On the other hand, I won't expose my children to the same danger. For the last two weeks, my oldest daughter has been with grandparents. That leaves me and the little one, who I can haul around in the trailer. There is a major shopping center barely 2 miles from my home. It houses a Target, an HEB (major Texas grocer), PetSmart, my bank, an OfficeMax, and several clothing stores. I could easily tow her to the shopping center instead of driving, but I'm afraid.
I'm afraid of the danger presented by motorists on busy roads. Shary Road, which is the only reasonable way to get to the shopping center, is a 55 mph road. Additionally, when I reach the intersection of Shary Road and Expressway 83, it's busy and dangerous. There is always traffic, and lots of cars entering and exiting the stream of traffic from the shopping centers along the road. It looks a little like this, only usually busier:
There's a huge shoulder, and I've seen ONE other cyclist towing children on the road, but it still scares me. The shoulder on most of Shary Road looks similar to the Google Street View photo that I've inserted below. It's a shoulder that many bike commuters would love to have, but I still can't bring myself to tow my 2 year old on the same shoulder.
I believe that bikes will play a larger role in transportation as our dependence on oil continues to create problems for the American consumer (and the worldwide consumer too). I believe that we all have a responsibility to reduce our reliance on oil. As such, I want to ride my bike for more than just recreation. I want to use it as real transportation. To use it as transportation, my circumstances require me to take along at least one child, and I want to feel safe towing my daughter to the store. But I don't, and I'm sure my spouse feels the same way multiplied by maybe 1 gazillion. Yet, that doesn't make me feel like less of a hypocrite.
What do you think?