A Remote Control Brake for Your Kid’s Bike?

Readers — Add this to the ever-longer list of items that start from the assumption that kids are in constant danger so parents must be in constant control:


Needless to say (perhaps) I am dismayed by this device, not only because it gives kids the wrong impression — “I don’t have to learn to be safe, my parents will do it for me!” — but also because this thing actually stops the bike from going ANYWHERE once the child is more than 50 meters away.

The idea of keeping kids ever closer is seductive because it gives parents a sense of control along with a sense of safety, confidence and efficacy. It happens to do this by sucking all those qualities out of the kids’ lives.

Somehow, young people have learned how to find their way around the neighborhood — any and every neighborhood — since time began. But this generation isn’t trusted to do that. Call it the house arrest generation. They are as safe and secure as prisoners. – L.

bike break

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67 Responses to A Remote Control Brake for Your Kid’s Bike?

  1. E April 25, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Perhaps it would be useful for kids with special needs/concerns which might give them more freedom than without it. For the average kid I don’t see the use.

  2. P April 25, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    I see your point, but I think that this product aims a different purpose: if you ever face a situation, when you don’t want to teach your kid a lesson, just save the day. In our running world, I think there is room for such a safety device.

  3. Peter April 25, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    Based on the video, it looks like this is actually a pretty dangerous product.

    It locks the rear wheel of the bicycle under a variety of situations, not just when commanded by a parent. For example, if the battery is low or if the transmitter is out of range (or presumably turned off).

    Locking the rear wheel of a bicycle might be OK if the bike is moving very slowly. But at any kind of speed, it will make the bike uncontrollable and will often lead to a wipeout.

    Of course, no kid ever tries to ride a bike fast, right?

  4. Garry April 25, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    Of course, if your child sees a hazard and starts to turn, locking up their rear wheel may not be the best solution…

  5. Andrew April 25, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    Kid riding his/her bike, gets beyond 50 meters,bike kicks in, kid falls off bike,kid gets hurt, parents sue company for child getting hurt. Company goes out of business. Problem solved.

  6. Ravana April 25, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    I picture a whole bunch of kids going head first over the handlebars because they had no idea their bike was going to suddenly stop.

  7. Per April 25, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    That thing won’t stay on the market for long. Sooner or later it’s going to lock up a wheel at the wrong moment and cause some poor kid to fall in front of a car. The parents will then sue the manufacturer out of existence.

  8. lollipoplover April 25, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    What’s most disturbing is the appearance of Pedobear in the video. Creepy.

    Basic physics will tell you that disabling a moving bike with a remote will create a projectile- your child. Personally, I prefer to teach my kids the rules of the road and biking safety vs. randomly disabling their bike because I *think* what they are doing is dangerous.

    Installing an electric fence on my kids bike makes about as much sense as putting on a shock collar around their neck. We train animals but we educate people. Why on earth anyone thinks they need to remote control children’s bikes for safety instead of teaching them boundaries is so beyond…

  9. Peter April 25, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    It’s getting harder to tell the difference between April Fools Day and every other day because we are now all fools 365 days a year.

    I have another money making idea that depends on getting everyone scared based on the mini brake principle. The remote control chastity belt for your teenage son or daughter because you can never be too safe.

  10. Warren April 25, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    This product does not have any practical purpose whatsoever. Not even for special needs.
    1. Nothing ever good comes from taking braking away from the operator of any vehicle. Think about it. Driving down the road and your brakes come on. In a car you could probably save it, on a motorcyle you will eat pavement.
    2. Out of range, low battery initializes the brakes….that is just a disaster waiting to happen.
    3. Bikes now have many different types of brakes available. Easy to install and easy to use, even for a child with difficulties. Yet the braking remains in control of the rider.
    4. This is the high tech equal of sticking a stick in the spokes.

  11. Bose in St. Peter MN April 25, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    The simplest essence of trike and bike riding is that a kid takes control of moving and stopping. If a kid’s aptitude for stopping comes slowly, no problem — toppling off the thing at the bottom of a small hill will do the trick. The story changes quickly as the kid grows physically and past using training wheels, but the spills still do their work, generally prepping them for good instincts behind the wheel some day.

