An Open Letter

Parked car I accidentally slammed her into [not pictured]
Parked car I accidentally steered us into
[not pictured]

Dear bicycle (and presumably unicycle) manufacturers,

I write to you today to enquire about a rather simple matter of which is presently rather pressing for me. Let me give a little background first.

My lovely soon to be 6 year old has finally made substantial process on effectively using your two-wheeled apparatuses. This has been an arduous process, with many bumps and bruises, skinned knees and many tears. It’s also been hard on my daughter. Nevertheless, within the past month or so we’ve freed ourselves from the shackles of training wheels, and she (roughly) can make her way perched atop her wheeled steed.

As enticement to achieve this goal, we recently purchased a new bike, one that more effectively worked for her unusually tall body, and appealed a bit more to her taste – which is to say more pink, and rainbowy. She loves it, and she’s willing to ride it – a rare double victory for us. Kudos to you folks for building such fine machines that so delight our children and thin our wallets.

During our slow march to this point, we’ve accumulated our fair share of children’s bikes – purple ones, tassled ones, and ones in which the pedals are fun shapes, like seashells or roadkill. I can describe these bikes in great detail, for as I write this to you I’m currently pinned beneath 5 of them in my garage, fending off mice with a rusty screwdriver and hoping my wife means it when she’s says she’ll come rescue after ‘just a few more rides’ at Sesame Place.

The hacksaw is just out of reach
The hacksaw is just out of reach

Thus my question: why the hell don’t these bikes come with kickstands?

I mean seriously – I’ve been cleaning out the garage all day, perilously perching these pedal powered death machines against each other as they all lack the practical stabilization that a kickstand provides. And then a short stumble over lawn darts, a push away from an inadvertent noose of icicle lights, and I suddenly find myself at the bottom of this bicyclanche.

How can kickstands be considered an optional accessory here? It’s like selling me a plane without landing gear – she’s great in the air but when they stop you just need to roll them onto one wing? Or a boat without an anchor – when you’re done just push her up against the dock and hope for the best?  Or a bipod without a stabilizing leg (a “tri”-pod, if you will)?

So please, consider the humble plea of a man crushed, if not just in spirit but also by aluminum, rubber, and rainbow tassels. I shall endlessly ring this bicycle bell here in the hopes that you will heed my cries and include kickstands on your bikes, and/or dispatch the local emergency services to pry my lifeless body from this tangle of velocipedes.

With a gear shifter jammed in my armpit,