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Babies on Bikes Without Helmets

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Here in the U.S., taking our kids on a bike ride means helmets and restraints, while in Amsterdam, toddlers are cruising along bareheaded on Mom's handlebars.


Momlogic's Momstrosity: I just got back from a trip to Amsterdam, where I saw the most amazing thing. No, it wasn't the Rembrandt collection at the Rijksmuseum, or the sobering tour of Anne Frank's house, it was the sight of bareheaded children and even infants riding around on bikes with their parents. Not only were towheaded Dutch kids helmet-less, they often rode down the narrow canal streets precariously perched on the handlebars or the back fender of Mom or Dad's bike.

Here in the U.S., I know parents who wouldn't dare take their very young children on a bike even WITH a helmet. They're just too scared. It's true that riding in the States is way more dangerous than in Amsterdam, a city where bikes have the right-of-way ahead of cars, and there are 600,000 bikes for the 750,000 residents. But Amsterdam isn't devoid of cars, buses, and trams. Plus, it has the added danger of multitudes of stoned tourists who've ordered a hash brownie -- just because they can't believe it's actually legal -- and wandered out into the streets. 

Do the Dutch know something we don't?

next: Ed Hardy Designer Not Starting a Kids' Line with Jon Gosselin
28 comments so far | Post a comment now
hillary July 14, 2009, 12:03 PM

who cares! it seems like europe is care-free (or at least less carefull) like the US used to be about 30 years or so ago. They know how to have fun like we should! There are much bigger problems than not wearing helmets imo. We could learn a lot from them over hear- everything is lawsuits and people being worried about lawsuits.

redmum July 14, 2009, 12:08 PM

Amsterdam is a bike friendly city, in fact that statement doesn’t go far enough to describe it.

The last time I was there it was more dangerous being a pedestrian.

Uly July 14, 2009, 12:13 PM

Neither of those pictures shows children on the handlebars. Instead, they show children on *seats* that are in front of the rider - which is a different kettle of fish altogether.

clumsymom July 14, 2009, 3:16 PM

I actually DROPPED my bike with my 2 yr old son strapped into his carrier. Still remember the sound of his helmet hitting the concrete.

Seventeen years later, he is a healthy, active young adult. We still tease him about being dropped on his head…

hartleyrg July 15, 2009, 1:53 AM

It would be fun to be able to have that carefree lifestyle. But I’m too paranoid to do that.

Jon September 21, 2009, 5:09 PM

Weed isn’t legal in amsterdam - do some research ;-)

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