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recovering from accident, seeking advice

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  • nancyh434
    Hello everyone, My name is Nancy, and I live in central Virginia. I got my Big Dummy about a month ago (with a Bionx assist on it -- I live in a hilly town and
    Message 1 of 18 , Oct 13, 2011
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      Hello everyone,

      My name is Nancy, and I live in central Virginia. I got my Big Dummy about a month ago (with a Bionx assist on it -- I live in a hilly town and want to transport my kids on the bike). I've been training by riding around town with 80 lbs in the panniers. Almost two weeks ago, I was practicing on a pair of hills near my kids' school -- a steep down followed by a steep up, went too fast, and the front wheel just lifted off the ground (the battery adds another 25 lbs, with all of the weight in the back). I was lucky in many ways and am recovering okay.

      But... I'm concerned that I may not be strong enough to handle the bike safely with my kids on it (collectively 85 lbs). The electric can help me get them up hills, but starting on a hill (as is often necessary where I live) is not easy with weight on the bike. I am 5'4" and 140 lbs, in fairly good shape (run, bike, swim, lift weights), but I'm worried that I'm simply not heavy/strong enough to keep the bike balanced with kids on the rack in a variety of situations. (I did order some wide loaders to slow things down, in the event of a fall; and obviously I won't by going so fast again.)

      I would love to hear from women or small men who ride with 2 kids on the back. My current plan is one big stoker bar they both hold onto with them sitting close to each other, a crazy creek seat under both/behind the second child (they're both 4.5 y.o.). How did you go about learning to ride safely with your kids on there?

      Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

      happy riding,
      Nancy
    • David Backeberg
      ... I m not a woman or a small man, but I can tell you two things: 1) in terms of weight distribution, you want as much weight forward, and as much weight low
      Message 2 of 18 , Oct 13, 2011
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        On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 12:46 PM, nancyh434 <nhurrelbrinck@...> wrote:
        > But... I'm concerned that I may not be strong enough to handle the bike safely with my kids on it (collectively 85 lbs). The electric
        >can help me get them up hills, but starting on a hill (as is often necessary where I live) is not easy with weight on the bike. I am 5'4" >and 140 lbs, in fairly good shape (run, bike, swim, lift weights), but I'm worried that I'm simply not heavy/strong enough to keep the

        I'm not a woman or a small man, but I can tell you two things:

        1) in terms of weight distribution, you want as much weight forward,
        and as much weight low as you can. So if you have two kids of
        different size, the bigger kid should be forward of the smaller kid.
        If you have a battery pack, you want it forward, perhaps even strapped
        to the frame in front of the board if there's a place to attach it.
        Again, if you can't put it forward, at least put it low. The lower the
        weight is, the less of a tipping factor you have if the bike is not
        perfectly vertical.

        2) I do not know what to say to assuage your concerns about crashing.
        Except to say that you've already crashed, and it seems like you
        weren't hurt (badly). My wife tipped our Madsen, with our kid strapped
        in. She freaked out, the kid freaked out, the bike was fine, and so
        were they. It was very low speed, around a tight turn and they just
        kindof toppled over. Sometimes experiencing your worst fear helps you
        realize it's not so bad? I don't know whether that makes you feel any
        better. The more experience you get riding, the more confident you
        will feel. My wife now feels much more confident on the bike, and I
        appreciate that she did not give up after her first 'failure'.
      • laughter medicine
        The thing is that you need to practice and build your strength. With that you will develop confidence. Over 50 when i began i have taken over 125 lbs with me
        Message 3 of 18 , Oct 13, 2011
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          The thing is that you need to practice and build your strength.  With that you will develop confidence.  Over 50 when i began i have taken over 125 lbs with me every where for 5 tours, over 5000 miles, carried two adults on the playa, up to three kids / a surfing teenager and even a surfing dog.  My only 3 crashes have occurred at stopped or very slow speed.  Worst injury I turned an ankle but was still able to bike on, other wise some big bruises once.  When traffic threatens i put a flag or big stick  sticking out toward the traffic on my bike. 14 countries later and no plane rides in between under my belt in 3 years,  i'd have to say it's pretty safe. 

          Saftey tips:  Play pilot and have a safety check list checked off before take off.  For going down steep hills fast you need a well balanced and tight load. Pull those straps down tight. If you feel your bike shaking on a down hill you can regain balance by tipping your knee toward the center bar. use both brakes and slow slowly.

          Ride on!

          On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 10:17 AM, David Backeberg <dbackeberg@...> wrote:
           

          On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 12:46 PM, nancyh434 <nhurrelbrinck@...> wrote:
          > But... I'm concerned that I may not be strong enough to handle the bike safely with my kids on it (collectively 85 lbs). The electric
          >can help me get them up hills, but starting on a hill (as is often necessary where I live) is not easy with weight on the bike. I am 5'4" >and 140 lbs, in fairly good shape (run, bike, swim, lift weights), but I'm worried that I'm simply not heavy/strong enough to keep the

          I'm not a woman or a small man, but I can tell you two things:

          1) in terms of weight distribution, you want as much weight forward,
          and as much weight low as you can. So if you have two kids of
          different size, the bigger kid should be forward of the smaller kid.
          If you have a battery pack, you want it forward, perhaps even strapped
          to the frame in front of the board if there's a place to attach it.
          Again, if you can't put it forward, at least put it low. The lower the
          weight is, the less of a tipping factor you have if the bike is not
          perfectly vertical.

