Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Exercise in Futility

Earlier I was thinking that it would be good for the kids and I to go to the trails and ride bikes together. This proposition is fraught with problems, however I decided to see if I could make it work.

  1. Do we all have working bikes?
  2. Do I have a working carriage for the two little kids?
  3. How do I fit all of the bikes and the carriage and the people into my van?
  4. Do the little people have helmets?
Out I went to the garage armed with an air-pump, some wrenches, and some WD-40. Ross and Mark have not been riding their bikes lately so I didn't know if their bikes worked or if they had grown out of them. After some inspection, I determined that both bikes would work after some airing and lubing up. Mark's bike is pretty small. What I really need is a new bike for Ross and to give Ross' old bike to Mark. Well that isn't happening today, so I decided to tackle raising the seat and handle bars on Mark's bike to see if we could make do. Raising the seat was easy. Raising the handle bars was not. The bolt was rusty and stripped, and after much time and perspiration, I determined that I could not raise the bars. I called Mark out to give it a test spin. He looks a little silly on that small bike, but it will do for now. I gave both Ross and Mark's bikes a good airing and lubing and moved on to Lydia's.

She's been riding her bike a lot, so that was not a real problem. Bruce had just bought her some new tires, but they weren't on yet. I don't even know how to do that, so I just reattached her back wheel, which Bruce had taken off to get the proper fit for her new tires. Somewhere in the process, her back brakes had gotten all discombobulated, as in the wiring had come undone. Hence, I had to figure out how to fix that. I'm proud to say that I did figure out how to put them back together.

About the carriage for the two little ones, I knew that my running stroller did convert to a bike stroller, but I'd never done it. I wasn't even sure we still had the right parts or how to use them if we did. After some poking around in the garage, I found the parts and after some more figuring, I managed to take the front wheel off the stroller and attach the gismo properly. How to attach it to my bike took some figuring too, but I managed.

I didn't want to risk my good bike, so I had to air and lube up our older bike. Plus I aired and lubed up the stroller for good measure. There we all have bikes that will do the job. That only took me about two hours.

Now to see about helmets for everyone. I knew that the three older kids and I had helmets, and after some digging I found extras for the little guys. Getting them all to fit properly will be another thing.

I still don't know if I can fit all of it into the van or not. I can strap the stroller to the top, and if I take out all of the seats (except the ones in the front) and put the bench seat where the back bucket seats go, the bikes might fit. I'd have to have a couple of kids lap sit for the ride to the trail, but it's not far.

I walked out of the garage intending to give it a try, when the sound of thunder greeted my ears. Oh well, maybe another day. Time to make lunch and for Clayton's nap anyhow. Looks like I disassembled my running stroller for nothing. But on the bright side, if I want to go biking in the future, I will be a lot closer. Plus Ross and Mark's bikes are rolling again.

Darn, it's raining and I left Ross and Mark's bikes outside. I guess I'd better go and move them before they rust all up again.

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