Friday, May 25, 2012

The "Why?" bike

It is claimed on their web site that "this pushbike is tough. The sturdy YBIKE Original Sports injection moulded construction, which eliminates weak points and offers superior quality and great durabily" was "engineered with safety in mind." I don't know why it is called a YBIKE, but for me it definitely has another "why" connected to it other than its durability or design. My son's YBIKE is in two pieces and despite the company's reluctance to admit that their was a flaw in its design, they did offer me a new one at cost price which I accepted. Admittedly he did get good mileage out of it and he probably would've done so for a year or two more was it still intact.

I can still remember when he got his bike as a present from his grandparents. The concept of pushing forward was still new, so he initially only moved backwards. Later as the confidence grew he started to really enjoy the bike. The bike became part of the family and did regular trips to his grandparents' house and the beach. Some days they were allowed to take their bikes to school. In the mornings he used to race me to school while I followed on my skateboard keeping a watchful eye on him while always making sure that he turned out to be "winner". I can still see how he turned the imaginary key and sometimes pushed the "turbo boost" button. Apparently that "kicked in three engines". One morning he suddenly stopped, got off the bike, walked back and said to me "I am just picking up one of the engines that fell out". The bike went in for regular "services" and had its wash when my bike had hers. Chasing around the house on the terracotta tiles made a huge noise, but he really manoeuvred the bike like a pro and I never complained about the noise.

Sadly that noise is gone now. I am not angry or disappointed any more that the bike literally broke in two. Plastic toys come and go. I am sad because of an era that is over. If there is one "why" after this YBIKE I would like to have  answered then it would not be "Why did it break?" but rather "Why do our children have to grow up so fast...?"

Although being sad at first because of his broken bike, he has progressed onto his bicycle "with no training wheels" now. I am pretty sure that soon I will have to junk that one too and move on to the next toy while his sister does the terracotta race track on her new YBIKE. The fact is that it is just sad to know that you cannot keep them small forever.... 

1 comment:

  1. Breaking at the neck is a common fault with the first batch. A later upgrade reportedly solved the issue. I wrote them a soppy letter and got a free replacement.