          2) I do not know what to say to assuage your concerns about crashing.
          Except to say that you've already crashed, and it seems like you
          weren't hurt (badly). My wife tipped our Madsen, with our kid strapped
          in. She freaked out, the kid freaked out, the bike was fine, and so
          were they. It was very low speed, around a tight turn and they just
          kindof toppled over. Sometimes experiencing your worst fear helps you
          realize it's not so bad? I don't know whether that makes you feel any
          better. The more experience you get riding, the more confident you
          will feel. My wife now feels much more confident on the bike, and I
          appreciate that she did not give up after her first 'failure'.

        • Joel Mayes
          ... HI Nancy; I can only offer the same advice that the other responders have, every one crashes at least once but the chance of any injury is pretty low. I
          Message 4 of 18 , Oct 13, 2011
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            On 14/10/11 03:46, nancyh434 wrote:
             

            Hello everyone,

            My name is Nancy, and I live in central Virginia. I got my Big Dummy about a month ago (with a Bionx assist on it -- I live in a hilly town and want to transport my kids on the bike). I've been training by riding around town with 80 lbs in the panniers. Almost two weeks ago, I was practicing on a pair of hills near my kids' school -- a steep down followed by a steep up, went too fast, and the front wheel just lifted off the ground (the battery adds another 25 lbs, with all of the weight in the back). I was lucky in many ways and am recovering okay.

            But... I'm concerned that I may not be strong enough to handle the bike safely with my kids on it (collectively 85 lbs). The electric can help me get them up hills, but starting on a hill (as is often necessary where I live) is not easy with weight on the bike. I am 5'4" and 140 lbs, in fairly good shape (run, bike, swim, lift weights), but I'm worried that I'm simply not heavy/strong enough to keep the bike balanced with kids on the rack in a variety of situations. (I did order some wide loaders to slow things down, in the event of a fall; and obviously I won't by going so fast again.)

            I would love to hear from women or small men who ride with 2 kids on the back. My current plan is one big stoker bar they both hold onto with them sitting close to each other, a crazy creek seat under both/behind the second child (they're both 4.5 y.o.). How did you go about learning to ride safely with your kids on there?

            Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

            happy riding,
            Nancy


            HI Nancy;

            I can only offer the same advice that the other responders have, every one crashes at least once but the chance of any injury is pretty low.

            I make & sell woodcrafts at markets and carry my entire market kit (including table and gazebo) on my dummy, for about an 80-90kg (around 200 lbs) load.  I have learnt to ride to the load i.e. when I'm carrying like this I don't go fast, even (actually especially) down hills.

            I'll bet being a swimmer you have better then average upper body strength which is what you need to handle a loaded bike. Your accident sounds more like the cause was lack of experience (riding too fast) rather then any inability to control the bike with a load.

            Don't give up!

            Joel
          • Sean Mackin
            Nancy,     I have a couple of ideas for you. The first is to remember there is a learning curve. I rode a tandem for a few years. I also crashed that tandem
            Message 5 of 18 , Oct 13, 2011
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              Nancy,
               
                I have a couple of ideas for you. The first is to remember there is a learning curve. I rode a tandem for a few years. I also crashed that tandem a few times. It takes a while to get used the unique balance and handling of a long wheelbase bicycle. Practice as much as possible in safe places until you get comfortable. I would even encourage going to a school parking lot on a weekend when there are no cars to practice starting and stoping as well as turning. Do figure 8's until you are nimble with the bigger bike. Secondly, think of small framed women that ride big Harley's, your size is really irrelevant. Those motor cycles weigh hundreds of pounds but they understand the balance and handling.
               
                By the way, I would leave the kids at home until you feel comfortable. I crashed our tandem with my 4 year old on the back. He still talks about it to this day (he is now in 2nd grade). He now has a great love of riding bikes from all those trips on the back of that bike. Currently my youngest, 3, is getting slowly aclimated to riding on the back of my big dummy.
               
                Good luck and keep trying.
               
              Sean

              From: nancyh434 <nhurrelbrinck@...>
              To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:46 AM
              Subject: [rootsradicals] recovering from accident, seeking advice

               
              Hello everyone,

              My name is Nancy, and I live in central Virginia. I got my Big Dummy about a month ago (with a Bionx assist on it -- I live in a hilly town and want to transport my kids on the bike). I've been training by riding around town with 80 lbs in the panniers. Almost two weeks ago, I was practicing on a pair of hills near my kids' school -- a steep down followed by a steep up, went too fast, and the front wheel just lifted off the ground (the battery adds another 25 lbs, with all of the weight in the back). I was lucky in many ways and am recovering okay.

              But... I'm concerned that I may not be strong enough to handle the bike safely with my kids on it (collectively 85 lbs). The electric can help me get them up hills, but starting on a hill (as is often necessary where I live) is not easy with weight on the bike. I am 5'4" and 140 lbs, in fairly good shape (run, bike, swim, lift weights), but I'm worried that I'm simply not heavy/strong enough to keep the bike balanced with kids on the rack in a variety of situations. (I did order some wide loaders to slow things down, in the event of a fall; and obviously I won't by going so fast again.)

