Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Training Wheels--The Simple Made Hard

Original Poor Design
It appeared to be a simple task, install training wheels on a bicycle for Lucas. Sadly, nothing, it seems, is as easy as it should be especially when the items being installed are poorly manufactured and the instructions were not clearly translated form the original Chinese. 

Amazon let me down, because the training wheels were supposed to be delivered on Monday--but they did not arrive. And then, when they did finally arrived yesterday, they were poorly designed and did not accomplish the task in a safe and consistent manner. They did not properly fit the bike and I had to make modifications to try and adapt the training wheels to the bike. After a few short rides, it was clear that they were not acceptable. 

Attempt 2: The New Ones
I was amazed at the poor quality and design of the wheels. In the end there was no was to properly fit them to the bike to make them safe for Lucas.

So off to the local store to acquire an acceptable set of training wheels. After a few more frustrating installation minutes, they were ready for a test ride.

Then the chain fell off the bike, during the first short ride. Another agonizing few minutes of backyard bicycle repair. Finally, for the third time of the evening, the bike was presented to Lucas--who had not yet lost interest, for a test ride.

Lucas was a bit wary of the bike and not ready to fully commit himself to the ride. Grandma walked beside him and help him gain confidence in the wheels, although after the failure of the previous set of wheels, this was not as easy a task as it should have been. 

And what a test ride it was. Within a short time, Lucas was riding the bike and feeling a bit too comfortable on it. 

At least the evening had a happy ending.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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