    I would be terrified of a device that could override my kid’s judgement while competently crossing a street or averting harm to others. The limited useful purpose might be with a physically challenged kid whose impairment precludes braking and has no option outside close supervision.

  12. Coasterfreak April 25, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    I really thought this was a joke. I would think stopping your kid’s bike while he’s trying to ride, and not expecting to suddenly come to a screeching halt would cause more injuries than it would prevent. It made me think of The Onion’s “car neck belts” video.

    And then you have mischievous parents like me who would install it just to be able to mess with my kid while he’s trying to ride his bike (provided I could do it without actually causing him to wipe out, of course).

  13. J.T. Wenting April 25, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    hmm, the ultimate scenario to scare people into not buying this:

    “imagine your child being chased by a pedophile. Now the device stops the bike and your child gets abducted!”.

  14. SKL April 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    I agree with those who say this is dangerous. It would be just like smashing into something unexpectedly and the kid would fall.

    How can they say you can prevent all bike accidents? Collisions with a moving vehicle aren’t the only kinds of accidents kids have on their bikes.

    If you have a kid who isn’t reliable to stay out of traffic, you don’t let him ride where he can get near traffic, until he is ready for the responsibility. You take him and his little bike to a park or something.

    And 50 meters? Really? Why bother to have a bike at all?

  15. Gary April 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    I am buying two of these this way when the class action suit is filed because little Jimmy got launched from his Huffy like a rock from a catapult I will be sittin’ pretty…

    whose laughing now?

  16. BL April 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    The phrase “control freak” barely begins to describe anyone who would even consider using this … this … thing.

  17. Suzanne April 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    The only good news I see here is that the indigogo campaign is only at 7% of its goal. There is still time on the fundraiser but it certainly doesn’t look like the world is beating a path to their door.

    The campaign says the eventual retail price will be $149. I’m pretty sure that is more then we spent on my daughters last bike. It is defiantly more then we spent on her first bike. For that cost I think parents worried about their children being hit by a car while on a bike, should go with them to a park. And while they are at the park, they can teach them to watch out for others using the roads and paths (including pedestrians and motor vehicles.) $149 would also go a long way to a week or two of bike camp. The one my daughter goes to has done a great job teaching her to be appropriately wary of cars.

  18. Papilio April 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    No wonder that 8-year-old took the bus instead.
    Haven’t these people learned NEVER to put a stick in someone else’s wheel?

    “I picture a whole bunch of kids going head first over the handlebars because they had no idea their bike was going to suddenly stop.”

    Well, at least in that case those helmets serve a purpose.

  19. MichaelF April 25, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    ..and we all know what happens with uncontrollable braking on a bike, don’t we?

    First lawsuit of a parent whose child goes to the emergency room will get this off the shelves soon enough.

  20. Jennifer Hendricks April 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Not to mention that stopping is probably the hardest part of learning to ride a bike! Having someone else remotely brake your bike sounds like a quick way to get a bump on the head.

  21. SKL April 25, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    Yeah, my kids are 7 and this is the first year I’ve let them ride down the steep hill that is our street. Because braking is apparently not an intuitive skill (and there is an intersection halfway down). You can also guess this by looking at he toes of the shoes my youngest wore last summer. 😛

  22. Betsy April 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    I would do this to my kids as a joke. I would being laughing the whole time as they got more and more frustrated with me stopping them. But then I often laugh at my kids frustration which may or may not be very nice of me…

  23. Andrea April 25, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    Agreed, this is asinine. And furthermore, isn’t part of childhood wiping out hard a few times on your bike? My seven year old wiped out last night — scraped his chin, one hand, the other elbow, and a knee. Sucked, but I put band-aids on him and life went on.

  24. LTMG April 25, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    Wish there was such a thing as a brake for ridiculous thinking.

  25. lollipoplover April 25, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    “Haven’t these people learned NEVER to put a stick in someone else’s wheel?”

    Throwing a stick into someone’s wheel to whammy their bike is what this device will do. It’s like Dennis the Menace Biking (not recommended by highly entertaining). Why not string some cans and old shoes on their bike to slow them down and step on if they get to far away? Cheaper and no remote needed! Or get a very long leash.