              I would love to hear from women or small men who ride with 2 kids on the back. My current plan is one big stoker bar they both hold onto with them sitting close to each other, a crazy creek seat under both/behind the second child (they're both 4.5 y.o.). How did you go about learning to ride safely with your kids on there?

              Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

              happy riding,
              Nancy



            • Sean Mackin
              Nancy,     I should have mentioned. The tandem set up I used was a 1970 s burley tandem with kids stoker cranks for my middle son and a tag along for my
              Message 6 of 18 , Oct 13, 2011
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                Nancy,
                 
                  I should have mentioned. The tandem set up I used was a 1970's burley tandem with kids stoker cranks for my middle son and a tag along for my older one. The 3 of us did several bike tours and marathons with this rig. It was a great way to introduce them to the sport. We also had a trailer for running errands. The rig was a huge handful when loaded with kids and groceries. If I had to guess 12+ feet long and well over 100 pounds. With the trailer it would sometimes get some vicious harmonics that almost made us crash on a few ocaissions. So I know your apprehension about the handling and the crashing.
                 
                Sean

                From: Sean Mackin <gear.head@...>
                To: "rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com" <rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 3:06 PM
                Subject: Re: [rootsradicals] recovering from accident, seeking advice

                 
                Nancy,
                 
                  I have a couple of ideas for you. The first is to remember there is a learning curve. I rode a tandem for a few years. I also crashed that tandem a few times. It takes a while to get used the unique balance and handling of a long wheelbase bicycle. Practice as much as possible in safe places until you get comfortable. I would even encourage going to a school parking lot on a weekend when there are no cars to practice starting and stoping as well as turning. Do figure 8's until you are nimble with the bigger bike. Secondly, think of small framed women that ride big Harley's, your size is really irrelevant. Those motor cycles weigh hundreds of pounds but they understand the balance and handling.
                 
                  By the way, I would leave the kids at home until you feel comfortable. I crashed our tandem with my 4 year old on the back. He still talks about it to this day (he is now in 2nd grade). He now has a great love of riding bikes from all those trips on the back of that bike. Currently my youngest, 3, is getting slowly aclimated to riding on the back of my big dummy.
                 
                  Good luck and keep trying.
                 
                Sean

                From: nancyh434 <nhurrelbrinck@...>
                To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:46 AM
                Subject: [rootsradicals] recovering from accident, seeking advice

                 
                Hello everyone,

                My name is Nancy, and I live in central Virginia. I got my Big Dummy about a month ago (with a Bionx assist on it -- I live in a hilly town and want to transport my kids on the bike). I've been training by riding around town with 80 lbs in the panniers. Almost two weeks ago, I was practicing on a pair of hills near my kids' school -- a steep down followed by a steep up, went too fast, and the front wheel just lifted off the ground (the battery adds another 25 lbs, with all of the weight in the back). I was lucky in many ways and am recovering okay.

                But... I'm concerned that I may not be strong enough to handle the bike safely with my kids on it (collectively 85 lbs). The electric can help me get them up hills, but starting on a hill (as is often necessary where I live) is not easy with weight on the bike. I am 5'4" and 140 lbs, in fairly good shape (run, bike, swim, lift weights), but I'm worried that I'm simply not heavy/strong enough to keep the bike balanced with kids on the rack in a variety of situations. (I did order some wide loaders to slow things down, in the event of a fall; and obviously I won't by going so fast again.)

                I would love to hear from women or small men who ride with 2 kids on the back. My current plan is one big stoker bar they both hold onto with them sitting close to each other, a crazy creek seat under both/behind the second child (they're both 4.5 y.o.). How did you go about learning to ride safely with your kids on there?

                Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

                happy riding,
                Nancy





              • Bruce Alan Wilson
                IMHO, for regular child transport a bakfiest or something similar is probably better than a longtail. Check out Morgan Imports. They have Chinese cargo bikes
                Message 7 of 18 , Oct 14, 2011
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                  IMHO, for regular child transport a bakfiest or something similar is probably better than a longtail.
                   
                  Check out Morgan Imports.  They have Chinese cargo bikes at reasonable prices.  Your LBS can put an IHG and a Schlumpf.
                   
                  The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.  Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.  Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.  ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green
                • Matthew Brealey
                  I weigh about 40% more than you, but I have my daughters bike seat right at the back of my Kona Ute, behind the rear wheel. It will topple over backwards if
                  Message 8 of 18 , Oct 14, 2011
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                    I weigh about 40% more than you, but I have my daughters bike seat right at the back of my Kona Ute, behind the rear wheel. It will topple over backwards if I’m not holding it down, but when I’m on it I don’t find there’s a problem, although there’s really no substitute for caution and experience – once you know that your rear wheel can swing out under you, you take more care on corners, etc.

                     

                    I wouldn’t worry about the kids though, my experience is that low down (pannier) weights of say 130 pounds severely destabilise the bike whereas I’ve had wife + 2 kids on the back (250 pounds), and while the handling is not great, it’s a lot better than the much lower pannier weight.

                     

                    I don’t think the weights in the pannier are really representative, not sure what those batteries are doing for the stability though.

