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Ex-husband prohibits children bike riding

by Richard Masoner

Does anybody know where Randy’s girlfriend can get help for this situation? Posted here with his permission. They live in Longmont, Colorado.

I am writing this on behalf of my girlfriend and her two kids. There has been an issue with my girlfriend’s Ex-husband about the fact that we allow her two children (age 7 and 11 as of March 9th 2009) to commute to school by themselves on a bicycle. The Ex contacted there Mediator Arbitrator and complained, and the Med/Arb set a ruling forbidding the children to commute by bicycle by themselves.

All of us commute by bicycle all over town, and my girlfriend and I both commute to Boulder. If we were to continue to transport ourselves by bicycle, her two children need to go it alone to their school in the mornings. We had ridden with them for over 4 months, the same route everyday, and taught them all of the rules of the road.

As we felt the youngest lacked the responsibility to do this on his own bike, we set them up with a Yuba Mundo (www.ilikebikeonline.com), a cargo bike that is built to transport multiple passengers as well as cargo. I installed an extra set of handle bars on the rear of the bike for the youngest to hold on to. My girlfriend and I made several test rides with them to and from their school to ensure they not only operated the bicycle safely, but that they also felt safe on the bike and the route.

The route they travel is as safe as any route in town, and 90% of it is on streets with bike lanes, the other 10% in on streets either wide enough to have a bike lane, or little to no traffic. They use crosswalks with lights, or intersections with stop lights or 4 way stops to cross major intersections.

I feel a very dangerous precedent is being set here that should concern us all. I am asking for your help to fix this situation.

 
The Chariot Summer Sale - 2013

48 Responses to “Ex-husband prohibits children bike riding”

  1. Jim says:

    I am sorry, but I have to disagree with you here. I have been involved in cycling all my life and Emergency Services for the better part of 15 years. I have an 11 yo son and there is know way I would allow him to commute to school on a bike. there are just too many things that can happen in this day and age, times are so different from when we were kids (not knowing how old you are)

    Their Father is definitely in his rights to say no to this.

  2. Abhishek says:

    This is a vicious cycle. There is not infrastructure for safe bicycle rides, so children and teens are not allowed to ride. They grow up to be city planners and urban planners and emphasize infrastructure towards the one mode of transportation they are familiar with: Cars. The next generation faces the same problem because the past generation did not make cycling any safer and so on.

    I do imply that bike lanes and wide rodes are not the safest places to ride a bicycle. Bicycle paths should be segregated like in The Netherlands and Denmark. They have a system that is getting closer to perfection everyday.

  3. Adam says:

    The 11 year old is in, what, 5th grade? I dunno, when I was that age (younger, actually) I was walking and/or bicycling to school. I lived fairly close (about a mile) so it wasn’t a hike to commute. No designated bike paths, but my route was completely in a calm residential area.

    I’m not sure what the concerns of the father are, specifically. If they are due to safety around cars, it may be warranted depending upon the route. As I’m not familiar with Boulder (Miami native here) and the general quality of drivers around there, I can’t say whether this is valid or not.

    If his concern is about having the children *alone*, he needs to do more research. Most occurrences of children being…hurt are by family member, neighbors, or friends. Being on cycle is typically not relevant in cases like this.

  4. Seth Vidal says:

    Jim: The kids are statistically much more likely to die in an accident when they are IN a car than to have anything happen to them on the way to school by bike.

    Pick up the book freakonomics sometime. Read the section on guns and swimming pools. It’s interesting how bad humans are at risk assessment.

  5. Murali says:

    Ridiculous. Clueless people do not understand that car travel is as not perfectly safe as they mythologise it to be.

    Many more children are killed in cars that on bicycles. It’s not even close.

  6. ohio biker says:

    While I would love it if the cycling were
    safer per mile than by car, I think it may
    only be safer per unit time spent traveling.
    This is one of a few things I would be most
    pleased to be wrong about.

    The ex and the Mediator Arbitrator are likely
    both ignorant of the true risks and benefits
    associated with cycling in general. Any
    decision they make, would hopefully be
    improved by some accurate pertinent info.

