Today a fellow rider wanted to know what I thought about riding a motorcycle with a child sitting pillion since I often ride with my boys. Thought I’d share my gyaan here as well.
Wind puts a child to sleep far sooner than the sweetest lullaby sung by an angel. So when riding with a child, its best to keep the rides short and sweet. It also helps to make frequent stops to break the monotony. Also its best to start the ride when the child is fresh. A good time to start riding is first thing in the morning after breakfast. Or maybe early in the evening just after the child has woken up from their afternoon siesta. Needles to say, riding during the mid day heat or the late evening chill is the most dangerous time to ride with a child.
I have a rule with my boys when they sit pillion with me. Every time I tap their left thigh, they are supposed immediately give me the thumbs up. If they don’t or they are slow in responding, I take that as a sign that they are drowsy and stop to get a coffee or splash their face with water.
To solve the child dozing off problem some riders use a harness where the child is secured to the adult. Personally I feel that using a harness is only a little less dangerous than not using one. In case of a fall, there is a high possibility of the adult causing far greater injury to the child than if the child fell separately. It’s somewhat similar to keeping a child on your lap in a car and not wearing the seat belt. In the event of a crash you are going to use the child as an air bag.
It may be all right to use a harness to drop your child to nearby school. But for long rides on highways, I highly recommend not to use a harness. It’s one thing falling from a two wheeler at a slow speed in a city. But crashing out at highway speeds with a child strapped to your back isn’t going to be good for the child.