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Old 08-16-13, 10:45 AM   #1
jmilleronaire
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Road train keeps getting bigger!

I've gone from 2 boys to 3. Getting to the park involves now adding a trail-a-bike between tractor and trailer!

And in January, I'll have a 4th. Anyone want to donate a trail-a-bike tandem to me next spring?

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Old 08-16-13, 12:21 PM   #2
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How old are they? I try to get them on their own wheels by the time they're 4-5. Now with 7 (ages 14 to 2), I only have 2 in the trailer for longer rides.
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Old 08-16-13, 12:24 PM   #3
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7!!!! holy hell
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Old 08-19-13, 07:28 AM   #4
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The boys are 6,5, and 11 months... but the 6-year-old has some learning issues (ADHD) where he could easily get distracted and ride off into traffic, and is absolutely TERRIFIED of riding without training wheels, and the 5-year-old just isn't ready. The other issue with that kids that age aren't ready for longer rides, on the trail-a-bike now, the oldest can only keep pedaling for about a mile before he's done. It's a workout hauling them, even flats feel like a pretty steep uphill. Describing my bike as a tractor is quite apt in terms of speed, but I've never heard a tractor wheeze as much as I do!
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Old 08-19-13, 07:29 AM   #5
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Also, *7*? What do you do, win the lottery every couple of months so you can pay for groceries?
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Old 08-19-13, 08:07 AM   #6
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Also, *7*? What do you do, win the lottery every couple of months so you can pay for groceries?
LOL
Something like that.

My now 12 y.o. has some significant LD's and it took him a while to learn to ride, but perserverance in getting rid of the training wheels pays off. If he's diagnosed, you may get your school district to pay for biking classes through a therapy clinic.

As for ride length, it's just frequent riding and slowly adding distance- you'd be surprised what distances little kids can do.
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Old 08-19-13, 08:24 AM   #7
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Yea, along with the disabilities (he did get a lot of special education already) he has severe asthma. The 5-year-old has more minor asthma, too. So I'm hesitant to push too hard. But yeah, once they get to the point that they can ride on their own, I'll be able to just keep the babies in the trailer again.

I can't come close to justifying the cost of a tandem trail-a-bike (i got the single one I have now on craigslist at a steal ($30)). I also got the trailer free from a neighbor, their kids were entering college and they didn't think they'd probably need it anymore.
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Old 08-19-13, 03:19 PM   #8
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The 6-year-old has some learning issues (ADHD) where he could easily get distracted and ride off into traffic, and is absolutely TERRIFIED of riding without training wheels, and the 5-year-old just isn't ready. The other issue with that kids that age aren't ready for longer rides, on the trail-a-bike now, the oldest can only keep pedaling for about a mile before he's done.
I would be concerned with safety on a rig like that. I'm no engineer, but two trailers hitched together doesn't seem like the safest of ideas. Would be concerned with something coming loose, or swinging out into traffic.

As for the training wheels - there are a few threads here about how to wean the kids off of them. One includes taking the pedals off and letting them scoot themselves around using feet. Others include just pushing them, and letting them figure it out.

At age 5/6 you'd be surprised at how far they can ride solo. A lot of the times, when they "can only pedal" for a mile or two, it's not a question of ability, they just don't feel like it (lazy). I wonder if you stopped pulling them, how quickly they would be able to build up mileage? Start by taking it slow...

Regarding ADHD - practice, practice, practice. Work with your son on most importantly: listening to you. Then practical skills like riding on your side (away from traffic), or in front of you and in a straight line. That trust will be built, and you will begin to have more confidence in him. If you have parks/bike trails, those are the best places to start learning and build confidence. Remember, PRAISE your child when they listen well, reward them for excellent riding. Have a purpose for your trips: to get ice cream, breakfast, coffee (hot chocolate), to look at something - not only will it build memories, but your child will start looking forward to riding.

My 5yr. old son was slowly conditioned to ride 6 miles RT to the beach "to watch whales" when he was 4 (on training wheels). It turned into something he loved doing. When he turned 5, the training wheels were ripped off, and the 6 mile trips continued without a problem. Yes, we had a few wipe-outs, skinned knees, and he ran into picnic tables, poles, and bike racks - but they were all in areas free of cars - and he was padded with a helmet, gloves, pants, long sleeves. Only minor scuffs.

The first day I bumped him up to 10 miles (to get breakfast), he had several "meltdowns" on the way - which were mitigated as water or "fuel" breaks. He was completely capable, but he didn't "feel" like it. We completed our 5th 10 mile trip this past weekend on Saturday. Sunday after church he asked to ride further - and we went 12.

My 4 year old daughter on the other hand is LAZY. She'll sit on her bike and pout, act like her bike doesn't work, or expect us to push her. However, she's seen all the "rewards" (like juice, video game time, or a scoop of ice cream) that we've given our son, and she practically begged me to ride to Grandma's with her last week (1 mile). Guess what, she did awesome. We made sure to reward her, praise her, and she now wants to ride more.

All children are different, but they can all be motivated. Once they realize they can get to "real" places while riding, it becomes fun. If the asthma isn't to hard on your kids, you might be surprised in their abilities if they start riding solo. Start small and create a goal/reward based system, praise them, and most of all, have fun with it. All children learn differently - find out what works best for yours.

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As for ride length, it's just frequent riding and slowly adding distance- you'd be surprised what distances little kids can do.
+1.

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Old 08-20-13, 10:05 AM   #9
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I would be concerned with safety on a rig like that. I'm no engineer, but two trailers hitched together doesn't seem like the safest of ideas. Would be concerned with something coming loose, or swinging out into traffic.
I don't see how the trailer attached to the TAB would be any more likely to come loose or swing out than if it were attached directly to the "tractor" bike. Real big rigs haul 2 trailers behind them (more in some countries) without a problem.

I would just be concerned with the effort required. I have a difficult enough time hauling my one son in his trailer behind my bike, which combined (kid and trailer) makes for an extra 70-80 pounds behind me.
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Old 08-21-13, 11:53 AM   #10
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I would be concerned with safety on a rig like that. I'm no engineer, but two trailers hitched together doesn't seem like the safest of ideas. Would be concerned with something coming loose, or swinging out into traffic.
+1.
I routinely used train like this when my kids were younger.
What do you mean by swinging out into traffic?
The train follows the bike path, for it to veer off there it would need a really strong lateral force.
Also, while much harder uphill due to added weight, on the flat the whole rig felt more stable to the conductor/engine (me )
The trailer pulling on the TAB had contributed some stabilizing dampening.
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Old 08-21-13, 02:02 PM   #11
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There does have to be a little bit of forethought put into sharp cornering, because you are a little longer, and the way the connections set up, the trailers each follow a slightly tighter path (the wheels don't follow in your path like a BOB style single-wheel trailer), but it's not hard to do. The hardest part is backing it out of the garage the next time, after I'm too exhausted to do a proper turnaround on returning home.

Yes, having either of these behind the bike makes it akin to riding uphill, so with both I'm essentially riding up an incline even on the level, but I need the exercise. The mountain bike gearing gives me the (sometimes needed) lower gearing to spin/crawl my way along.
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