    Is the objection of the ex, to the cycling
    only? For example, would they object to
    those same kids walking that same route
    to school? If the objection is really to
    the cycling, then education may stand a
    good chance. If the objection is to the
    kids transporting themselves on their own,
    then that is a different matter.

    There are one or more reasons this ex does
    not have custody of the children. Based on
    these reasons, the custodial parent should
    have much greater say in what goes with the
    welfare and raising of the children.

  7. Mike C says:

    There is no way to tell how to play this from just the info offered. Is this an amicable divorce, or are there bad feelings involved? Could just be a control issue with the Father–does he have visitation rights?

    The key is the Med/Arb saying “by themselves”–is there a way one of you can re-jigger your work schedule to allow for riding with the kids to work?

    Is there someone you can appeal the Med/Arb decision to?

    While it sounds perfectly reasonable, even laudable that the kids can get themselves to school, in our current culture it can certainly sound a bit dangerous.

  8. RoadKill(er) says:

    43,000 people a year die in car accidents in the US. The Ex would be better off stopping the kids from being in a car.

    Read “Traffic”.

  9. Todd O'Neill says:

    Randy or his girlfriend need to take a morning off and shoot video of the entire process of the kids riding their bike to school: leaving the house, putting on helmets, getting the bike, getting on, riding the route, parking at school.
    In legal personal injury circles this is known as “day in the life” video and is very common to prove, from the defense side, what a pliantiff CAN do and, from the plaintiff side, what a plaintiff CAN’T do.
    Anecdotal evidence like “they’re fine we’ve ridden the route many time with them” is nothing like visual evidence.
    I’m not a lawyer, just a guy that does media for a living. Media, like video, is a powerful thing if you know how and when to use it.
    This would be a good time and good use.
    Cheers!
    Todd

  10. jason (sd) says:

    Ah but the street is the safest place to ride your bicycle. Check out http://www.bicyclinglife.com/ for a great discussion on the topic. I am not sure if it was this web site, but I have seen statistics that show it is twice as safe to be on a bike in the street, than in a motor vehicle.
    It is debatable if children have the ability to handle traffic situations. However, it sounds like your kids have more practice with it than most adults.
    I don’t remember the exact year but it was early grade school I would occasionally ride my bike to school unsupervised. 7 miles, 6 miles of it was a narrow 2 lane with 55 mph speed limit. In this day and age, I would say your kids are safer on their bike in the street than they are walking on the sidewalk.

  11. Ahd Child says:

    The father is definitely within his rights and not being unreasonable. I bike to work daily, and based on what I’ve seen, I would not have a 7 year old ride in the street, even with adult supervision. How many of you who ride regularly can say you haven’t had any close calls? Would a 7 year old be able to react quickly enough in a bad situiation? Unless this kid is huge for his age, his body is small, light, and way more fragile than an adult’s. How would getting doored or hit by a car affect him – even at low speeds?

    With an 11 year old, it would depend on the route and on the kid (level of maturity, coordination etc), but even if I saw these things and judged it ok for a particular 11 year old to ride alone, I would not see it as unreasonable if the kid’s father disagreed.

    Biking is fun and good for you, but honestly, it sounds like you and your gf are taking your excitment and passion a bit too far. Think about the childrens’ safety first. have some consideration for a father who worries for his children. It is good that you have the kids getting excercise, but there are other ways.

    It sounds like your saying that if the kids can’t ride, you and your gf wouldn’t be able to commute by bike either. That’s not a great situation, but raising children takes many sacrifices.

  12. name withheld says:

    The issue has nothing to do with cycling really. It is about *supervision* – or lack thereof. I wouldn’t be surprised if the father cited some (perhaps uniformed) concerns about bicycle safety, but my guess is that the Mediator Arbitrator acted on the fact that the children make the trip *alone*.

    I would suggest riding with them every day all year for many years to come. I know that may not be convenient, but that’s the only way any Court will see it as acceptable – whether you convince them of the safety of the bicycle or not.

