Monday, June 25, 2012

Sore knees...

I biked all of about six miles (to swim lessons and swim practice) today-- pulling the trailer on the triple, my way-of-late to carry four kids aged almost 1 to 7. My knees really hurt. With all the wiggling through tight spaces and the stop-and-go of suburbia riding I have the seat low-enough so that I can put my tiptoes firmly on the ground while seated. I know if I raise the saddle, the pain would likely go away, but I just feel like I can't confidently ride the triple like that. The ride home I was just pining for my bakfiets where the bike is designed to allow for the rider to stay seated at stops and still have full leg extension while pedaling. I've been riding the triple only because I don't know what to do with my 7-year old-- too big for the bakfiets and there'd already be three kids in the box anyway. I'm considering a Follow-Me-Tandem Coupler on the bakfiets for him and sometimes his 5 year-old brother. (There is a seller on German eBay that will ship to the U.S., since-- as Hum of the City blogged-- there is no longer a U.S. distributor). The Onderwater Tandem looks good too (perhaps similar seat/pedal geometry as the bakfiets?), though I can't really justify the expense. Our poor garage has enough bikes/bike pieces.

And because I didn't have enough hands to take any pictures of my cute kids swimming today, here's some pictures of the bike things I'm thinking about (this is a bike blog after all):

The XL Onderwater Tandem (in non-swimming weather)
Follow-Me-Tandem Coupler


  1. Clever Cycles on the West Coast still has the Follow Me available:

    I couldn't justify the expense of such a simple contraption so I just had the apprentice welder at my local bike shop build one for me. He's a cute little 19 year old hipster who had no idea where to begin so he went through many different "prototypes" before he nailed one that was functional for towing both a child and adult bike. I just removed the front wheel and hook it up via quick release to the front drop outs. It works great for moving forward but I have to have the kiddo lift her rear wheel to back it up to bike racks, etc, though I imagine you'd have to do the same with the Follow Me.

    Here's what the whole contraption looks like on my Bak:

    It's just connected to the bike via bob nuts on the axle and a welded quick release plate on the underside of the rear of the rack. Easy on, easy off. I got the idea from this Bike Portland post from last year and I'm sure any bike welder could whip one up for you for less that $100.

  2. That's really cool. Thanks for sharing. How does it feel when you're riding? Sort of like a trailer bike or something different? Does your daughter ride on it while it is attached or do you use it just for towing the bike around. I wasn't sure from reading your post. Thanks!

    Also, unfortunately, Clever Cycles doesn't have the Follow-Me in stock even though their website says they do :( I asked them a few days ago. They can't order single Follow-Mes and decided they don't want to buy in bulk. Bummer.

  3. It's got some pull when she's riding on the back but is unnoticeable when only her bike is being towed and she's in the box. Typically, I'll let her ride most of the way to school on her own and tow her the rest of the way if she gets beat and then I tow her empty bike the 3.5 miles home. The center of gravity on it is pretty low so I think it rides about as well as a trailer and better than a trail-a-bike.

    It's a shame that Clever Cycles has kept it on their site. I've referred a few people there to buy one thinking they still carried it.

    1. Cool. Thanks! This just might work for us...

  4. Kimberly, I am still catching up to the blog world! I have this same dilemma all of the time. I really want to ride four on my bike! I have been doing it regularly for a couple week on the Yuba without issue. I toy with a triple, but as you know, it's not ideal for four, and I am thinking about box bikes with trail-a-bikes like Dorea and Angela sport on CarFreeWithKids, or like Emily has going on in PDX with her follow-me-tandem (here's one interview of two there is a YubeTube and a blog post somewhere...maybe you caught it on the RPM FB group?).

    I just can't see continuing to haul all this weight safely and comfortably (relative?) as they grow, without an electric assist...or moving to a car free island :)

    Love the homemade-local suggestion from the commenter above. I will have to look in to it, especially since my father is a welder!

    1. I'm pretty sure we're going to try the Follow-Me like Emily has (I loved reading her story!). We've been hesitant to shell out so much money for something we can't see in person, but we keep on thinking it'd be useful... I'll make sure I write about it after we've used it for a bit! I don't think it'd work for your oldest though. I've read it can only tow bikes with wheel sizes up to 20"... I'm amazed you have all four on your bike. That's incredible! We have our 9 and 10 year olds ride their own bikes. I'm so slow pulling the littles that it's easy for them to keep up.

  5. window 7 professional upgrade key , ms office professional 2010 genuine key download , windows 10 serial key 4 , sql 2008 r2 standard key , windows 10 home product key 2015 , windows 7 ultimate sp1 keys , windows 7 pro activation key free , windows 7 ultimate sp1 , tK6QTv

    office 2016 product serial free

    windows 10 enterprise key

    office 2016 product key

    office 2013 product key sale