Will that be safe! It takes up too much room. That is way too expensive!
Well, yes! A new bike trailer is very expensive but, by searching marketplace over a reasonable timeframe, we found a WeeHoo bike trailer that was available at a fantastic price and, without further consultation, bought it. The fact that further consultation wasn't sought was not the most diplomatic, but the idea had been bandied about (and not enthusiastically accepted!), so when such a great deal came up it demanded immediate action. The awesome thing about the WeeHoo bike trailer is that it is designed for a wide age range of kids. It has pedals like a regular bike - allowing your youngster to assist with pedalling. And it has a very solid connection to the bike that is pulling it.
As to taking up a lot of room - well, it does. Yet the amazing thing about the WeeHoo Trailer design is that it is
quite compact as it only has one wheel. This is ideal for riding trails - which we haven't done yet as we've only had it a couple of days - and getting into all kinds of places. The challenge of the WeeHoo is that it is designed with a single wheel. This is a difficulty because Emmett may require some physical assistance and, if we have to stop and act in a hurray, the WeeHoo does not balance on it's own. So we made 'balance' wheels for it. Think of a much stronger version of training wheels. We went to our local Canadian Tire store for 6" steel, ball-bearing lawn mower wheels and axle bolts. Then we went to a local steel store (yes, there are places like this near you!) to buy the metal and they also did the bends for us. This added to the cost factor but absolutely makes riding a lot easier. (Trails may now be a bit more challenging if they're very narrow.) At first Emmett wasn't sure that he liked being tilted while stopped but he quickly got used to that. Going down hills absolutely adds to the thrill - this first trek we kept the speed well under control but, as we all get used to it, we will probably pick up the pace. Within safe parameters, of course (Mom and grandma's will be reading this - we will be very safe!). Emmett was quite encouraging about me having to haul him back up the hill! Perhaps this is why all spring he has been badgering me about riding my bike and getting exercise. Maybe he knew a bike trailer was in his future? At any rate, this was a relatively small hill and, while it was a bit of a workout, I was honestly expecting worse.
That covers cost and space. And it covered safety too, didn't it? There's always more room for discussions about safety! We have a traffic flag to ensure that we are noticed. We added a rear bike light to attract driver's attention. The WeeHoo comes with two shoulder belts, a chest strap, and a crotch strap to ensure that the rider is securely held into the slightly recumbent seat. The pedals come with velcro toe straps and a flexible heel strap - this is important to keep the riders feet securely on the pedals. We are experimenting with neck support collars as this equipment/exercise does give Emmett's neck quite a workout. Two that we have tried were not ideal because we need to work around incorporating this collar with his bicycle helmet and his back brace. So we will just keep experimenting until we find something that works for him. We also need to get some kind of platform/tray on the trailer (or the bike) that will hold his suction machine. As you know, Emmett doesn't travel anywhere without that key piece of equipment. So the only other safety concern is the main bike rider - and I've received several lectures about safety and I'm sure that I'll receive many more. To be honest, this concern about my judgement is likely justified. I promise now and in public that I will not knowingly take Emmett over any ramps or jumps or any other action that will endanger his safety. In fact, Emmett has already let me know that he would prefer that I not ride over sewer grates - he finds them too bumpy. But seriously, I think that Emmett is in more danger when his one year old brother, Theodore, starts pushing Emmett and his manual wheelchair about the house!
It is now seven years since Emmett was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Type 1. It is almost seven years that he has been receiving the drug Spinraza. This fall Emmett will be attending public school in grade two and he is very excited about that. We all appreciate you taking the time to read about Emmett's journey and the adventures that he goes on. August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness month. To celebrate SMA Awareness, Emmett is out for a bike ride!