    Disclaimer: My comments above should not be construed as legal advise or as the position of my employer (a family court judge). They are simply my own personal views. Living on the East Coast I have no connection to this case, and even then, as a lowly office worker, would have no authority or influence in such decisions.

  13. Franklyn Wu says:

    I think this really has more to do with the legal arrangements set up between the woman and her ex-husband. Instead of trying to convince the other side or the mediator, maybe she should talk to her divorce attorney to see if there is an appeal process that can set aside the mediator’s ruling in their divorce agreements that she can pursue. They might have to go to court, but if it’s important enough, then going to court may be the only option. If there is no such clause, and there is no way to change the mediator/mediator’s mind, then she can work on convincing the Ex, which (convincing the disagreeing party) I find to be the most difficult without some sort of leverage.

    Even if you don’t really go to court, having an option to go beyond the mediator at least allow you to threaten to do it, which is most of time, enough to get some concession from the other party.

  14. ValkRaider says:

    I am not sure about Colorado law, but in Oregon 11 years old is legally old enough to be unsupervised. So I am fairly sure that there is no legal way to prevent the 11 year old going alone. The 7 year old is another issue. If in Colorado, an 11 year old can babysit legally – then in this situation, the 11 year old should be legally allowed to escort the 7 year old.

    I would file a complaint and ask that the ex not allow the children to ride in cars, as a car is the most likely place for a child in the USA to be killed or injured. And that fact has years and years of solid data behind it.

    My 7 year old daughter rides on the streets with me just fine, we go all over in the city. If I were legally allowed to I would probably let her ride unsupervised occasionally. By the time she is 10 – she will be taking transit and riding her bike by herself all over the place.

    Another good place you might want to ask this question is “Free Range Kids”: http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/

  15. Patrick says:

    I would much rather ride with my kids to school on my way to work on the bike. If that’s not possible, take them to school in your car, bikes on the back, and ride the rest of the way to work. When you pick them up, you can just put your bikes on the back of the car that’s already at school, and ride home.

  16. Juan says:

    This one really caught my attention since I also live, and ride in Longmont CO. I think Mike C. might have a point……is this a control issue on the Father’s part? Is it possible to have the Father ride the route one day with the kids to show him just what is involved? Maybe his fears are justified, and maybe not…..Longmont is a great place to live and ride, but it’s not perfect, and kids will be kids.

  17. Fritz says:

    Some more particulars about Longmont: One Longmont elementary school has the highest bike/walk to school participation rate in the nation at 96% of students walking/biking to school, and several other schools are up in the 80% range. The schools, district and the city actively promote biking & walking to school so there’s not the dangerous school traffic jam plaguing schools everywhere else. These kids have plenty of company biking to school with other children.

    My son biked to his school in east Longmont without my supervision when he was in 4th grade there.

    I *really* like the video idea.

  18. Jay says:

    things get messy when you start trying to split custody. especially when new partners enter the picture. I would advise Randy and his GF to pick their battles. things can get a lot worse!

  19. kaz kougar says:

    I think the larger issue here is allowing two young children to get themselves to school unsupervised. Do you watch the news? One word- “abduction”. Go ahead and tell me that there are people all around while these kids are commuting, you live in a safe area, blah, blah, blah. The fact of the matter is that in this day and age you can never be too careful because just when you say never…
    I would love to live in the days of Wally and the Beav when my kids could walk 10 miles to school uphill both ways, in the snow, yadda, yadda yadda but you just can’t do that these days. The benefits of cycling and commuting by bike cannot be argued here but specific cyclying safety statistics aside, allowing children that age to get to school on their own is ignorant not to mention, risky. If your dilemma is not being able to commute by bike, yourself then so be it. Is there a more selfish move than sacrificing the children’s safety so that you can still bike to work? You’re lucky that all the father has done is go to the mediator on this one. I would be utterly livid if I was him.