    My kids regularly bike to school and most of their rides are uneventful. On Monday, my 7 yo came home by herself, which is unusual because my older daughter and friends ride with her. She wasn’t sure what happened, but she said the older girls were back at the main intersection and she left to get home. I waited 10 minutes, got a bit worried (mainly because of the lack of information), and got on my bike to check it out. My older daughter was fixing the bike of her friend, the chain popped off. The girls had the bike upside down and were using a stick to get the chain back on. They solved their own problem using their brains.

    Kids are quite capable of learning how to bike without adults needing to zap whammies at them for their own delusional need for control and safety.

  26. anonymous mom April 25, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    So your kid is furiously, obliviously pedaling toward traffic, and to stop them from riding into the street, you make their bike suddenly brake? That sounds like a recipe for your kid flying off the bike and into the oncoming traffic you wanted them to avoid.

  27. SKL April 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    Or you could just yell, “STOP!” It always worked for me.

  28. E April 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    I finally watched the videos. The ones I watched showed the tiniest of bicycles. One looked like it was too small for the kid riding it (with training wheels). I still think (and I have a relative in mind) that it might be useful for kids that don’t/won’t take direction (like “stop”) due to special needs (and I was thinking of more cognitive issues, than physical ones), but really, that’s probably a stretch.

    The main video actually shows strider bikes, ones with no pedals. You’d never send those down a hill (for obvious reasons) so it’s nearly impossible for them to get great speed. I was recently with extended family and my nieces kids had those, but they are 3 and 4. I’m thinking that you could walk alongside and keep up. But no one would send those types of bikes (and the young age they are geared toward) off on their own anyway.

    It’s funny that a video promoting “safety” shows the clip of a Mom with her back to the kid and on her cell phone! LOL So is the marketing of this “hey, if you get really self absorbed and your kid ends up in traffic, you can use this as a last ditch effort”? LOL

  29. Havva April 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    At least with my daughter the Strider bike is easy to walk along side of. Of course she is small (wears a 2T). I see no advantage to having a break for that, except to give her control of a traditional break. I have never seen her get going fast, because she just puts her feet down and stops. And she keeps her speed down by resisting if the bike goes faster than her legs can run with it.
    Now the slightly too large training wheel bike with coaster breaks. Yeah, she mostly stops it by screaming for mom, or crashing into the bumper of my car or the shed door. But she has only been on that bike 3 times, and the last time she was really working on how to use the breaks. I can still run to catch up with and stop that bike in a couple of strides.

  30. anonymous this time April 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    In the name of “safety,” kids end up facing more immediate dangers. How could anyone think random braking of someone’s bike would be a good idea?

    In my driver’s ed instruction, the guy had an override brake, he sat shotgun and applied that brake once when I was gunning it toward a yellow light. I thought it felt kind of cool, but he didn’t lock up the brakes, he just overrode my acceleration and slowed us to a stop. I felt kind of sheepish, and hey, lesson learned, very viscerally.

    But this bike brake thing is just messin’ with kids’ natural learning of how to control the speed of their own vehicle.

  31. E Simms April 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    @E “The main video actually shows strider bikes, ones with no pedals. You’d never send those down a hill (for obvious reasons) so it’s nearly impossible for them to get great speed.”

    Take a look at the youtube videos of tiny little kids riding those things. It’s awesome and scary.

  32. BL April 25, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    “First lawsuit of a parent whose child goes to the emergency room will get this off the shelves soon enough.”

    No, they’ll ban bicycles instead. Obviously they’re too dangerous if they can crash even with the latest advanced safety devices!

  33. Katherine April 25, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    I guess I’m sort of off the opposite end of the spectrum. My daughter recently learned to ride a bike (no training wheels! balance bikes are awesome and the first day she tried her “real” pedal bike, she took off) and one day on the trail we crossed at a crosswalk. There was a single post at the other side, to push the button and activate the stop light, and she was headed straight for it. I kept thinking “surely she’s not going to hit that.” She did. Fortunately she was going slowly and nothing happened, but she was startled and said “I guess I wasn’t looking where I was going.” It was a good learning experience for both of us.

