Well, we still have 2 healthy kids, and 75% of our arms, so why stop now?! I had a fitful night’s sleep last night. I repeatedly reviewed the accident in my head, watching it unfold before my eyes. I don’t think we were going very fast. We were coasting down a bit of a hill, at the most 15 miles per hour. I was behind Anna and Ben. I was just about to make a comment to Anna that she was riding too close to the curb, but I didn’t have that opportunity, and it probably would not have done any good. I saw her front wheel hit the curb, and she toppled over the handle bars with that same sickening sound that I heard with Ella. From her immediate crying we knew she was conscious. I got to the scene rather quickly. Andrea was in front again. She threw her bike and ran back to us. Anna lost a big chunk of skin on her right knee and broke her left arm. Thankfully, we had some good Samaritans there to help us out and get us going again.
In the night I reviewed that scenario and wondered what to do next. Thinking this may be the end of the ride for us, I started considering other options. What can we do? I had the idea of creating some kind of party bike like we rode in Berlin, with one driver and multiple seats. We would go really, really slow, in essence building a raft of sorts to at least finish pedaling the Mosel. I pitched the idea to Andrea in the morning, and she liked it. I set about looking for materials to build such a thing. My idea was to run a piece of one inch diameter tubing through the handle bar stems of the tandem as well as one other bike. The single bike would serve almost as a sidecar. Ella would be on the back, and Anna would be on the side. We would go super slowly, maybe 5 miles an hour and kind of putsy down the Mosel. The Mosel is flat right by the river and easy riding, so that was the thought. Well, it isn’t easy to find one inch diameter tubing in a European country with the metric system. I did find some, strangely enough, at a metal works shop on the north side of town. I brought it home, tried my concept out, and wasn’t happy with the result. The party bike didn’t seem very stable. I know I could do a better job if I had access to a Lowe’s or Home Depot and had a cordless drill, but that is not the case. Those kind of places are hard to find. I’ve been looking nearly the whole time we have been here for what we call electrical tape and can’t seem to find anybody who knows what it is. I’m not sure what they do for home improvement here in Europe. The bike is just not going to work. Sometimes I have a hard time with obstacles that come my way. I don’t know how to approach them. Do I work hard to overcome them, or do I take them as a sign that I’m pushing beyond my reasonable limit? Is God trying to tell me to back off? I took the latter council this time, rather than kill myself and maybe my whole family to make this party bike. I think we are going to leap-frog down the Mosel. Andrea and the two invalids, Ella and Anna, will take the boat, and Sarah, Benjamin, and I will pedal. Benjamin will be on the back of the tandem this time. Sarah’s a very good rider. I’m not worried about her. If we can conquer the Mosel, then we will probably catch a train to Italy and finish up our site seeing down there without the bikes. That is where we are. Again my mind is confused over why all this is happening. How in the world could we have two accidents, seemingly from operator error. The accidents would have happened on any bike. There isn’t anything about these bikes that caused the accident. I’m not sure why this cycling trip isn’t turning into much of a cycling trip anymore, but I have to trust that God is in control, and we will do the best we can with what we have.