  20. @Fritz:

    “One Longmont elementary school has the highest bike/walk to school participation rate in the nation at 96%”

    This is one of the key factors in whether a ride to school is safe or not. In many places (including Madison WI), parents simply don’t understand that keeping their kids “safe” by driving them to school creates a huge safety issue for everyone else.

    I also agree with several commenters above that there may be some value in demonstrating to the other party what the typical commute involves.

  21. Ahd Child says:

    Randy – you are right, you can’t and shouldn’t try to protect kids from everything, but that fact is hardly justification for every single risk you could take with these kids. You wouldn’t let them walk down the fast lane of a busy highway just because life is risky anyway. The line has to be drawn somewhere. I can’t speak about the dad’s track record or his motivations, but on this particular issue, it sounds like you and him draw the line in different spots. I’m merely trying to say that his choice of position for the line is reasonable.

    In the end, he is still the father of those children and fathers, under most circumstances, should have a say in their childrens’ lives. When it comes to his children, it is not right to disregard his valid concerns, even if you think he’s called wolf in the past to mess with the kids or mom.

  22. I know that when I was 11, I was perfectly able to get myself to school, and did(walking, biking, busing). The 7 year old is a little different. But they aren’t going to stay 7 for long.

    If what Fritz says about Longmont is true, I’d be embarassed to tell the other kids that I can’t ride my bike to school. Boy, I’d get a nice resentment against Dad.

    It’s one thing to caution against biking,if they were living out in Highway Land California, but in a city that encourages biking?

    Good luck!

  23. kaz kougar says:

    I think that everyone can understand that Longmont elementary is a very safe “Bike to School” environment, I live in Eugene, Oregon so I totally get that. Unfortunately, a safe biking environment doesn’t keep kids safe from predators; it doesn’t matter what your statistics are. True that we have traded our safety for freedom in many regards and we have to draw the line somewhere but speaking as a parent and avid bike commuter whose oldest child possesses suberb bike safety skills; there is no way I would even consider letting my kid bike or walk the .5 mile commute to school on his own any time prior to the day he turns 13.
    If this father is truly what you say he is and is just doing this to be a douche then I think you brought your argument to the wrong place as it is obviously not an issue of bike safety. But let’s be honest how many boyfriends and ex wifes don’t think the ex is a jerk? If he wasn’t they’d probably still be married, right?

  24. Franklyn Wu says:

    We have a variety of opinions on how how safe it is for kids in that neighborhood to commute by themselves to school. We probably could agree that we should leave the parenting to the kids’ legal guardians. It’s only tricky in this case because the father of the children filed a legitimate complaint and the mediator sided with him. The issue is who gets to decide, and at the moment, the father has the say. I re-iterate that the only option, without convincing anyone that disagrees with you, is if you have any legal leverage in the form of some clauses in the divorce agreement that allows you to appeal the mediator’s decision.

    Another suggestion, why don’t you ask the father of the children to ride with them to school everyday? This way, he gets to spend more time with them and the children will be supervised on the way to school and be protected from predators–unless of course the father is one himself–this day and age, you can’t rule that out anymore.

  25. Franklin says:

    I have a question…does this have to do with the dangers of cycling to school or the danger of running into Stranger Danger on their way to school alone? I know this is a cycling site, so a majority if not all (haven’t read all the responses) have to do witht he safety of cycling, but what about the dad being afraid of someone kidnapping the kids on the way to or from school?

    Just another viewppoint to put out there.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Kaz, I think you are a little off base. I’m no expert, but the statistics I’ve found suggest that most instances of abduction (must like abuse, sexual or otherwise) happen in a family context. If this is indeed the case, Randy has more to fear from the children’s biological father than he does from strangers. I grew up with stranger danger drummed into me, but with that in mind was also allowed free reign of my neighbourhood. As for “you can never be too safe”: that’s just not true. You can be too much of anything. Its already been alluded to that the change in parenting habits play a large role in the onset of childhood depression and other psychological/psychiatric problems, not to mention obesity, ineffective life management strategies, and a whole list of others. You can be too safe. A parent will always worry, and they have good reason to. But to act defensively on every worry to the extreme is not only unfortunate, its irresponsible.

