Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Something Different


So, #1 and I were loving life with our Topeak Co-Pilot.  We were enjoying biking, ice cream and the zoo for a second year; what could be better?  As the leaves fell and winds turned stronger and snow began to fall, my daughter grew too cold from her exposed position on the seat to continue riding into the winter.  I unmounted the Topeak seat and rack from my bike and together we settled in for the winter.

I've a confession to make.  I love REI Garage Sales.  For those who don't know, REI sells off all the items that have been returned to them by their customers/members, quarterly.  I've had great luck at these Garage Sales and have missed but a few over the past five years.  I found myself at one of these Garage Sales, shortly after having retired our bike seat for the season, when I happened upon a most unique bicycle trailer.  When originally deciding what type of contraption to purchase in order to ride with #1, I briefly considered purchasing a trailer.  The reasons I didn't were these:
  • They seemed really wide to me.  I was worried that I would not be able to successfully negotiate my bike with a trailer attached into narrow spaces, such as pedestrian gates at park and cemetery entrances.
  •  I thought the trailers, with their low to the ground geometry, might not offer my child as good a view as the one offered from a higher perch.
  •  Cost.  The trailers I coveted most were made by Burley.  If I were to do it over, knowing that our cycling together would be a success, then I could certainly justify the purchase price.  However, at the time, I didn’t know if co-cycling would work for us.
Dozing away.
This new trailer I was staring at chased all previous doubts from my mind.  It was set up as a third wheel recumbent, which attached to the tow bike’s seat post.  It had panniers.  It had pedals.  It was glorious.  My little girl had just turned three and would soon outgrow our Topeak seat.  I'd reservations about putting her on a more traditional third wheel tag along bike, as I'd heard rumors of kids dozing off and falling off of these bikes.  In this seat, she'd be in a recumbent position, secured by a three point harness and velcro pedal straps.  She'd easily be able to doze as we covered some miles.

As I walked to this beautiful machine, another guardedly stated "Sorry, buddy.  I'm buying this one." with his hand wrapped round its tow pole.  "Mind if I check it out?", I asked.  Together, we looked it over.  It was a WeeHoo and neither of us had seen anything like it before.  We searched for the reason this vehicle was returned, in order to assure it would be safe for a child to ride in.  We discovered one of the velcro pedal straps to be missing; an easy fix.

I left REI buzzing.  I had to have a WeeHoo!  I started saving my pennies.  By March, I was the proud owner of a blaze red WeeHoo.  It came together pretty quickly.  My daughter couldn't wait to go for a ride.  She was extremely excited to have pedals and bounded with joy.  

I love bikes.  I'm pretty sure you've figured that out by now.  I love biking with my progeny even more.  The addition of the WeeHoo to this equation elevated my love for cycling to a new level.  We flew.  Together, we increased our distances.  Thirty mile treks became not uncommon.  We went fast!  Thirty plus miles per hour on a downhill?  Yes, please!  The WeeHoo tracked wonderfully and my little stoker helped quite a bit when tackling large hills.  When tired, my eldest slept securely.  If you're considering a trailer for a child too big for a rear mounted seat, yet not quite ready for a traditional tag along, I can not recommend the WeeHoo highly enough.  It is an amazing machine.  I've one of their earliest models.  In May, I believe they are to release a tandem WeeHoo.  As I've now a second daughter, to be two next month, I'm hoping to test one out.  More on how we've included #2 into our cycling lifestyle will follow in the coming weeks.
A ride to the playground in December 2011