems very nice and extremely capable. So far so good.
I've been there...pnitefly
Jul 17, 2002 12:50 PM
...and tried both! The trainer? Forget it! Boring. Plus with your baby in the room, plan on stopping at least every 5 minutes (they hate the noise). My wife and I reached a compromise. I busted my tail helping her with baby and she'd give me an hour and a half on the trainer. The trailer works best for me. I waited until junior could sit up before I bought one.
Now, don't expect to do any serious training with the trailer...ain't gonna happen. Can't get enough time in and I suppose out of the saddle climbs aren't a good idea towing a trailer ;). But it is great just to get out. My wife now has a road bike and comes along. It is great family/fitness time. Also, only ride bike paths! ROADS TOO DANGEROUS! If you work together you can still have time to ride. Not like before though...welcome to parenthood!
for trailer: carseatdotkaye
Jul 17, 2002 2:22 PM
in the trailer, you'll have to put the baby in a carseat, then strap the carseat into the trailer. As many others observed, until the baby can sit up unassisted for considerable periods, he's not ready for the trailer.

That said, both my children love the trailer, and get really good naps in it. The motion and sound is soothing, much like a car ride. When I researched this, there was a .org website which I can't find anymore, basically said that the number of reported accidents for both trailers and baby seats on bikes was so small that no statistically valid observations could be made. So I think the trailer is not a safety problem. Once baby's asleep, ride until he wakes up..

I dislike stationary riding and running, so I'd go for the trailer. The Computrainer is probably a much better training solution, though.

What the heck, get both.. the baby trailer will re-sell for $250 in five years anyway, once he's graduated to a tagalong.
re: help me make the arguments re: cycling with babyJoshua
Jul 17, 2002 4:44 PM

You gotta ride man. I have a four month old and still get a minimal amount of sleep. But if I just happen to be up as the sun is rising and Momma has got things under control I will sneak out for an hour. As far as grief from any other poster is concerned, let it slide is my advice, an infant is difficult and demanding, and if an hour on your bike a couple times a week keeps you sane then go for it. I have two kids a three year old daughter and a four month old son. My life revolves around them but I do need some personal time and dont feel guilty when I take it.
9 monthsheloise
Jul 17, 2002 4:48 PM
Lotso' good suggestions and ideas here.
Just a thought...remind yourself that your wife gave up 9 MONTHS of her BODY and her LIFE to bring YOUR child into this planet. Perhaps you should make a mental pact with yourself to devote YOUR next 9 months to their well-being.
Trailer thoughts from a Pediatricianjtlmd
Jul 17, 2002 6:15 PM
I think it is a fine idea to ride with young children in the trailer. However, you need to find a helmet that fits appropriately. In addition, the child needs to be able to sit up and support his head well enough to fit the safety straps in the trailer as well as be able to control his body well enough to handle the jostling that occurs. I've heard of people placing the infant seat in the trailer. I'm not so sure about this. It needs to be as well secured in the trailer as it would be in your car and I don't beleive the safety belts in the trailer are designed for that. Otherwise you would be risking the child's safety.

With my first child I didn't feel comfortable about his safety in the trailer until he was about a year old. I don't feel that most children have the neuromuscular development to safely travel in the trailer until about one year of age, or the age in which they can use a forward facing toddler car seat. Remember that even if you are as careful as possible there is always a chance of an accident at speed. (I easily travel 15-20 MPH on flat roads pulling the trailer and faster on downhills)

Pulling the extra weight of the trailer is a great workout.

Alternatively, you could consider trading time with your wife. You get 2-3 rides per week if she gets to go out and do her own thing an equivalent time while you care for the baby. No matter the what you do the first several months with the baby are difficult.