A bicycle can be used for more than recreation or sport but also as a means of urban transport. Here in Spain it is not so usual, but in many central European countries it is customary. It’s healthy, doesn’t cause contamination and is a very efficient method of making short or even slightly longer trips around the town.
If you wish to get around by bicycle with your child, you must remember a few things. To start with, if the bike is for one person (the most usual type), you can only carry a child less than 7 years of age as a passenger.
Remember that the person riding the bicycle must be and adult. As the parent you are allowed do this, but an older brother or sister under 18 years of age, cannot carry a small child as a passenger on a bicycle.
To carry a child by bicycle you need an approved child bike seat. These seats have a backrest, a harness and footrests and you must ensure that the seat is properly fixed to the bicycle.
The most usual type is fitted behind the rider on a luggage rack, although there are also seats available that are fitted in front, on the crossbar between the saddle and the handlebar.
Don’t forget that children must always use a crash helmet, both in town and on the open road.
The other option for carrying children on a bicycle, which we are seeing a lot more of, is a trailer.
The general regulations allow for a bicycle to pull a small trailer, so long as it isn’t more than 50% of the net weight of the bike (the one towing it), during daylight hours but people cannot be carried in the trailer (paragraph 4article 12 of the Highway Code). This applies when riding on the open road. When riding in an urban area this changes, the regulations state that you must refer to the local municipal ordinances. That is to say, that it depends on each municipality, whether or not you can use a trailer to carry children. You must enquire at the Town Hall.
Remember that a bicycle is given the same consideration as any other vehicle under the General Traffic Regulations. It must use the roads and must follow the Highway Code, give priorities, traffic lights and signage.