If you want to ruin a perfect fall day and a family ride, don't forget to take at least one Department store bike for added frustration. My son just turned 6 and has finally gotten good enough on his bike to ride with us on our "famly rides.
The wife pulled the trailer with my 3 yr old daughter and i rode alongside of my son to keep him out of harm's way. His judgement is still questionable in my opionion even though he has the riding thing down. (I never thought that would happen )
My wife and I have trek's and my son has a Scwinn from Toys R US. I bought it two Summer's ago before I knew anything about bikes. (mistake) Well we headed off on our ride. About .75 miles into it he stops and says, "dad it won't go." Yep he is right, the rear brakes have locked up and there is no cable left to loosen them. Solution? I released the brake arms and let him ride that way. Well 1 block later i could see that his feet were hitting them on the back stroke. Solution? Pulled out multi-tool and removed brake arms.
OK, by now you are all saying, "oh that is dumb and very dangerous, he could get hurt." Well maybe it was dumb but he is not all that used to riding and has a front brake still as well as the brake that locks up the rear wheel by pedaling backwards. I just kept telling him that when you have to stop, you can't use that brake, see squeeze it...it won't stop you. He would comply and kept saying, " i will use my other brakes dad."
Ok, problem solved... right? Wrong, about 1 mile later, we roll over some railroad tracks and the chain falls off. I put it back on after some struggle and away we go. Well we make it about another .5 miles and it falls off again. This time it is stuck andx since i have no tools to remove rear wheel i send the wife for the car. Finally i get the chain free and back on the sprocket. We make it home before mom leaves in the car.
I immediately get the wrench out and loosen one side of the rear wheel nut, the wheel suddenly jumps back into it's original position. I never knew it was out of position but somehow it was. I suspect it has never been quite in the right position because there has been some tire rub on the fender, and the rear tire is about worn out.
Wow. What a deal. I already promised my son that he will have a better bike next year. Granted the trouble with this bike was likely due to poor assembly but man, what a great oppurtunity to ride with the family that was ruined. It was a perfect evening all except for the trusty Toys R Us Schwinn.
Oh well at least i had a good ride at sunrise this morning. I rode 23 miles solo with some country and some city as always and saw everyting from a beautiful sunrise, to a severely TP'd house to a Fox that was in town in the park. Now that is unusual. He sort of stared at me like i was the one out of place. .