I spotted this achingly cool child seat on a bike parked at a construction site near campus. I couldn’t believe it. The black leather seat, the chrome back–it looks like it was lifted from a modernist bar for preschoolers. It totally outclasses the Huffy.
I remember when I was young, my parents took my sister and me on bike rides in the wire baskets on the handlebars of their bikes. It was horribly uncomfortable, of course, and I sincerely doubt those baskets were rated for the weight of children. But it was a lot of fun nonetheless. Some of my earliest memories are from those rides; seeing the trees dripping with moss during my family’s brief time in Louisiana, or bumping along on the gravel road that led to our house in the Seattle suburbs (this was long before they were built up for hordes of Microsoft employees).
Our parents sometimes tried to take us on walks when we were young, but like most kids our age, we simply didn’t have the stamina to go very far. My parents’ bicycles, with a kid in each front basket, gave them range. Now that we are parents, our bicycles make us free as well.
The seats we use for our children, however, lack style, even compared to a wire front basket. They’re plastic. Putting our kids on the back of the Kona MinUte is an improvement. But overall, the child seat market resembles nothing more than the toys that you can buy at big box stores: giant plastic sandboxes in the shape of turtles, or plastic play kitchens with colors that fade within a few months. There are twee alternatives, of course, like the wooden play kitchens that mimic everything about the plastic ones except the price, which is ten times higher. But I’d prefer to sidestep this market altogether.
This child seat, which looks pretty vintage, is in a class by itself. If my parents had had seats like this they could have ridden with us for hours. I’ve never seen anything like it before. But I want one.