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  1. #1
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    More trail-a-bike misadventures

    Some of you might remember my post last week about having a clipless fall with my daughter on a trail-a-bike behind me. Well, she was only mildly traumatized by that, so she agreed to set out on the 40-mile group ride we'd been planning all summer.

    After much 3 AM agonizing, I decided to swap out the clipless pedals on my road bike for some older cage-style pedals for this ride. I did this partly because I wanted us to have more practice together using clipless just within our neighborhood, and partly because she knows why we fell last time and I didn't want her worrying that it would happen again. BF'ers who chastised me for using these in the first place, feel free to pat yourselves on the back, but my change wasn't due to your advice. We'll be back in clipless soon. I'm totally confident running clipless myself, but I realized I need more practice with a kid aboard to avoid becoming distracted and forgetting to unclip.

    So back to the ride. Despite hilly hills and loose gravel on the roads, the ride went well. Being mostly a masher anyway, I didn't lose too much power to the non-clipless pedal switch. The traffic was generally light and mostly well-behaved.

    The trail-a-bike was performing OK with the typical wobbles but nothing too dangerous. My daughter was pedaling a lot, and a few times I could actually feel the "turbo boost". About 30 miles into the ride, I heard a sudden dragging/scraping noise, and we began to slow. "That sounds exactly like a bike tire skidding", I thought to myself, but there was no loss of control like with a typical skid. A beat later, my daughter cried out, "Dad, my foot is stuck!"

    I pulled quickly to the shoulder and stopped, and when I looked back, I saw her left foot jammed between the spokes of the rear wheel and wedged against the chainstay. I was able to free her foot quickly, and sat her down on the shoulder while I removed her sneaker and checked her out. No damage at all the shoe or her foot -- I think the rubber sole of the shoe protected her from any injury, plus the fact that the wheel locked up so quickly. After a couple of minutes to calm down, she was back on the bike again, and we finished the ride (with lots of reminders to "KEEP YOUR FEET ON THE PEDALS".)

    So a word of advice to those of you who tow trail-a-bikes -- look back once in a while and see what the kids are doing with their feet. Make sure they keep those feet on the pedals!

    Hmm, maybe some clipless for the kid...?

  2. #2
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Yea my son used to love to try to stop the wheel with his foot while we were riding. Glad we cured him of that. I am impressed you and your daughter did 40 miles...longest I have done is 24 miles and that was with plenty of stops on a rail trail (I didn't need them but my wife and son did). How old is your daughter?

    As for the clipless pedals I don't see the issue. I use them all the time, trailer bike or no and have never had an issue. The only problem I have is my son (4 yrs old) wants clipless pedals.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the advice. I recently bought a trail-a-bike for my daughter. I'm planning to give it to her for her 5th b'day. I'm impressed that your daughter did a 40 miles ride!I sure hope mine will enjoy the trail-a-bike as much as yours. Keep us updated on your adventures and misadventures!

  4. #4
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    How old is your daughter?
    She's six. This is her first year riding on the trail-a-bike.

  5. #5
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by va_cyclist
    She's six. This is her first year riding on the trail-a-bike.
    Ok that makes some sense. My son is about to turn 4 so while he likes riding and LOVES to go fast (that is all I hear) he isn't happy on a longer ride. We do 10-15 miles 2-4 times a week.
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  6. #6
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by va_cyclist
    Make sure they keep those feet on the pedals!
    Also, especially with younger children, help them understand *why* they need to keep their feet on the pedals.

    I hate to admit this, but when I was 4 or 5 I was riding on the back of my sister's bike. I looked down and noticed that whenever we moved fast, the spokes disappeared. I wondered if the spokes *really* disappeared or just *looked* like they had disappeared. So I conducted a scientific experiment -- and got a nasty ankle and shin rash.

  7. #7
    Airborne Titanium EricDJ's Avatar
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    Its not this one is it?

    I can't remember if this is the one I had that was recalled a few years back too.

    http://www.trail-a-bike.com/interfac...safety_stepone

  8. #8
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    Ok that makes some sense. My son is about to turn 4 so while he likes riding and LOVES to go fast (that is all I hear) he isn't happy on a longer ride. We do 10-15 miles 2-4 times a week.
    If you want the truth, the only part my daughter really cares about are the rest stops. Because of the snacks, you know. Plus she LOVES all the attention she gets from adult cyclists.

  9. #9
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricDJ
    Its not this one is it?

    I can't remember if this is the one I had that was recalled a few years back too.

    http://www.trail-a-bike.com/interfac...safety_stepone
    Yep, that's the one. Ours is the Starter model, and has the upgraded hitch pin.

  10. #10
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    I've got both single and tandem Trail-a-Bikes and tandem and triple bikes. All set up for kids on them. First thing for me is to put clips and straps on the kid positions to help them keep their feet on the pedals.

  11. #11
    lws
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    Ditto the clips and straps - those went on before I ever let my kid on the trailabike. I strap the kids' feet on, and they stay strapped on until I stop and unstrap them. Kids can't be counted on to keep their feet on the pedals all the time, even with clipless cleats. I would do the same on a tandem.

  12. #12
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    While pulling my son on his trail-a-bike he decided to pull the flag on his bike out and stick it in the spokes of his wheel. This experiment was immediately followed by a jolt, a snap, a "what the hell???" out of me and laughter out of him. You have to hand it to kids thet keep life interesting.

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