We were on our way to our weekly unschooling tribe park day, which meant we had both boys' bikes on the rack on the back of our car. We stopped at Walgreens to pick up a water balloon launcher. We were driving along the strip mall's service road (thankfully with no traffic behind us) when the bike rack fell off the car! Crashed to the ground with both bikes still strapped in. I saw it in the mirror and stopped the car, telling the boys what had happened. I pulled over to the curb, and both boys jumped out. Andy untangled the bikes and handed his (bigger) bike to me, then brought Dan's bike to the sidewalk, and I grabbed the bike rack. One of the straps that secures the rack to the car had worn thru completely and broken. The rack is more than 20 years old, and in our dry climate, even heavy canvas fabric doesn't last forever. I'm just so very grateful the bike rack fell off while were on the service road, and not the main road we would turn onto at the corner (about 40' ahead) or the freeway, less than a mile away, that we use to get to the park!
Andy and I spent about 15 minutes trying to find someway to fit his 26" bike into our small car. Dropped the split back seat, emptied the trunk. The boys pulled and tugged together. No luck. There is just no way to get Andy's bike into the car. Dan's smaller bike will fit with half the backseat down and still get Dan into the backseat.
Andy offered he could ride his bike home -- about 3/4 of a mile -- while I drove and so we could leave his bike at home. Okay... I thought. It means crossing 6 lanes of divided road, but at least there's a traffic signal there. Andy was so excited to do this, while I have some street-crossing issues, and bike on the road issues, but I smiled and said, "sure we can do that."
Dan & I got in the car, and Andy started to ride the bike. Wheels wouldn't turn. The sprocket for the pedals is stuck. On the sidewalk, Andy flips the bike up on its seat and gets to work figuring out the problem. He says, "I can use my wrench to bend it back into shape." Smiling, because once again, the HUGE wrench he carries in his backpack (one of his must-have-never-know-when-you'll-need-it items) will come in handy! The boys sat down on each side of the bike, and using Andy's wrench to hold it in place, they straightened out the gear sprocket.
The bike was fixed --enough to ride anyway, it's still stuck in 2nd gear -- and we started out. Andy rode his bike home while I drove along, keeping him in sight all the time. Once he put the bike in the carport and jumped into the car, after running back inside to wash up, he was so jazzed! Full of ideas about how he can now run errands for me on his bike -- he can ride to the store with a list for me and shop! Andy, who doesn't want to be alone at home or in the store!
And thru all the bike rack situation, we smiled and worked together and Dan thought it was so cool to see Andy ride his bike home.
By far the best Monday of my entire life.