My four-year-old has graduated from trailer to trail-a-bike add-on tandem. She calls it her big girl bike. We never had any problems with it until this morning. We were at a stoplight on the up slope of a hill waiting for the light to change. It turned green. I pedaled forward. Bomp. Then loud crying. She fell off as I jerked the bike into motion.
Here I am at one of the biggest intersections in the city. Fortunately we didn’t get past the cross walk. I clumsily try to manuever the makeshift tandem to the sidewalk while guiding her away from traffic. We weren’t in any real danger, but it scared the crap out of both of us.
After calming her down and making sure she wasn’t hurt I figured out what happened. Sometimes I let her know we are about to move. I didn’t do that this time. She wasn’t ready. But the big problem was she wasn’t holding onto the handle bars.
The day before the family had been on the Centennial Trail My son, age 8, was showing off how he could ride with no hands. My daughter then says to me “Look Dad–no hands!” (She was riding on the back of the tandem.) I thought it was pretty funny at the time. Until I figured out that’s what led to this morning’s mishap.
It freaked me out, but hopefully she learned an injury-free lesson in keeping your hands on the handle bars.
Your can read the first Preschool By Bike blog entry here.