                     

                    From: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of nancyh434
                    Sent: 13 October 2011 17:46
                    To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [rootsradicals] recovering from accident, seeking advice

                     

                     

                    Hello everyone,

                    My name is Nancy, and I live in central Virginia. I got my Big Dummy about a month ago (with a Bionx assist on it -- I live in a hilly town and want to transport my kids on the bike). I've been training by riding around town with 80 lbs in the panniers. Almost two weeks ago, I was practicing on a pair of hills near my kids' school -- a steep down followed by a steep up, went too fast, and the front wheel just lifted off the ground (the battery adds another 25 lbs, with all of the weight in the back). I was lucky in many ways and am recovering okay.

                    But... I'm concerned that I may not be strong enough to handle the bike safely with my kids on it (collectively 85 lbs). The electric can help me get them up hills, but starting on a hill (as is often necessary where I live) is not easy with weight on the bike. I am 5'4" and 140 lbs, in fairly good shape (run, bike, swim, lift weights), but I'm worried that I'm simply not heavy/strong enough to keep the bike balanced with kids on the rack in a variety of situations. (I did order some wide loaders to slow things down, in the event of a fall; and obviously I won't by going so fast again.)

                    I would love to hear from women or small men who ride with 2 kids on the back. My current plan is one big stoker bar they both hold onto with them sitting close to each other, a crazy creek seat under both/behind the second child (they're both 4.5 y.o.). How did you go about learning to ride safely with your kids on there?

                    Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

                    happy riding,
                    Nancy

                  • Steve Lange
                    On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 4:58 PM, Bruce Alan Wilson
                    Message 9 of 18 , Oct 14, 2011
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                      On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 4:58 PM, Bruce Alan Wilson <bruce_alan_wilson@...> wrote:

                      IMHO, for regular child transport a bakfiest or something similar is probably better than a longtail.

                      I have to respectfully disagree. We have a bakfiets dealer in town here (Wheelhouse Bikes) and I've ridden bakfiets on a number of occasions with my kids and wife aboard for testing purposes.

                      While they do handle the load well, they are very big and rather ungainly bikes, especially if you need to climb or descend hills. The remote steering is very light and takes some getting used to, and at low speeds with a load, it's quite possible to accidentally wash out the front wheel if you give too sudden and too sharp a steering input. I've not dumped the bike doing this, but it's the kind of thing you'd really have to be aware of while riding around because it could definitely be an issue.

                      Also, we found that the amount of combined passenger/cargo you could carry on the Bakfiets was less than on a longtail. Basically because you've really just got the box on the front, and them some relatively minor accomodations in the rear (for panniers). Cargo and passengers becomes much more of an either/or, much sooner, on the Bafiets, at least in my opinion/experience.

                      And anyways, for the past 3.5+ years I've been hauling my kids all over town, and the surrounding towns, on our Xtracycle with no issues. They really are quite fantastic for passengers. Now that we've got a Big Dummy, it's only gotten better.

                      I don't know how the OP was able to get their Big Dummy into a wheelie, but to me it seems like more time in the saddle and more caution will be the best cure. Good luck and hope you mend up soon and well.

                      Steve Lange
                      Santa Barbara, CA

                      Pics of the new Big Dummy here for anyone interested: http://www.stevelange.net/2011/10/13/surly-big-dummy/
                    • TIM_H
                      Another thing is to make sure you have the proper tire tread and the tires are properly inflated.As far as a longtail vs bakfiet,well being online quickly
                      Message 10 of 18 , Oct 15, 2011
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                        Another thing is to make sure you have the proper tire tread and the tires are properly inflated.As far as a longtail vs bakfiet,well being online quickly shows you both bikes are very capable for hauling kids.I mean there are plenty of parents with each bike happily hauling their kids to and fro.The most important thing in my opinion to do to avoid accidents is to simply go slow when in turns or hairy situations.Going slow when needed will avoid accidents.

                        Lastly if we want to be technical one type of bike that does add more stability is the 3-wheel bakfiets.Any tri wheel will always beat a bi wheel vehicle for tipping,falling,slide-outs etc.It's just physics.







                        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "nancyh434" <nhurrelbrinck@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hello everyone,
                        >
                        > My name is Nancy, and I live in central Virginia. I got my Big Dummy about a month ago (with a Bionx assist on it -- I live in a hilly town and want to transport my kids on the bike). I've been training by riding around town with 80 lbs in the panniers. Almost two weeks ago, I was practicing on a pair of hills near my kids' school -- a steep down followed by a steep up, went too fast, and the front wheel just lifted off the ground (the battery adds another 25 lbs, with all of the weight in the back). I was lucky in many ways and am recovering okay.
                        >
                        > But... I'm concerned that I may not be strong enough to handle the bike safely with my kids on it (collectively 85 lbs). The electric can help me get them up hills, but starting on a hill (as is often necessary where I live) is not easy with weight on the bike. I am 5'4" and 140 lbs, in fairly good shape (run, bike, swim, lift weights), but I'm worried that I'm simply not heavy/strong enough to keep the bike balanced with kids on the rack in a variety of situations. (I did order some wide loaders to slow things down, in the event of a fall; and obviously I won't by going so fast again.)
                        >
                        > I would love to hear from women or small men who ride with 2 kids on the back. My current plan is one big stoker bar they both hold onto with them sitting close to each other, a crazy creek seat under both/behind the second child (they're both 4.5 y.o.). How did you go about learning to ride safely with your kids on there?
                        >
                        > Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
                        >
                        > happy riding,
                        > Nancy
                        >
                      • Rich W
                        The Kona Ute has a considerably shorter wheelbase than the Big Dummy or a Xtracycle conversion bike. This will likely decrease loaded stability in my
                        Message 11 of 18 , Oct 15, 2011
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                          The Kona Ute has a considerably shorter wheelbase than the Big Dummy or a Xtracycle conversion bike. This will likely decrease loaded stability in my experience. However the OPs motor and battery could decrease the BD stability too depending on location and weight.

