Before you freak out, it was very minor and everyone is fine!
So a few weeks ago, we went out in search for a bike to help get us around the city faster. With buses taking a long time to get anywhere, and taxis adding up in cost, we thought this would be a good way to open up more of the city to us. After searching around, we grew fond of a little e-bike. It didn't run too fast (which we appreciated for safety reasons), it was electronic, so we could plug it in at night and not worry about paying for gas, and our whole family fit on one. After a couple of test drives, we decided this was the one. We were thrilled to find out it would be delivered to our apartment that night, and have used it every day since.
The bike has become such a life saver. We are able to explore more places and take part in activities because of it. It's also faster than going any where in a car, because we can weave through traffic, and most streets have a lane just for bikes. So the bike has really become a part of the family, and dare I say, best purchase we've ever made.
Drew learned how to maneuver the bike very quickly and since I am the smaller person and can fit on back better, he naturally does all the driving. Every once and awhile though, I like to take it for a spin myself and practice. Since it's been more of a learning curve for me, I never take it off campus, and I never go fast.
The other night, after dinner, the kids and I decided to go on a little bike ride to give Drew some peace and quiet to prepare his lesson for class the next day. We were just going to cruise around for about 20 minutes to get Drew's ideas flowing and then come back and get ready for bed.
We were driving all around campus and having a blast. I was feeling more comfortable with my handling skills, and the kids were laughing and having a good time, until we turned down a dark road.
There were no lights down the road and the light on the bike is pretty dim, so I was trying to be extra alert, but I still couldn't see the big pot hole in front of me. The conditions of roads are never good in China, but typically better on campus than in the city. Unfortunately we had turned down the worst road on campus. It had a huge chunk of concrete ripped up between a tree and the side walk, with only a very small clearing to get across. With it being so dark, I didn't see any of the damage, and we dipped in to the huge pot hole (I don't know if you can even call it a pot hole, it was more of just ripped up asphalt). I did my best to balance the bike and rev out of it, but the bike was too heavy and we toppled over. When I realized the bike was going to be too heavy for me to keep up, my heart sank, I looked back at Ellie who was on the seat behind me. She had already fallen off the bike and her foot was caught under the wheel. I panicked in my mind, assuming the worst, worrying her foot was going to get ripped off by the wheel. But before I could panic too much, tons of people came to our rescue. They rushed over and lifted the bike off Ellie while I rushed her to the sidewalk to make sure she was ok. They picked up Grant, who was still safe and sound in his little seat (although still very scared), and propped the bike on to its break. They stood close by as I used my flashlight to check for injuries and tried to console the kids. We were all pretty shaken up, but everyone was fine. Grant sustained no injuries, Ellie had a little road rash on her leg and I just had a broken heart. My heart hurt thinking about my kids, and what was going through their minds. It hurt that they were trusting me to take care of them, and that I didn't have the physical strength to help them, or myself. It also hurt to think that it could've been much worse.
We were blessed to have only experienced a little tip, but it makes me want to hold on to my babies a little tighter, and be grateful for everything I have. China has taught me many lessons of gratitude, but this is one I do not want to repeat. In the future I will continue to drive slowly, without the kids while I'm still learning, and will not be driving at night. For the most part I'll leave the driving up to Drew!