  34. Tsu Dho Nimh April 25, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Just what a child learning to ride a bike needs … a brake that can suddenly activate whenever mommy gets nervous.

    They’ll fall because of the sudden and unexpected change in speed, and them mommy will be convinced that bikes are too dangerous.

  35. SKL April 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Also, the kid will become scared if the bike does something the kid didn’t tell it to do. He may decide he doesn’t want to ride a bike at all for a long time.

  36. Lindsey April 25, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    Don’t tread on me!

  37. J- April 25, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    If this stars to sell, I am going to go all out and prototype every sarcastic child safety device I have every come up with for retail sale. If there are people awful enough to use this, why should I not profit off of them.

    Idea No. 1: the “Stay Close” anti run away device. A set of padded hobbles (leg shackles) for children so they can’t attain a full running stride and be able to outrun mom and dart into traffic.

    I’ll make millions.

  38. sara April 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    How is this safe? Wouldn’t it have the unwanted side effect of having the kid go over the handlebars

  39. hineata April 25, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    Oh, come on, what fun! Another chance to mess with kids’ minds! Actually, I want to buy one for my husband’s bike….I would simply tell him it was for instant tyre inflation.

    Might work once :-).

  40. hineata April 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    El Sicko/El Clumsy always seems to be coming off her bike, and the best ‘safety’ equipment is a first aid kit so her sister can patch her up and they can move on….

    @Lollipoplover – do you really NOT use electronic collars on your children? Personally I find them very useful – they worked so well when training sheepdogs, why not get extra benefit from them? Though generally speaking, a kid is way less of a useful monetary investment than a good sheepdog 😉

  41. delurking April 25, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    In addition to the stupidity of the entire concept, it isn’t going to work. They need to hire an engineer. It is obvious from the size of the mounting hardware and the construction (see 1:39 in the video) that it will just be destroyed when they try to use it with a child actually moving on a bike. Notice that they don’t show it actually stopping a moving bike in the video, they just show it stopping a suspended spinning wheel.

  42. Warren April 25, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    Have you got the shock collars that are activated by the dog barking to teach them to not bark? Totally against using them on dogs. But put them on the kids and makes for a quiet evening at home. Put a wet sponge between the collar and their skin, if you really want to see ’em dance.
    As far as this brake goes……if you really want to have fun with your kid, put it on the front wheel, not tell them, and by the time they are 50m away, they should do a full front flip.

  43. EricS April 25, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    Wow! This is one of the dumbest and paranoid driven inventions ever! For one, this will eliminate (in people’s minds, including the kids) the need to learn how to ride a bike. Which includes breaking, and falling on your own. Yes, FALLING. THAT is a part of learning how to ride a bike. It teaches kids more resiliency, and how to NOT fall in the future. Too many fearful parents wanting to shelter their kids from almost everything is natural. But highly impractical. So impractical that previous generations of parents would have never thought of this. Because they taught their kids, and their kid’s kids how to avoid (NATURALLY), what this dumb invention is doing for you. I learned to ride without my parents being even in visual distance. My friend taught me at age 8, he was 8 too, and his brother was 9. On a bicycle that was a size too big for me. I crashed into a pole, and a wall, I fell about 4 times. I got a bruised shin, and a scrape on my knee. I didn’t cry. I kept getting back up on the bike, until I stopped falling. I came into the house, my mom saw what happened to me, but also saw the big smile on my face. When she asked me what happened, I said I learned to ride bicycle. My dad got me my own the next day. I felt like I was on top of the world. Oh…and now helmet or other protective gear either.

    Also, what happens when the parent hits the brake because THEY panicked. That sudden slow down or stop, on a kid that’s just learning to ride, will cause him/her to be surprised, and FALL OFF. Hurting themselves more, than if they were to fall knowing the reason they are falling. It’s a fact, that the things you don’t see coming, are the ones that does the most damage. People have to stop making things to encourage lazy, paranoid, fearful, ignorant, insecure parenting. It may make them money, and it may make parents feel better about themselves. But it will be detrimental to the natural mental, emotional, and physical growth of the child. When people don’t let kids be kids, they only do them more harm than good.