                          As much as possible keep the weight ahead of the rear wheel axle for best stability.

                          Rich Wood

                          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Matthew Brealey" <thelawnet@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > I weigh about 40% more than you, but I have my daughters bike seat right at
                          > the back of my Kona Ute, behind the rear wheel. It will topple over
                          > backwards if I'm not holding it down, but when I'm on it I don't find
                          > there's a problem, although there's really no substitute for caution and
                          > experience - once you know that your rear wheel can swing out under you, you
                          > take more care on corners, etc.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > I wouldn't worry about the kids though, my experience is that low down
                          > (pannier) weights of say 130 pounds severely destabilise the bike whereas
                          > I've had wife + 2 kids on the back (250 pounds), and while the handling is
                          > not great, it's a lot better than the much lower pannier weight.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > I don't think the weights in the pannier are really representative, not sure
                          > what those batteries are doing for the stability though.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > From: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com]
                          > On Behalf Of nancyh434
                          > Sent: 13 October 2011 17:46
                          > To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
                          > Subject: [rootsradicals] recovering from accident, seeking advice
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Hello everyone,
                          >
                          > My name is Nancy, and I live in central Virginia. I got my Big Dummy about a
                          > month ago (with a Bionx assist on it -- I live in a hilly town and want to
                          > transport my kids on the bike). I've been training by riding around town
                          > with 80 lbs in the panniers. Almost two weeks ago, I was practicing on a
                          > pair of hills near my kids' school -- a steep down followed by a steep up,
                          > went too fast, and the front wheel just lifted off the ground (the battery
                          > adds another 25 lbs, with all of the weight in the back). I was lucky in
                          > many ways and am recovering okay.
                          >
                          > But... I'm concerned that I may not be strong enough to handle the bike
                          > safely with my kids on it (collectively 85 lbs). The electric can help me
                          > get them up hills, but starting on a hill (as is often necessary where I
                          > live) is not easy with weight on the bike. I am 5'4" and 140 lbs, in fairly
                          > good shape (run, bike, swim, lift weights), but I'm worried that I'm simply
                          > not heavy/strong enough to keep the bike balanced with kids on the rack in a
                          > variety of situations. (I did order some wide loaders to slow things down,
                          > in the event of a fall; and obviously I won't by going so fast again.)
                          >
                          > I would love to hear from women or small men who ride with 2 kids on the
                          > back. My current plan is one big stoker bar they both hold onto with them
                          > sitting close to each other, a crazy creek seat under both/behind the second
                          > child (they're both 4.5 y.o.). How did you go about learning to ride safely
                          > with your kids on there?
                          >
                          > Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
                          >
                          > happy riding,
                          > Nancy
                          >
                        • Cara Lin Bridgman
                          Really, the bottom line is practice. With practice, you ll get better at loading your bike, at handling it under loads, and at accommodating wiggles from the
                          Message 12 of 18 , Oct 15, 2011
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                            Really, the bottom line is practice. With practice, you'll get better
                            at loading your bike, at handling it under loads, and at accommodating
                            wiggles from the kids.

                            All the advice given so far is good:
                            -Go slow, especially at first.
                            -Load the weights closer to you (i.e. don't let the kids hang out over
                            the back of the deck).
                            -Cinch down loads in the freeloaders, etc. (this will stop a lot of the
                            wobble).
                            -Stop wobble with a knee to the cross bar (and slow down).
                            -Get a front basket and carry your purse (or some groceries) there.
                            -When in doubt, slow down (we're not riding long bikes to break speed
                            records ... endurance records, maybe, but not speed records).

                            Eventually, you'll be able to distinguish between novice and experienced
                            passengers and will appreciate how easy the ride is when you're hauling
                            an experienced passenger.

                            CL
                            who likes carrying heavy things on her bike:
                            <http://www.megaview.com.tw/~caralin/Bike/CL'sBike/CL'sBike.html>.
                          • Denise E K Martin
                            This shouldn t be about being super strong, it should be about good load balance. Sounds like you just have too much weight behind the back axle. Your kids
                            Message 13 of 18 , Oct 15, 2011
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                              This shouldn't be about being super strong, it should be about good load balance. Sounds like you just have too much weight behind the back axle. Your kids' weight and the weight of other loads (the assist, panniers, etc.) should all be between the axles. If it's not, it's dangerous. Period.  

