Episode 18. Puky.

This, as I'm sure you can imagine is not my bike. It belongs to my 8 year old little monster and she loves it. Its made by a little known (by me atleast) cycle manufacturer called a PUKY GmbH & Co. KG, and they're made in Wuelfrath, Germany. The company is known in Germany for the producing and the distributing of high-quality children bikes, they also make and sell scooters, unicycles, scooters, go-carts, tricycles and accessories. PUKY has just 100 employees, and they provide work for handicaped people who support vehicle assembly off site with the production of approximately 2.000 – 3.000 products per day.

We got it for her when she had out grown her first pedal bike, and her wooden balance bike. It came from the local tip and although it was nothing like what she told me she wanted (a beach cruiser like her first bike) As soon as she saw it, she wanted it, and fell in love with it. I don't know if it was the vibrant colours, or the shape of the frame, but it was sitting down the tip waiting for love to come and find it, and the minute she saw it, it was rescued!

I must admit, that for me, when I saw it myself I thought that it was quite a lovely little bike, and I really had no problem handing a tenner over to the guy at the tip to buy it. Plus, it had something that for my youngest monster was quuite important, a coaster brake. I don't know why this is important to her, but it is, and she struggles with bikes that don't have them. Oddly, for my eldest monster, she's the other way around, she struggles with bikes that do have them, but thats a story for another time. So why am I telling you about my daughters bike? Well, for one thing I think it's quite a cool little bike, and deserves a bit of babbling on from me about it. The other thing is that I have just sold it! Fear not, a suitable replacement has been accquired, because she's had a bit of a growth spurt, and no longer fits comfortably on the PUKY. She did however need to take it for one last ride! I sometimes worry about the fact that my kids have never had brand new bikes. I see them with their friends sometimes, and they've all got new bikes, but for whatever reason the my two little monsters are happy with their second hand machinery, so I guess its ok. The thing I find most odd about my two little monsters and their friends is how they treat their machines, my girls seem to park up their bikes when they finish riding them, and stand them against the wall or something, whereas their friends with the new shiny stuff just seem to stop, get off, and then let their bikes fall to the ground! They don't seem to care for their bikes at all.

 But this little thing has served my youngest monster well, and she has travelled many miles on it. It hasn't all been plain sailing admittedly, there was this time we went for a ride, and for the first time my youngest monster was experiencing hills on her bike. All was going quite well, and we got to the furthest point on our ride without any trouble, she had to get off a few times going up some of the hills, but it was going down them that I was initially concerned with as we normally ride on the flat field she had never really had to use her brakes before. She knows how to use them, she just never had to, and I was concerned that she wouldn't be able to stop if she needed to, or regulate her speed on the downhill bits. But as I said, she had made it to the furthest point on our ride without a hitch. She looked more and more confident all the time as I followed her along the path. As we neared home and with one more descent to go she was looking pretty confident, and I was fairly happy with how she was riding, and using the brakes etc to control her speed...

However, for whatever reason, on this last bit of downhill she decided in her wisdom or otherwise that she was going to go for it! The hill wasn't particularly steep, but it is long, and by about 3/4 of the way down the hill she was going like the clappers! Then it came... The wobble! As a Dad following watching your child as you followed her down a hill fighting the wobble at speed is quite a scary thing to see. I mean I, as most, if not all of us have, have experienced the wobble myself, and it is scary, but it really isn't as scary as watching your little child fighting it! At the bottom of the hill there are a couple of sweeping curves, first left, then right. my youngest little monster decided to forgoe going around the curves, and instead just cut a straight line through the curves, across the grass, and back on the tarmac path again! To be honest, by this time from where I was looking, she had almost got the wobble under control some how, and I was thinking to myself, crikey, she's got that back! But leaving the path upset her balance further, and the wobble got really big, and from behind I knew that she wasn't going to get it back from that, even though she was still fighting it and hanging on, and even her feet hadn't left the pedals yet! But this was about to change, and the small change in height from the grass bits between the curves of the path, and the path itself just removed the bike out from under her! BANG!! Onto the path and then another six to eight foot slide/tumble along it until she hit the wire fence that eventually brought her to a stop! Awww! That didn't look comfy! I was a second or so behind her and by the time I had arrived to pick her up she was already getting up off the ground and telling me that she was fine! She was a little scuffed up on her arms and forehead, but just kept saying, I'm ok Dad, I'm ok! I think I was more shaken up than she was! She decided to push her bike for a bit after that, but after about five minutes she was back on it and riding again, which I thought was good, although clearly she had hurt herself, but there was no way in the world that she was going to admit that to me! Or anyone else for that matter! I didn't sleep too well that night, just kept thinking about what had happened!

The following day I discussed this incedent with my Dad, and how she had crashed, got up said she was fine, and more or less shrugged it off, even though it was pretty clear to me that she had actually hurt herself. According to my Dad, this was exactly how I used to be, he said that he watched me a lot as a child doing stupid things, or riding too fast, or whatever. He said that the way I used to pass the house on my bike, skateboard, scooter, go-cart at speed used to cause him a great deal of concern! Hmm, I can remember doing some of these things, and how painful some of the outcomes of my riding style could be! I really hope that my girls havn't inherited my 'stupid' genes! Anyway, the good news was that my youngest monster and myself went out on our bikes the following day, and she has decided that now she's going to wear her helmet (because she wasn't before when she crashed!) She has also learned how to regulate her speed a bit better, which is a relief, but misses the coaster brake on her new bike!

As I sit here remenising about this little bike, I really am quite sad to see it go, however, having talked tot he new owner, it is pretty clear that it is going to a place where it will be treasured once more and thats good because this is a pretty cool little ride, and I wish the new owner well with it.

I must admit that If I could've found my littlest monster a bigger one of these bikes I definately would've. I browsed Ebay both here and abroad looking for one, but to no avail. I could find a larger PUKY bike, but it wasn't in the same style, and she said that if she was going to have another one, it needed to be the same, just larger! This is a shame really, because the bike I felt was built to quite a high standard, and will probably do the new owner a good long service, and my guess is that when his child has outgrown it, it will still be good enough to sell on, and give another child a chance to learn to ride. As a side note, although I was unable to find my youngest monster a new PUKY bike, I did manage to find her a large PUKY go-kart, which I had to buy for her, and which she has been enjoying during the summer holidays!

But thats not a story for here, or now...