By Stephen Haynes
“Always leave them crying,” says Chris Brown of Kidz Tandems. What he means is, that kids love to pedal and you want them to be so pumped about riding that when the ride is done, they’re crying for more!
Unfortunately on our maiden voyage my daughter Darby did cry (and not in a good way). Of course I didn’t suss out the handling of the bike very well before encouraging her to jump on the front seat. The extra weight had me downshifting and the sudden boost in pedal rotation caught her off guard and she took a pedal to the back of each leg. Way to go Dad! Jeez! Though little or no actual scarring occurred, I haven’t yet convinced her that giving it another go is a good idea.
In the meantime, this unfortunate little hiccup has given me the ability to try out the Kidz Tandems’ utilitarian aspect. The optional, large front loader basket that came with my tester can haul some serious cargo and has been put through it paces on several grocery trips and recycling runs.
It’s taken me a little while to get used to the bike, and I’m not fully up to speed just yet. The small front wheel combined with the extended frontal region makes for strange cornering. Weight is also an issue, especially if, like me, any previous load hauling has been pulled, not pushed. Fully loaded the thing becomes a little bit of a beast but not totally unmanageable.
Chris also included a small child seat that I clamped onto the rear rack and strapped my son Odin into. He really enjoyed the ride but wasn’t quite crying for more. In fact, I think he’s a tad big for the seat as my heels and his toes kept colliding as we ambled down the street. Nevertheless, it puts a smile on my face when people stare aghast at me riding along with Odin and our recyclables. It’s a small town we live in and riding a normal bike is akin to walking around Au natural, or setting oneself on fire. The general consensus is “why wouldn’t you just drive”?
Hopefully Darby can be coaxed back onto the bike (maybe I can get Odin to work on her too) and we can put some miles on it in tandem mode and freak more people out with our “crazy shenanigans”. Until then, perhaps I can charge for bicycle rides down at the local park and see how many kids I can make cry?