                              --Denise
                              (via my iPhone)

                              On Oct 15, 2011, at 7:31, TIM_H <tim_h_49068@...> wrote:

                               



                              Another thing is to make sure you have the proper tire tread and the tires are properly inflated.As far as a longtail vs bakfiet,well being online quickly shows you both bikes are very capable for hauling kids.I mean there are plenty of parents with each bike happily hauling their kids to and fro.The most important thing in my opinion to do to avoid accidents is to simply go slow when in turns or hairy situations.Going slow when needed will avoid accidents.

                              Lastly if we want to be technical one type of bike that does add more stability is the 3-wheel bakfiets.Any tri wheel will always beat a bi wheel vehicle for tipping,falling,slide-outs etc.It's just physics.

                              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "nancyh434" <nhurrelbrinck@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hello everyone,
                              >
                              > My name is Nancy, and I live in central Virginia. I got my Big Dummy about a month ago (with a Bionx assist on it -- I live in a hilly town and want to transport my kids on the bike). I've been training by riding around town with 80 lbs in the panniers. Almost two weeks ago, I was practicing on a pair of hills near my kids' school -- a steep down followed by a steep up, went too fast, and the front wheel just lifted off the ground (the battery adds another 25 lbs, with all of the weight in the back). I was lucky in many ways and am recovering okay.
                              >
                              > But... I'm concerned that I may not be strong enough to handle the bike safely with my kids on it (collectively 85 lbs). The electric can help me get them up hills, but starting on a hill (as is often necessary where I live) is not easy with weight on the bike. I am 5'4" and 140 lbs, in fairly good shape (run, bike, swim, lift weights), but I'm worried that I'm simply not heavy/strong enough to keep the bike balanced with kids on the rack in a variety of situations. (I did order some wide loaders to slow things down, in the event of a fall; and obviously I won't by going so fast again.)
                              >
                              > I would love to hear from women or small men who ride with 2 kids on the back. My current plan is one big stoker bar they both hold onto with them sitting close to each other, a crazy creek seat under both/behind the second child (they're both 4.5 y.o.). How did you go about learning to ride safely with your kids on there?
                              >
                              > Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
                              >
                              > happy riding,
                              > Nancy
                              >

                            • EdmundW
                              I have a Yuba and two kids; ages 4 and 5. They ride sitting on the deck with a webbing loop for a handle. Tho from what I have seen - they tend to hang with
                              Message 14 of 18 , Oct 15, 2011
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                                I have a Yuba and two kids; ages 4 and 5.

                                They ride sitting on the deck with a webbing "loop" for a handle.
                                Tho from what I have seen - they tend to hang with their arms in "whee I'm flying" mode far to often.

                                Both kids started on balance bikes at 18months. The older one is now on a 12" pedal bike. The younger has not expressed any interest in a pedal bike but LOVES his like-a-bike and hops curbs etc on it.

                                So they have the balance thing down.

                                The only time I have had "wheelie" issues is when I ride with the kids AND my wife at the very back back. She of course is therefore BEHIND the axle line and thus the entire bike then acts like a see saw across the rear axle.

                                Try to get the weight in FRONT of the rear axle center line as much as possible. Bike handling gets weird otherwise.

                                Bear in mind that I used to race road in college and spent a few years mtn biking in thick trees, and now daily commute on a bike in city traffic with cars - so I think my bike handling skills may be a smidge better than average.

                                Also kids are a live load - they move around and you have to counter act that movement. Again - keep em in FRONT of the axle center line as much as possible and you'll be fine IMHO.


                                --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "nancyh434" <nhurrelbrinck@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hello everyone,
                                >
                                > My name is Nancy, and I live in central Virginia. I got my Big Dummy about a month ago (with a Bionx assist on it -- I live in a hilly town and want to transport my kids on the bike). I've been training by riding around town with 80 lbs in the panniers. Almost two weeks ago, I was practicing on a pair of hills near my kids' school -- a steep down followed by a steep up, went too fast, and the front wheel just lifted off the ground (the battery adds another 25 lbs, with all of the weight in the back). I was lucky in many ways and am recovering okay.
                                >
                                > But... I'm concerned that I may not be strong enough to handle the bike safely with my kids on it (collectively 85 lbs). The electric can help me get them up hills, but starting on a hill (as is often necessary where I live) is not easy with weight on the bike. I am 5'4" and 140 lbs, in fairly good shape (run, bike, swim, lift weights), but I'm worried that I'm simply not heavy/strong enough to keep the bike balanced with kids on the rack in a variety of situations. (I did order some wide loaders to slow things down, in the event of a fall; and obviously I won't by going so fast again.)
                                >
                                > I would love to hear from women or small men who ride with 2 kids on the back. My current plan is one big stoker bar they both hold onto with them sitting close to each other, a crazy creek seat under both/behind the second child (they're both 4.5 y.o.). How did you go about learning to ride safely with your kids on there?
                                >
                                > Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
                                >
                                > happy riding,
                                > Nancy
                                >
                              • nancyh434
                                Wow, what great responses. Thank you so much. It is wonderful to get encouragement and advice from folks who know what it s like to ride a longtail. It sounds
                                Message 15 of 18 , Oct 16, 2011
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                                  Wow, what great responses. Thank you so much. It is wonderful to get encouragement and advice from folks who know what it's like to ride a longtail. It sounds like training a lot before riding with the kids is what I need to do. I am so at ease on my other bike that I expected to pick this up immediately, but it *is* a different experience.*

                                  David, thanks for telling me about your wife and kids' accident; it helps to hear that this kind of thing happens and people get over it and carry on.