    Randy, your question could have been framed better. If the father has genuine control issues (and I must admit, that’s what I first thought!), that’s nothing to do with bike safety. the Med/Arb needs to be contacted and informed that the father is playing an uninformed game.

    That said, I don’t know Longmont. I’m an Aussie, I only know what Wikipedia tells me. I started commuting in Sydney, a city of 5 million with virtually no bicycle infrastructure (when I started). When I started, the average age of the commuter was early 20s: those who had no care for personal safety ;) . In the most recent 3 years, as the high cost of fuel forces more to the way of the bike, that age has expanded all the way up into the 70s, and down to the early teens. But with 5 million in my city, and so many cars, I’ve had too many close calls (and actual hits) to let a 7 or 11 year old ride on the road. Although, Australia has laws that permits a child to ride on the footpath up to the age of 16.

    I now live in Canberra, 350,000 pop. Great bike infrastructure, and large wide roads where there is none. I see kids as young as 5 commuting in groups to schools, but more often (and this is particularly important) i see kids sheparded by parents. do other children in your area Ride, Randy? maybe some form of bike co-op with other parents sharing the load is in order. That gives supervision, but partly frees up parents.

    Longmont, or so wikipedia tells me, is 85,000 odd people. So you’ll have your own stats. my personal opinion is demand representation before the Med/Arb, come armed with town statistics (and the “day in the life” vid is a great idea too), and tell daddy where he can stick it.

  27. Nick says:

    Sorry, forgot my name. I’m Nick :D

  28. kaz kougar says:

    Ahh yes, lovely statistics. I guess I’ll just never understand sending your kids off on their own at that age. Getting another parent to supervise them on their way would not be a bad choice but a lot can also be said for being there to see your kids off to school in the morning instead of leaving them to get themselves on their way. It’s one thing if it’s not an option for you but it’s another if it’s for selfish reasons (i.e. it’s the only way I can bike to work). Don’t get me wrong I love biking but I would do anything for my kids and I remember being a latch key kid, getting myself up and going in the morning and coming home to an empty house from the age of 9. It’s lonely and to be honest looking back on it I would gladly trade that for more time with my parents but unfortunately neither of my parents’ jobs really allowed for this. I remember being envious of other kids whose parents were there for them when they left in the morning and when they got home. It would be interesting to hear the children’s honest opinions on the whole situation here.
    Interesting conversations here but I’ll say again that this is more of a legal/custody issue and there isn’t really any advice that you’re going to get from a bike commuting forum that will stand up in court.

  29. kaz kougar says:

    Where you get that “people like me” have turned over personal freedom to the courts and government is beyond me. It would seem to me that someone who would allow a 7 year old to find his own way to school unsupervised puts a little too much faith in our government, legal system and law enforecement. And you’re right this is my business just as your business is yours until you make it public in an attempt to find some magic solution to your girlfriend’s legal issues by trying to paint the ex-husband as some bike hating, earth destroying redneck, which he very well may be. Your decisions are your decisions but when you bring an issue like this public, looking for advice you can expect just that, advice, both good and bad which by the way will differ depending on what outcome you’re looking for.
    Is this what your girlfriend wants for her kids or is she just latching on to what you want in an attempt to find an identity for herself, deep down inside worrying about them on their lone commute to school? Why did she not send the e-mail to commute by bike looking for help?

  30. Nick says:

    Randy, chill. I think, despite our disagreements, that Kaz has perfectly valid points, all based on her own experience. And the person you (and rightfully) should be angry at is the children’s father. She’s got her views (and despite my objection, legitimate ones) on child safety, and I think she’s a long way from being overprotective. She’s also, from what I read, totally on your side when it comes to the one-sided treatment and lack of consultation that has happened with the Med/Arb. That is a matter of due legal process, which if I’m not mistaken would come in at your 5th and 14th amendments (I’m not a lawyer, I just like reading, so feel free to step in).

