Episode 133. BMW Junior Cruise.

At the beginning of the school year my littlest Monster moved from the Primary school across town, to the Primary school on  our estate. The reason for this I'll not bore you with here, but since the move she has been far happier, and her work seems to have improved, added to this, it has no longer been a fight to get her ready in the morning. What this means for me however is that I no longer have to drive across town to school, something that I actually miss in the morning and afternoon! However as it's only about a five minute walk, we usually walk, which probably does us both good. Back at the beginning of the school year, while the weather was still nice she decided that she would like to ride her bike, much like a lot of the kids on the estate do. This worked for me, as I could ride with her. But I'll be honest, I didn't like her leaving the Huffy Sweet Thunder outside. It wasn't so much that it was outside, as I felt it was still secure as it was locked, but the way some of the kids just fling their bikes and scooters into the other bikes was what wasn't working for me. With that in mind I thought I'd track her down another bike, something a little more 'disposable' I kept an eye out for something that would fit the bill back in the Autumn, but as Winter arrived with the rain, rain and even more rain we didn't ride at all to school, but walked there under an umberella instead, the urgency to find a 'disposable' bike kind of dropped off. 

A couple of weeks ago, before the whole coronavirus thing kicked off, my littlest Monster started wanting to ride to school again. The weather was starting to get nice, and so I thought it would be OK. Once again I needed to find that 'disposable' bike. About a week ago at the tip, this little beauty turned up...

I'll be honest, I had no idea what it was, but I liked the look of the frame, and so I handed over the folding stuff, and chucked it into the back of the Navara before heading for home. My feeling was, that despite the nicely welded aluminium frame, and the quality looking parts on the bike it was probably a supermarket special as it had no wording on it. But then I noticed this...

Which made me think that someone had stuck a BMW badge on it, but the more I looked at it, the more I thought that the badge was just too good a fit in the indentation on the frame. Coincidence? Probably not! So a quick trawl of the internet, and I find that this is a BMW Junior Cruise. Never heard of it, but it was well over £400 when it was new! Nevermind, it was now my littlest Monsters 'disposable' bike for school.

The problem with this was, the more I looked at it, the more I started to think that my littlest Monster would more than likely still be way too big for it. I really was after something in the 24" wheel catagory, and this is still in the 20" wheel catagory. But I tried to convince myself that there are loads of bigger kids, and even adults who ride around on BMX's, and they've only got 20" wheels.

I gave it a once over to make sure that everything was tight, and it was ready to ride, and waited for an opportunity to go for a test ride with her on it. We had planned to go out and give it a test last weekend, but due to other things going on we didn't get around to it. So, today with our illustrious leaders words still ringing in my ear from last night about only going out for excercise once a day, we decided that our once today would be the test ride. 

My littlest Monster got on, and straight away my thoughts about it being too small for her were confirmed, bugger! Although oddly I did have to lower the saddle about 6", and raise the bars a couple of inches! I guess the previous owner was long in the leg and arm, but had a very short body, whereas my littlest Monster is pretty long all over. Never mind she said, let's give it a go. Within ten minutes she said that she hated it. It was uncomfortable to ride, and she felt that it just wasn't as smooth as her Huffy! Another five minutes and it was just too peopley out there on the cycle route, so we decided to turn back and not be part of the crowd. After all, we are supposed to be self isolating to try and put a stop to this coronavirus thats got the world gripped by it's throat! We decided that we'd circle the neighbourhood instead, but as we rode past BelongaClint my littlest Monster said stop, I've got to change bikes. In went the BMW, and out came the Huffy! I'm not riding that thing again she said as she locked it up. So I told her that I'd find another bike for her to use, something with bigger wheels, and asked her what sort of bike I should look out for. Apparently it should be exactly like the Huffy, just bigger! OK I said, but I doubt that I'll get anything with a loaf saddle as they're just not popular now. This didn't please her at all, but after our ride I had a little thought. I told her that I had something that she might be interested in, in the back of the shed. after emptying the shed I finally dragged this little beauty back out into the sunshine...

The Apollo Retro that my biggest Monster bought three years ago when she was too big for her old bike. Sadly before she had finished with it, she had also outgrown this too and I bought her a bigger beach cruiser, before stashing this at the back of the shed for when my littlest Monster was big enough to ride it. Luckily for me she loves it, and so now that we're apparently confined to quarters until after Easter at the very least it gives us plenty of time to whip it into shape before school starts again. My biggest concern though is, will she still feel this is a 'disposable' bike once she's put time and effort into making it into something she can ride? Somehow, I doubt it!