    And really, it’s just proven fact, that the more technology advances, the dumber people get.

  44. EricS April 25, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    @J: “Idea No. 1: the “Stay Close” anti run away device. A set of padded hobbles (leg shackles) for children so they can’t attain a full running stride and be able to outrun mom and dart into traffic.”

    I have one better than that. I call it the Iron Maiden (name pending copyright issues) clothing line. Each clothing is made up of micro metal filaments. Powered by a small battery pack worn on the belt line. When activated, the relaxed, loose filaments contract, causing the the cloth to stiffen. So when you see your kid running off, you can just hit the remote, and they stop dead in their tracks. Unable to move. Except for their head, hands, and feet. The sleeves and pant legs, when activated, cause them to be immobilized. It doesn’t contract on them, the filaments just stiffen. Kind of like being in a body cast.

    You heard it hear first folks. 😉 lol

  45. CLamb April 25, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    There is a “feature” of the device which no one has yet mentioned which is actually a drawback. If the device stops receiving the signal it applies the brake. The signal can be blocked by many forms of electromagnetic interference (EMI). Such things as a malfunctioning gasoline engine or a radio transmission nearby could apply the brake. Exercising my imagination I could see a predator waiting for the bicycle borne child to venture alongside his car to activate his own EMI device. He could then snatch the child from the stopped bicycle and drive off before anyone else even reacts! Hmmm. Has anyone done a background check on the inventor?

  46. Steve April 25, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    If the rider is a six year old boy I give it about two days before it’s broken. He’s going to get a screwdriver and take it apart. Or just bash it off to one side.

  47. Papilio April 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    @J and EricS: How about electronic magnets (you know what I mean…) on the kid’s ankles, so you can electronically activate it, the ankles suddenly stick together and the kid goes flat on his face?

    “Oh… and no helmet or other protective gear either”
    Haven’t you heard? Riding a bike is NOT dangerous: http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/not-dangerous/ :-)

  48. Peter April 25, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    First, I love the Mommy-sense. Kind of like “Spider-sense.” The video at the 58 second mark or so shows Mom talking on her phone while the kid rides off behind her back. Suddenly, her Mommy-sense kicks in, she whips around in time to stop her kid’s bike before her kid gets creamed by a fast moving car (which they show using the pedobear animation).

    Second, I assume that it doesn’t immediately stop the bike like 10 MPH to 0 in microseconds. It looks like it would be the equivalent of locking the rear wheel which will cause the bike to skid to a stop (depending on how fast it was going). Heck, I remember doing this when I was kid–it was fun to see how much rubber I could leave on the road. Went through a few sets of bike tires.

    In fact, I could almost see this becoming a game. Mom is standing around yacking on her phone and I’m biking around to see where the wheel is going to lock up. See if I can bounce in and out of range.

    That said, a few bad ideas about this.

    One, the bike will lock up at 150 feet. What if 150 feet happens to be the middle of the street? While I might prefer that my child doesn’t cross the street, I’d rather that they get to the other side than be stopped in the middle in front of oncoming traffic.

    Two, as I mentioned, the bike won’t immediately stop but it will slow down rather quickly. If the bike is going fast, the kid is probably going to wipe out. And it’s not like little kids like to ride their bike fast… (sarcasm)

    At the very least, they’ll be getting some scrapes and bruises. Make sure the kid has a helmet.

    Three, the examples showed smooth tires. What’s the effect on knobby tires? At the risk of being sexist, little boys like the knobby-tired mountain bike tires ’cause they’re cooler.

  49. parallel April 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

    Yesterday I saw a young men tip his motorcycle at about 30 mph…luckily he was wearing leather and didn’t get too badly ripped up, but he was badly bruised and shaken. There is no way this product isn’t going to result in similar situations.

  50. Andy April 25, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    @parallel While I agree with your general point that is product raises risks, no way the kid will go 30 mph. Even adults would have hard time to reach that speed on kids bike.

