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...?