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Re: [rootsradicals] Re: recovering from accident, seeking advice

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  • Steve Lange
    On Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 4:58 PM, Bruce Alan Wilson
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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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