26 September 2007

Bungee cord "leash" helps pull novice bike riders over bumps

I'm lucky to live in a neighborhood where there's a mix of single folks, families with kids ages 0-17, empty nesters, and retirees. As such, I get a parenting education each time I walk out the door. Someone's always around to either offer some neighborly advice or ask for mine.

My four year-old daughter got a bike with training wheels for her birthday a few months ago. Our old neighborhood's sidewalks are bumpy and uneven, so she can't always muster the strength to pedal over bumps or small inclines.

Over the weekend I was walking alongside her as she rode, tugging her over the tough spots (and tweaking my back in the process). One of my neighbors was gardening in her front yard and paused to admire the big girl and her bike in all of its pink-and-tasselled glory. Then she said: "Wait! I've got something that would make that so much easier for you!" (You in this case referring to me.) In a moment she produced a bungee cord, which we hooked onto the bike's front handle, and suddenly I could pull my daughter over little bumps easily enough while keeping my hands off the bike. She's a slow and deliberate rider, so it worked perfectly for both of us.

Thank goodness for the wisdom of neighbors who've done it all before.

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Yet another "Oh, that thing we do is a hack?" (^_^)

Being a non-driver, I've also found the bungee helpful when we need to get somewhere a little faster than my son is able to pedal.

We had a similar problem and found that a 'push me home' bar helped a great deal.

http://www.pushmehome.com.au/default.aspx

I love this idea. Having a 2 yr old with an "I do it mine-self" attitude, I foresee this being a perfect compromise! :)

Good idea but be careful with the bungee cords. A friend of mine used one all the time for the same thing. She left them laying out one day and the kids played tug of war with them resulting in her youngest child losing an eye. They can be very dangerous in the wrong hands.

I was just going to comment on the safety as well. I think this is a great idea, but make sure that the bungee is looped in a way that it can't come off. Or perhaps remove the hooks and just tie it on with a knot, or use something else that is stretchy like rubber tubing. We had a bungee incident this summer (strapping stuff on the car) where the bungee hit me in the eye and then broke the car window. Luckily I was fine, but I'm much more careful around them now.

I own a few bungee cords that have rubber molding over the steel hooks...they still might cause someone to lose an eye playing tug of war, but they seem to be a bit safer otherwise.

There are bungee cords that are more like rubber bands - no metal hooks, but a rubber band loopy thingy that slides over handle bars. I could see the bungee cord metal hook being bad if it accidentally popped off. Those things are made for trucks and even then the grown ups get hurt sometimes!!!! But it is an awesome idea!!!!

Thanks you sooo much for this! I should have thought of it myself! My 4 yo is very independant and hates to have me help him, but some of the hills here are pretty steep and he needs the help, whether he likes to admit it or not. He hates it when I put my hand on his bike. I would be concerned about the bungee hurting someone, so it would definitely have to be knotted on or something. I have visions of the bungee coming loos and him rolling back down the hill backwards.

We manufacture the "Push me Home" handle for kids bikes, we developed the handle for exactly the same reason all the parents are commenting on experiencing the same issues with our children. and have found similar stories from most of our happy customers. For further information and other testomonials on our solution please go to our web site on http://www.pushmehome.com.au,we can post to anywhere in the world.

i just HAD to laugh when i read this. My husband does the same thing for our two year old, but instead of bumps only he attaches the other end of the bungee cord to his belt buckle and just starts walking. He thought he was a genius!! LOL.

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