    As for personal freedom, you are in the right in the specific, but think a bit about the general: if the activity you pose for the children under you care wasn’t safe, and you didn’t know the risks associated, would a court be in their rights to mandate you not do it in order to guarantee the future ability of your children to claim their freedoms? 1984 may be a warning, but one has to get to an age where they can truly appreciate what it is to be free.

    That’s just an aside. I’m on your side on the Med/Arb and the cycling. Kaz might not side with you on the cycling, but I’m sure she’s on board for your girlfriend’s ability to present her own case and be heard. Aussies value freedom too.

  31. kaz kougar says:

    “She’s got her views (and despite my objection, legitimate ones) on child safety, and I think she’s a long way from being overprotective.”
    -She’s also a Dude! ;) And I do side with Randy on the cycling just don’t agree with unsupervised 7 year old cycling.

  32. kaz kougar says:

    I’ve said what I came to say. This is getting a little emotional so I’m bowing out of this one. Randy, all differences aside, best of luck to you with this and speaking from experience I firmly feel that one of the more important activities you can teach a child is bicycling and all that comes with it.

  33. Bobby says:

    There are two issues at hand, and being the father in a divorced family, I have dealt with these issues (in Cali and Texas). I have also put MANY miles on my bike, and have not driven a car but about 60 days in the past two years.

    First, one parent has no say whatsoever in what the other parent does during their period of custody – either way. They just don’t – like it or not. They can, however, report violations of the law when it comes to their kids – but so can anyone (grandparent, bystander, teacher, etc). They don’t have the right to simply complain that they don’t like “the way the other parent is doing things”. The complaint must have some level of legal standing. I have been involved in proceedings and heard that point blank.

    Second, the violation in this case seems not to even be the alone part. Most states don’t legislate the minimum age a child can be home alone, go to school alone, etc. They do, however, legislate “child endangerment”. You all must agree that bicycle commuting is a debatable topic, regardless of which side of the debate you are on. The gray area is the unknown (abductors, drunk drivers, etc), and there is also the question of what they do at home (presumably alone) before and after school. What happens (statistically) in a car or on a bike in reality is irrelevant. What matters is the legal perception of “endangerment”, and the prevailing attitude is that if you are there, you can help. If you are not, then you can’t – and can’t know.

    Sooo, this is legally ambiguous. Laws are based on precedence and actual acts, and ambiguity gives rise to arbiters and courts and the ensuing debates (complete with all their morality, opinions, and judgements). Any legal counsel will ask the parents what they believe is in the best interests of the children. Is it the position towards environmental awareness by biking instead of driving a Prius? Is it the fear of getting nudged by a pickup truck? (Who HASN’T had that happen commuting befure?) Is it seeing their parents go after each other? Seeing one parent defending the child against the oppressive other parent?

    I have taught my children that rule #1 is “Be Safe”. I will do nothing to promote violating that, but will also not over-protect them from the realities of this world. There was a comment in the original post: “If we were to continue to transport ourselves by bicycle, her two children need to go it alone to their school in the mornings.” The parents in this case need to determine if this arrangement is in the best interests of the children or of the mother.

  34. Adam says:

    Here’s a thought – if the father is going to dictate that the children are not allowed to bike to school, then perhaps he should take that responsibility upon himself. Either personally or pay for a private shuttle, it seems that the person causing the problem should also present a solution!

  35. Paul in Minneapolis says:

    When I was as youn as 11 (1974) I live in rual N.C. mountians and did ride my bike to school, less than 5 miles. I would have loved for a parent to ride with me, but neither did. When I was 14 (1977) living in S.W. Miami, I would ride my bike to work after school, close to 9 miles. Again, I wish a parent rode with me.
    Even at 11 I knew about the world I lived in and execpted the risks.

    With my kids as young as 7, I would shadow them and let them to get them real world experience on how to take care of them selves.

    At some point they are going to be thrown out into the world to defend for them selves. I feel it is better to start teaching them young.

  36. rodney says:

    WOW! This is a hot topic. As a parent of a child much younger than mentioned, I do get a bit protective of him from time to time. Many facts are missing from your plea. Does the desire to ride to school come from the kids, the mother, or you?

