Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bike Trailer

Last year I told the kids that this summer, they could ride their bikes to the library, which is about 1.5 miles away.  There's a sidewalk most of the way there, so I know they would be safe from cars. Plus, we live sorta in the country, so it's even less dangerous.

So with school being out for the summer, the kids immediately asked if they could ride to the library.  Kennedy was eager as well, having just learned how to ride her two-wheeler.  I wasn't quite ready to send her out with the older three, on their own.  I considered driving the two little ones and meeting the others at the library...but with such gorgeous weather, I thought I'd ride along too.

The only problem was: I don't have a little seat that goes behind me for Kimble (but I don't trust those seats anyway. I feel like they are too unstable). So I put a plea out to my local friends, on facebook, to see if anyone had a bike trailer I could borrow.

Very quickly, my friend Maggie offered me one to use. Thanks Maggie!

The only issue with the trailer, is that she got it from a mutual friend, who hadn't used it in years.  When she gave it to Maggie about a month ago, there was a connector piece  missing.  The part that connects the trailer post to the bike was missing.

We were going to borrow the piece from another friend, but it was getting late at night.  With plans to ride first thing in the morning, and needing a Husband who knew how to assemble it together, he went ahead and 'jimmy-rigged' the trailer to my bike with super duct tape.  He wrapped it and wrapped it and it looked very strong.  Perfect.

We took off in the morning in a follow-the-leader style, and with specific instructions from me on how to manage the small part without a sidewalk, as well as when to turn to get to the  library, we were on our way.  The bike-taped-trailer held up beautifully, and we cruised our way to the library.  It was very fun for me, and most especially for the two younger kids, who "wheeeee" and "yahoooo"-ed their way over every bump and hill.

On the way home from the library, we stopped off at the park and had a picnic lunch, where we met up with some friends and their kids, and had a fun hour of playing at the park.

Ready for Kimble's nap, we loaded up everyone again, and headed home.  Right away, it seemed like the trailer was swaying a lot more than it did before.  When we were still a mile from home, I looked back to see that the duct tape was almost all the way torn off, and was only holding by a little loop.

I also noticed that if the trailer hook swayed too much, it would get between my tire spokes, which would cause great catastrophe with me, the bike, and the trailer hauling my two babies.

I couldn't do anything about it, so with a prayer that all would  be safe, and with effort to stay as straight and level as possible,  I biked slowly the rest of the way home. I also instructed the kids to pray for our safety, which they did.

As soon as I rode up to my driveway, I hopped off, and right then, the trailer hook went too far in and nestled between my wheel spokes.  If I had still been on the bike, going the speed I was, I would have flipped and  crashed.

We said a prayer of thanks, and went inside.

I know The Husband thought the duct tape would hold.  He secured it so well.  We don't blame him at all, and he felt terrible when I told him this story.  Anyway, we got the missing part from the friend who originally had it, and next time we all bike to the library, we'll do so with the right equipment!


Heath said...

I even used Gorilla brand duct tape, I really don't know how it came loose. I did feel bad when I heard about it and was glad that no one got hurt. At least the safety strap was secured and it held.

courtney said...

Crazy! Duct tape does NOT fix all things silly! You must have very strong faith, it seems like asking to move a mountain would have been easier than asking for a duct tape loop to hold! I am very glad that you are all safe and that nothing happened more than just a faith promoting momment!

Jude said...

I used to cycle with my youngest; all there was then were the seats for the back of the bike. We used to cycle for miles until he got older and wanted to see where we were going! Even that was fine until a car came really close one day... It really scared me and I stopped using it. I love those little trailers and I'm happy for you that you now have the right bits and can get out there in complete safety. And as punishment I think you should make Heath attach it to his bike everytime you go out on family rides! lol (Only joking)

Shannon said...

I was envisioning the Looney Tunes cartoon with the camping trailer disconnecting on the mountainside and precariously rambling down the mountain in true Warner Brothers style. Glad you didn't have the same experience!