Dad Invents Pop-on Kid’s Seat for City’s Bike-Sharing Program — Then He’s Ordered to ‘Cease and Desist’

An invention by an urban dad is a Washington, D.C., dwelling parent’s dream. It was an easy to pop on and off, no tools required child seat that could be used on the city’s bike-sharing program bicycles. For families in the city who were tight on space, this meant only having to store a child’s seat as opposed to a whole bike that you had to affix a semi-permanent attachment for your little hop onto.

Crispen Wilson even won a top prize at the D.C. State Fair last year for the seat that would work for Capitol BikeShare bikes. Earlier this year, after inquiries from interested parties, Wilson set up a social business to sell the screw on seats and said on YouTube that the profits would be used to support “underfunded environmental and humanitarian projects.”

A D.C. dad invented a kid's seat that attaches to a bike-share bicycle but was recently told the seat violates the program's user code. (Image source: YouTube)
A D.C. dad invented a kid’s seat that attaches to a bike-share bicycle but was recently told the seat violates the program’s user code. (Image source: YouTube)

“I find I save about 30 minutes each morning and evening on pick-up and drop-off,” Wilson told the D.C. blog The Hill Is Home last month about using the seat to take his daughter to and from school. “I also save a significant amount of money, and I even get in a little exercise.”

Check out how the seat works:

But after it gained public attention more recently Wilson was told to stop the process of testing out his designs and selling he seats because they violate the program’s user agreement on several fronts.

“As some of your commentators have mentioned, the use of the Bicycled Capitol Hill Bikeseat is in violation of two sections of the Capital Bikeshare member agreement which prohibit attachments to the bicycle, as well as the use of the bicycle by more than one rider,” Eric Gilliland, director of Alta Bicycle Share, the program’s operator in D.C., told USA Streetsblog.

“Through its attorneys, Alta Bicycle Share, the operator of Capital Bikeshare, has asked Bicycled LLC to cease and desist the production, promotion and sale of the child seat attachment,” Gilliland continued. “Alta has also requested Bicycled LLC contact all previous purchasers of the child seat to inform them that use of the attachment violates the terms of the Capital Bikeshare member agreement. Bicycled has yet to comply with our request.

“Alta understands the desire for more flexibility in bike share programs and we remain committed to providing the best bike sharing systems possible. Toward this end we intend to work with the bicycle manufacturer, our insurance companies, and our clients to find bike share accessories that will help safely expand the use of bike share systems.”

Before this statement, USA Streetsblog had been praising the invention as one that could put “tens of thousands of bike-share bikes around the country at the service of parents and kids that, until now, haven’t had a safe and practical way to use them.”

This isn’t the first invention someone has drummed up to enhance bike-sharing programs. Jeff Guida created a motor attachment that would speed up New York City’s Citi Bike to 18 mph without the user even having to pedal. Though his Kickstarter project wasn’t funded in time, he said he received alternative funding to move the project forward.

(H/T: Gizmodo)