    The root cause of the fathers reasoning must be discovered before moving on. Is is being over protective, concern for safety, jealousy of you and the GF, dislike of bikes/cycling, Stanger Danger, etc.?

    Once the root is found, you could seek a compromise with the Med/Arb, GF/Ex. By doing the “Day in the Life” video, this could help to ease any misconceptions on the fathers part. You, the GF or Ex can coordinate a schedule to chaperon the kids on their ride, if a compromise can be met.

    Even after all this is said an done, there may not be a compromise met. Although the children may have the maturity level necessary to operate safely, the decision for their well-being and best interest ultimately rests on the shoulders of the parents. Sad to say this, but you are a third wheel in this tangled web.

    I wish you the best in finding a resolution to this dilemma! I would like to see more children ride to school. I see it happening more often on my commute home in Orlando, FL.

    Tailwinds!

  37. steve says:

    I think this quote sums it up-

    “If we were to continue to transport ourselves by bicycle, her two children need to go it alone to their school in the mornings.”

    Perhaps you should quit thinking of yourselves? I would have a different opinion if you were wringing your hands because the kids were upset and loved to bike. You sound more like you just do not wish to be burdened.

    Maybe you should not date someone with young children. Children require a level of selflessness that you are not exhibiting.

  38. number3 says:

    Way to go all main stream media on the title of this one, Commute by Bike! Get real, the guy may have issues but from what we’ve read here I don’t think the issue is totally prohibiting the children from riding bikes all together. Keep this crap up and you ultimately give all cycling advocates a bad name.

  39. Fritz says:

    Number3, I honestly wasn’t shooting for sensationalism in the post title in this instance. It’s difficult to come up with a title that summarizes the issue without being too boring and wordy.

  40. justeddie says:

    Just wondering……how far can a seven year old push a bicycle with a flat tire ?

  41. daiti2merc says:

    Getting kids into exercise early is great.
    1. I would video the route in different conditions i.e. visibility, road surface being wet, light being poor etc.
    2. Ask the father of the children to take the journey with you. Could you involve him in the getting him to cycle the kids to and from school.
    3. Risk of abduction, who the hell knows, what is media frenzy & the real threat. GPS Enabled mobile phones with a restricted function set may give you peace of mind.

    Give the man as much dignity as you can,
    The perceived risks of the father are real to him.
    Remove as much of the emotion out of the discussion as possible. It takes a town to raise a child. Hopefully all 3 of you will be centrally involved in raising the children. Emotions are funny things at the best of times.
    I cycle my 6 and 8 year old to school. I had to change the route as the 2 of them got into races with each other. As the Chinese say “interesting times” on the school run.

  42. Fritz says:

    Eddie, I imagine it’s probably farther than her mom and push a car with a flat tire.

  43. justeddie says:

    Wow Fritz,….i must say that i am very impressed with the level of insight and intellect shown in your post.

  44. Steve says:

    Someone else mentioned Lenore Skenazy’s Blog:

    http://FreeRangeKids.com

    It’s fantastic! And anyone “fearing the worst” about almost anything in our culture needs a daily dose of Free Range Thinking. BIKING TO SCHOOL is a hot topic from time to time at FreeRangeKids…. And be sure to read the visitor comments attached to the articles.

    Here’s a great video Lenore did about what she calls:

    Parental Fear #62: Will Raw Cookie Dough Kill My Kid?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch v=t8kiMKtixAo

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  46. Wondering.... says:

    If you commute to boulder on your bikes..how far away are you or how long would it take you to reach your children in the event of an emergancy at school?
    Perhpas Randy and GF could take turns riding to work so that one had a car daily in the event of an emergency.

  47. Wondering.... says:

    If you commute to boulder on your bikes..how far away are you or how long would it take you to reach your children in the event of an emergancy at school?
    Perhpas Randy and GF could take turns riding to work so that one had a car daily in the event of an emergency.

  48. Devona Brunner says:

    Reminds me of a devil with sucker bites.

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