I am not talking about dumping the kids off at school, or a dumping the kids off for a play date.
I am referring to dumping the kids while riding a cargo bike. Most people who ride cargo bikes will tell you that they have dumped their kids (or cargo) at least once. At least the honest parents will. Don’t worry. It has happened to the best of us. And if it has not happened to you, it will.
It is worth noting that dumping the kids seems to happens in the most crowed of places where people are already looking at you because your bike is loaded down with kids.
The on-lookers look on, mesmerized by the cool bike, and amazed at how many kids are being carried and then it happens … You dump the bike with kids in it. What do you do?
For me, it was the Tweed Ride of 2010. My sons and I were dressed in our most dapper fashion as we cruised downtown in my Madsen cargo bike. We pulled up, I got off the seat, straddled the bike, prepared for unloading, and the weight in back was just too much, and too top heavy. The front lifted, and the bike fell sideways to my left.
Fear was my first reaction–are my kids okay? My second reaction was embarrassment.
All three kids crawled out on hands and knees, then they all took bows, my eldest yelling, in his best circus voice, “Thank you, thank you! More stunts as the evening progresses.” Thankfully I have kids that roll with the situation, and put a smile on my face.
Last month, twitter conversations popped up around the topic of dumping kids. The idea must be on the minds of parents. For the record, kids are never fully “dumped.” the bike usually tips to one side and the kids are lowered, less-then-gracefully, to the ground.
People could judge. People could say, “What a terrible parent” or “Bikes are unsafe” or “I would never do that to my kids.”
But guess what? I will carry my kids on a cargo bike. I am not ashamed. I am not going to apologize.
It happens. It does. It goes with the territory like skinned knees and skateboarding. Like grass stains and playing frisbee. The best thing to do is be prepared, know it will happen, and have a game plan to lighten the mood.
If this has happened to you, what was the situation and how did you handle it?