                                  laughter medicine, it's great to hear that you started at over 50 (I'm 49), and that you've been touring with 125 lbs on the bike. I like the idea of a safety check list; thanks for that.

                                  Joel, hurrah for you for toting your woodcraft business on your bike. That's great. Thanks for pointing out that it was lack of experience that caused my accident, not an inability to control the bike. It's helpful to be reminded of that.

                                  Sean, that's a great idea to do figure 8's in a school parking lot; thank you. I'm glad your kids are enjoying bikes (and I'm not surprised your oldest talks about that crash -- my 4 y.o. twins love hearing about Daddy's bike crash). Your 12 ft tandem-trailer set-up makes riding an xtracycle seem pretty simple.

                                  Bruce, thanks for your thoughts on the bakfiets; they do look like great bikes (but my kids are big and getting bigger).

                                  Steve, thanks for your response re bakfiets, and your encouragement; you're right -- I just need more time on the bike.

                                  Matthew, thanks for noting that weight in the panniers can be more destabilizing than having passengers on the rack; this makes sense to me. The bionx battery is on a little platform my LBS built in front of the xtracycle racks (it wouldn't fit in the front rear triangle, b/c my bike is 16"). So it is a little high, but way forward of the rear axle, unlike in the Trek Transport+ -- a wheelie waiting to happen.

                                  Rich, thanks for emphasizing the need to keep the weight forward of the rear axle. I'll have my kids riding right next to each other on the front of the rack, sharing a swept-back stoker bar.

                                  Cara, thanks for summing up everyone's advice, and for suggesting putting a basket with some weight in it on the front; that's a great idea.

                                  Tim, thanks for mentioning the need to have the right tire tread and keep tires inflated; good advice. And for championing trikes (did you know there's a recumbent trike that takes a longtail kit?).

                                  Denise, thanks for emphasizing that balance is more of an issue than strength. I have a new respect for well-loaded, cinched down panniers.

                                  Edmund, thanks for emphasizing where the kids need to ride for good balance; it helps a lot to hear from someone who's doing it.

                                  Again, thanks everyone so much for your input; it's been wonderful to hear from you. I went on my first ride since my wreck this morning, and it felt great.

                                  all the best to all of you,
                                  Nancy
                                • laughter medicine
                                  My Pleasure. True Longtails are the safest ride out. I used to be a crasher on short bikes. I go faster than ever now. Before long tails i had my kids on
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Oct 17, 2011
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                                    My Pleasure.  True Longtails are the safest ride out.  I used to be a crasher on short bikes.   I go faster than ever now.  Before long tails i had my kids on their own bikes. By ages 7 and 10, we rode everywhere together, with the eldest out front and the youngest in the middle.  That was wonderful times. 

                                    On Sun, Oct 16, 2011 at 1:36 PM, nancyh434 <nhurrelbrinck@...> wrote:
                                     

                                    Wow, what great responses. Thank you so much. It is wonderful to get encouragement and advice from folks who know what it's like to ride a longtail. It sounds like training a lot before riding with the kids is what I need to do. I am so at ease on my other bike that I expected to pick this up immediately, but it *is* a different experience.*

                                    David, thanks for telling me about your wife and kids' accident; it helps to hear that this kind of thing happens and people get over it and carry on.

                                    laughter medicine, it's great to hear that you started at over 50 (I'm 49), and that you've been touring with 125 lbs on the bike. I like the idea of a safety check list; thanks for that.

                                    Joel, hurrah for you for toting your woodcraft business on your bike. That's great. Thanks for pointing out that it was lack of experience that caused my accident, not an inability to control the bike. It's helpful to be reminded of that.

                                    Sean, that's a great idea to do figure 8's in a school parking lot; thank you. I'm glad your kids are enjoying bikes (and I'm not surprised your oldest talks about that crash -- my 4 y.o. twins love hearing about Daddy's bike crash). Your 12 ft tandem-trailer set-up makes riding an xtracycle seem pretty simple.

                                    Bruce, thanks for your thoughts on the bakfiets; they do look like great bikes (but my kids are big and getting bigger).

                                    Steve, thanks for your response re bakfiets, and your encouragement; you're right -- I just need more time on the bike.

                                    Matthew, thanks for noting that weight in the panniers can be more destabilizing than having passengers on the rack; this makes sense to me. The bionx battery is on a little platform my LBS built in front of the xtracycle racks (it wouldn't fit in the front rear triangle, b/c my bike is 16"). So it is a little high, but way forward of the rear axle, unlike in the Trek Transport+ -- a wheelie waiting to happen.

                                    Rich, thanks for emphasizing the need to keep the weight forward of the rear axle. I'll have my kids riding right next to each other on the front of the rack, sharing a swept-back stoker bar.

                                    Cara, thanks for summing up everyone's advice, and for suggesting putting a basket with some weight in it on the front; that's a great idea.

                                    Tim, thanks for mentioning the need to have the right tire tread and keep tires inflated; good advice. And for championing trikes (did you know there's a recumbent trike that takes a longtail kit?).

