Friday, June 24, 2011

The Bike Incident of 2011

It was kind of a dreary day for the park, but the rain stopped and the kids needed to get out (mom may or may not have needed a little mom time as well) so we met my really good friend Abby and her girls at the park. Our brilliant plan was to play for awhile, eat some lunch and then go for a walk letting the older two kids ride their bikes.

At lunch Micah dropped his banana and then continued eating it. I didn't realize it until I discovered him with a mouth full of gravel. This has absolutely no relevance to the story, except that it happened and was disgusting.

So we finished our lunches and began unpacking for the walking portion of our day. I grabbed Owen's bike and then started getting out Micah's stroller. If you'll remember, Owen doesn't have training wheels anymore but he still needs a little help getting going, and has a bit of trouble standing and balancing. I wasn't paying too much attention as I was dealing with Micah so I don't know exactly how it happened but I was aware that he'd fallen a few times just trying to hold his bike.

Next thing I know my friend is trying to help him up and going "How did that happen? How'd you get your foot in there Owen?" I look up and turn around, laughing a little because this is silly. His foot can't really be stuck in his bike.

It will come right out.

Um. Yeah. Think again mom.

So we tried. And we prayed. And we tried again. Then I began the "my husband is a smart man, he'll help (over the phone) I have to call him" wait, I have his phone. Um, I'll call his office, this is an emergency it will be fine...No. They have an automated msg and I have no clue what his extension is, so after 3 minutes of the directory I gave up. Then I tried his friend/coworker's cell but he didn't answer.

What do you do then? You get the screw driver out of your van and pretend like your handy. That didn't work.

Then I put my foot against the tire, grabbed the pedal (my friend has been holding Owen steady this whole time) and put as much of my body pressure against the bike as I could and I pulled and pulled and pulled.

Are you laughing at my yet?

I know it sounds ridiculous and I'm sure my husband will say "Did you seriously think that would work?" When we finally get to talk about this whole ordeal, as he still knows nothing about it. The answer is YES I DID at that point I was willing to try anything, my baby was stuck in his bike. Stuck. His foot would not budge, and if we tried to yank it out he screamed like we were breaking his leg.

In my defense, if we were in a movie, that trick would have worked. My mom adrenaline would have kicked into some kind of super strength and allowed me to bend the heavy iron metal pedal backwards and free his leg. Seriously, I think I've seen that movie, and if I haven't yet, I'm sure it's only a matter of time until it comes out.

Abby had called her husband, also knowing he had a super answer that would help over the phone. She talked to him but he couldn't help over the phone.

So, then I start scrolling through my contacts who can help, who can help. I called our friend who is in engineer school he was so gracious and had me send him a picture. He calmly told me the pedal wouldn't get any closer to the frame (ie I wouldn't break his leg) if I could just maneuver his foot and push the pedal back it would slip out.

We prayed some more. Some random jogger stopped and tried to help, mostly he was a little foreign and Abby and Owen tried to guess his name and age which distracted Owen some while I tugged and twisted, pushed and prodded. It still wouldn't slip out. I got it looser so that he could move his leg, but couldn't get it out.

Did we ever find out his real name or age Abby? Lol. I let the guy lose, he obviously wasn't God's Hero sent in disguise of a jogger. He was just a jogger.

Abby's husband called back and said he would come. Blessedly he'd been on his lunch and so he was at their house, close to their tools and had a little time. Prior to this call I was seriously considering either calling the police or putting Owen in the van, on his bike, and driving to my friends husband 20 minutes away.

Now, I want you to reread that sentence and absorb it.

I was seriously considering either calling the police or putting Owen in the van, on his bike, and driving to my friends husband 20 minutes away.

I am the biggest seat belt advocate you know (unless you know my mother) and have never, will never, let my child ride on a road in the car without being strapped in...and I was seriously considering driving 20 minutes with him sitting on a bike. 

Yes you can laugh now. 

Joe arrived, and to both our delight and displeasure he did not instantly save the day. Delight because it would have made us feel like dumb women who can't do anything, but displeasure because we wanted him to save us! Save Owen. We are going on an HOUR here where my child has been stuck on his bike.

Here is a short clip of Joe examining the situation. See the water on the ground? That's from me thinking that maybe a little water might help his foot slip out. I was desperately grasping at straws, willing to try anything.

Joe was prepared to saw the metal off, even brought some spray to prevent it from getting hot and burning my baby's leg, but even that we didn't know how to do since there wasn't much room between the pedal and his skin.

With Joe's help we discovered the reason the pedal wouldn't go back and let his foot slip out was because of the break. We knew this was a possibility but I couldn't tell for sure, I thought the pedal seemed like it would move back farther if Owen's leg would move slightly. In order to disengage the break he used the tools he brought with him and took the wheel off and the second the chain slipped free from chain holder thingy on the wheel the pedal fell right down and his foot slipped free!!

Needless to say, we didn't go on a bike ride/walk after all! 

"The Bike Incident of 2011" aside, we did have a very nice time with friends. We played a while more (I caught Micah trying to eat some wood chips, again irrelevant but disgusting and therefore news worthy) and now the boys are both sleeping. Excuse me now as I think I need to go take a nap of my own.

A special Thank You to Josh for his phone advice, to the random foreign jogger (we'll call him "Micky Mouse" or "Anne") and to Joe for coming to our rescue, and to the Lord for answering our prayers in His perfect timing. :)

May the Lord bless you in all of your adventures today!


  1. haha you're right I did enjoy reading that! That's insane!!!! Owen's quite a trooper! and way to go Abby for distracting him! I can only imagine dealing with this with three other children around too! Good job for getting him out!!!

  2. OH MY GOSH. I was getting more and more panicked as I read on. I can only imagine how panicked you must have felt! Eeeek :( Poor little guy! Hope he got a nice treat after this whole ordeal!

  3. I was seriously laughing out loud as I read this!!!! Like you said, "we'll laugh about this later" and thankfully we can! Owen was such a champ! I'm not sure I would have been as calm if I had my ankle wedged tight.


  4. Abby, you deserved your own little aside here! I was amiss not to thank you. I know we talked at the park and you said I kept you calm, but I'm so glad you were there with me, I don't know what I would have done if I'd been alone. Seriously.

    Claire, 3 other kids. Um, yea. They sort of ruled the roost for awhile. Micah sat in his stroller pretty well for the first half, then pushed his stroller around for the second half. The girls got some books out of their car and read for awhile and well, I think they all understood something wasn't right. I don't know how else to explain how good they were for us. Well, how good Micah was, Zoe and Sophie are little angels anyway ;)

    Lori, He had a lot of hugs and a pass from riding his bike for awhile. Tomorrow he goes fishing with his dad and grandpa it was already planned but he's pretty excited about it.

  5. Oh my, "incident" is definitely the right word! (smile) For let's hope the "drama" - or should I say, "trauma" is never repeated! LOL Still it was delightful to read about in hindsight... and goes to show, each day has enough trouble of its own. LOL
    Give Owen kisses from Grandma, and tell him I am glad he was such a brave little trooper... (smile)

  6. YIKES. Hey, now none of us will ever have this problem. Thanks for figuring it out for us all :D props!


Thank you for your comments and love!