  51. JP Merzetti April 25, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    And you too (along with all other good consumers) can rack up the brownie points as good citizens. For only 50 grand per child, you can have every single one of all the latest, greatest security gadgets. Go ahead! Spend!
    (But don’t ever watch the 11 o’clock news….) Only to discover that all this “security” is an illusion.
    Our best bet for security was always our own good common sense.
    But this apparently doesn’t need to be acquired anymore in the usual, natural affordable way.
    Now the new improved model can be purchased.
    Free enterprise bravely soldiers on……………..

  52. Nobody April 25, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    I’m guessing that this is designed to appeal to those idiot parents that I see on the bike trail every summer. For some reason, they think that it will be fun to let the kid ride a bike while they jog. Sorry to burst your bubble, but unless you are a professional athlete you will not be able to keep up with a child on a bicycle. If you attempt this, you will be out of breath from trying to keep up and yelling for your child to come back and your child will be frustrated because he can’t ride. The rule we have here is that if we are going riding as a family or a group, everyone rides.

  53. Kimberly Herbert April 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    This sounds unsafe to me. If the wheel on the bike locks up unexpectedly I can see the kid either falling off or with inertia going into/over the handle bars.

    We have a remote kill switch for the ATV at our farm. It generally is only used when a kid is first learning how to drive it. Due to feral hogs they have to learn to navigate over torn up ground.

  54. A bicyclist April 25, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    If two kids are biking in a column, or if a kid is biking in front of a car, it is not safe to have the bicyclist in front suddenly brake because it’s 50 feet from the remote control.

    This product is not safe.

    That said, when I was a kid, the first time I got on a bike, I rolled down the driveway and crashed into the mailbox. This product might have prevented the horrific physical and mental injuries that I sustained and haunt me to this day.

    Oh wait! Never mind. I got a bruise and was biking in the schoolyard 5 minutes later.

  55. SOA April 25, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    I don’t think this is a product I will be buying. I have a bike as well and if the kids need me to supervise I just get on my bike and ride with them in safe areas. The brake is not necessary. I really don’t see why anyone would need this. Just supervise them.

  56. Xena_Rulz April 26, 2014 at 12:30 am #

    What a horribly unsafe idea (besides the whole uber-control issue). Here the kid is, merrily pedaling along, when suddenly the bike stops. And the kid falls over, because he/she did not have a chance to prepare for the stop. When I took driver ed in high school, one time all of a sudden the car was slowing way down – scared the heck out of me. I did not realize the instructor in the passenger seat had a brake! And not every accident can be avoided just by slamming on the brakes – sometimes a burst of speed or a swerve or a full turn or just a slowdown is more effective. This brake is a terrible idea!

  57. caveat April 26, 2014 at 1:03 am #

    Silly idea.

    Kids these days should learn to bike on a balance bike (i.e. no pedals) which generally don’t need brakes as they can be stopped quite quickly by dragging feet. Some balance bikes do come with one brake lever that acts on the rear wheel. Then they graduate to riding a 12 or 14″ wheel pedal bike with no training wheels. PLEASE don’t make them take a step backwards with training wheels. They won’t need them if they have practiced sufficiently on the balance bike. The pedal bike will either have coaster brakes or one brake lever. Either brake system seems to be figured out very quickly by kids, but obviously it is essential that the early practice happens in low consequence areas that are reasonably flat and where there is NO chance of any encounter with traffic. Crashing into inanimate objects and into the ground is a painful but necessary part of the learning process. Serious injury is extremely unlikely.

    Once they have mastered the basics in an open area then teach them to ride on the sidewalk and be very rigid about teaching them to stop at EVERY street crossing and look for cars. Even though they won’t really get the car thing at first they will understand that they must stop at street crossings.

    2 is a pretty good time to start the balance bike in earnest if the kid is interested. Then if the kid is motivated they’ll be ready for a pedal bike at 3 and by 4 you will have a very safe and confident sidewalk rider. As someone mentioned upthread bike camp is a great idea too. They have multiple levels so chances are you can find something whether you have a budding stunt rider or a reluctant rider

    Kids are so proud once they start being able to go to real destinations (store?, park?, friend’s house?) under their own power (even with parents running along beside).