                                    Denise, thanks for emphasizing that balance is more of an issue than strength. I have a new respect for well-loaded, cinched down panniers.

                                    Edmund, thanks for emphasizing where the kids need to ride for good balance; it helps a lot to hear from someone who's doing it.

                                    Again, thanks everyone so much for your input; it's been wonderful to hear from you. I went on my first ride since my wreck this morning, and it felt great.

                                    all the best to all of you,
                                    Nancy


                                  • Joel
                                    An easy way to ride safe when liaded is to
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Oct 17, 2011
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                                      An easy way to ride safe when liaded is to 


                                      On 17/10/2011, at 7:36, "nancyh434" <nhurrelbrinck@...> wrote:

                                       

                                      Wow, what great responses. Thank you so much. It is wonderful to get encouragement and advice from folks who know what it's like to ride a longtail. It sounds like training a lot before riding with the kids is what I need to do. I am so at ease on my other bike that I expected to pick this up immediately, but it *is* a different experience.*

                                      David, thanks for telling me about your wife and kids' accident; it helps to hear that this kind of thing happens and people get over it and carry on.

                                      laughter medicine, it's great to hear that you started at over 50 (I'm 49), and that you've been touring with 125 lbs on the bike. I like the idea of a safety check list; thanks for that.

                                      Joel, hurrah for you for toting your woodcraft business on your bike. That's great. Thanks for pointing out that it was lack of experience that caused my accident, not an inability to control the bike. It's helpful to be reminded of that.

                                      Sean, that's a great idea to do figure 8's in a school parking lot; thank you. I'm glad your kids are enjoying bikes (and I'm not surprised your oldest talks about that crash -- my 4 y.o. twins love hearing about Daddy's bike crash). Your 12 ft tandem-trailer set-up makes riding an xtracycle seem pretty simple.

                                      Bruce, thanks for your thoughts on the bakfiets; they do look like great bikes (but my kids are big and getting bigger).

                                      Steve, thanks for your response re bakfiets, and your encouragement; you're right -- I just need more time on the bike.

                                      Matthew, thanks for noting that weight in the panniers can be more destabilizing than having passengers on the rack; this makes sense to me. The bionx battery is on a little platform my LBS built in front of the xtracycle racks (it wouldn't fit in the front rear triangle, b/c my bike is 16"). So it is a little high, but way forward of the rear axle, unlike in the Trek Transport+ -- a wheelie waiting to happen.

                                      Rich, thanks for emphasizing the need to keep the weight forward of the rear axle. I'll have my kids riding right next to each other on the front of the rack, sharing a swept-back stoker bar.

                                      Cara, thanks for summing up everyone's advice, and for suggesting putting a basket with some weight in it on the front; that's a great idea.

                                      Tim, thanks for mentioning the need to have the right tire tread and keep tires inflated; good advice. And for championing trikes (did you know there's a recumbent trike that takes a longtail kit?).

                                      Denise, thanks for emphasizing that balance is more of an issue than strength. I have a new respect for well-loaded, cinched down panniers.

                                      Edmund, thanks for emphasizing where the kids need to ride for good balance; it helps a lot to hear from someone who's doing it.

                                      Again, thanks everyone so much for your input; it's been wonderful to hear from you. I went on my first ride since my wreck this morning, and it felt great.

                                      all the best to all of you,
                                      Nancy

                                    • TIM_H
                                      Nancy, Check out this video of cargo bikes in the US.You can see all the different bikes and people.I think you will enjoy it. http://tinyurl.com/3lr33cq
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Oct 28, 2011
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                                        Nancy,

                                        Check out this video of cargo bikes in the US.You can see all the different bikes and people.I think you will enjoy it.

                                        http://tinyurl.com/3lr33cq



                                        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "nancyh434" <nhurrelbrinck@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Hello everyone,
                                        >
                                        > My name is Nancy, and I live in central Virginia. I got my Big Dummy about a month ago (with a Bionx assist on it -- I live in a hilly town and want to transport my kids on the bike). I've been training by riding around town with 80 lbs in the panniers. Almost two weeks ago, I was practicing on a pair of hills near my kids' school -- a steep down followed by a steep up, went too fast, and the front wheel just lifted off the ground (the battery adds another 25 lbs, with all of the weight in the back). I was lucky in many ways and am recovering okay.
                                        >
                                        > But... I'm concerned that I may not be strong enough to handle the bike safely with my kids on it (collectively 85 lbs). The electric can help me get them up hills, but starting on a hill (as is often necessary where I live) is not easy with weight on the bike. I am 5'4" and 140 lbs, in fairly good shape (run, bike, swim, lift weights), but I'm worried that I'm simply not heavy/strong enough to keep the bike balanced with kids on the rack in a variety of situations. (I did order some wide loaders to slow things down, in the event of a fall; and obviously I won't by going so fast again.)
                                        >
                                        > I would love to hear from women or small men who ride with 2 kids on the back. My current plan is one big stoker bar they both hold onto with them sitting close to each other, a crazy creek seat under both/behind the second child (they're both 4.5 y.o.). How did you go about learning to ride safely with your kids on there?
                                        >
                                        > Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
                                        >
                                        > happy riding,
                                        > Nancy
                                        >
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