    If you are expecting your kids to ride independently to school when they are a bit older you can’t overemphasize teaching them the trafffic and road sense. Cars are a very real and deadly danger unlike the extreme unlikelihood of abduction etc.

  58. Nicole 2 April 26, 2014 at 4:17 am #

    Sounds like a good way to cause a child to wipe out. And what’s the chance that you’d hit it, the breaking would delay, and you’d end up causing a child to stop in front of an oncoming vehicle?

    If your child is too impulsive or young to understand not to bike into traffic, why do you have your kid biking near traffic? Take them to a park or a bike path or something until they’re more street savvy.

  59. Donna April 26, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    This would be great … as a practical joke.

  60. Andy April 26, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    @Nobody Why idiot parents? I am looking forward to be able to jog (or use inlines) while the kid will be on bike. I have seen someone doing it and it looked awesome: he got to do some sport and did not needed someone else to watch the kids in the meantime. His kids seemed to enjoy it too and it seemed like cool parent child activity.

    The problem with your everybody rides bike rule is that riding bike together with small kids is not much of physical activity for parent.

  61. Andy April 26, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    @Nobody Why idiot parents? I am looking forward to be able to jog (or use inlines) while the kid will be on bike. I have seen someone doing it and it looked awesome: he got to do some sport and did not needed someone else to watch the kids in the meantime. His kids seemed to enjoy it too and it seemed like cool parent child activity .

    The problem with your everybody rides bike rule is that riding bike together with small kids is not much of physical activity for parent.

  62. Nobody April 27, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    @Andy I suppose that it depends on individual circumstance, but the people that I called “idiot parents” are obviously not able to keep up with their children on bikes. If you are constantly having to yell at your kids to stop, slow down, or wait then you are not capable of keeping up with them and need to be on a bike yourself. I’m not talking about trying to keep up with a kid on a balance bike or tricycle. I’ve seen people try to jog and keep up with 7- and 8-year-olds on bikes.

  63. Andy April 28, 2014 at 4:03 am #

    @Nobody Do those kids stop on that yell? If the kids are misbehaving and putting themselves to danger non stop, then it is problem. But, I would call it undisciplined kid problem above all.

    People here go often on walk (not jogging) with 8 years old on bike who bikes around. 8 years old in Netherlands bike to school alone. So I see zero problem with 8 years old being faster then parent in some jogging area.

    You seem focused on whether they keep up. Of course parent is not that fast as bike and of course the kid goes is not glued to parent. The whole thing can work only if the kid is old enough for real bike.

    Neither balance bikes nor tricycles are fast enough to make parent run for long enough. More importantly, kids on balance bikes and tricycles can not go fast for long enough to make parent jog.

    lt;dr; Undisciplined kid on bike is a problem, kid faster the parent is not.

  64. Donna April 28, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    @Nobody – My kid frequently wants to ride her bike when I want to walk. She goes ahead and either waits for me to catch up periodically or goes back and forth. She likes it for whatever reason. She doesn’t like for me to ride bikes with her as much actually because then I go faster and she has to try to keep up.

  65. longtime_engineer April 28, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    First, I have been riding a bike longer than I have been a engineer. As an engineer, any “failsafe” should really be called GUARANTEED FAILURE. Just think how enthusiastic your child will be to ride a bike that will randomly toss him/her to the ground for no reason they can see or understand or even affect. Electronics are frequently unreliable and I doubt the software was coded with regard to how the device should “fail.” Do you really want to spend any money to actively prevents your children from enjoying an activity (cycling) that provides the ultimate freedom for a kid to go exploring and actually learn that there is a whole world away from their home? Adding fuel to fire, why buy something that actively discourages a kid from even becoming active? This device is a weight gain tool.

  66. dave April 29, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    Parents are idiots today, the mothers that mollycoddle, over nurture, over protect and over enable have ruined society. The kids today are so protected that if they do have an accident, they go into a dither. Just wrap the kid in bubble wrap for gosh sakes.

  67. howard hancock newman April 30, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Kudos to you! A business advisor once told us,’consumers buy for one of two reasons – the expectation of a reward, or the fear of the consequences.’ So, BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID! And buy, buy, buy.