Neighbours child has forks on backwards - do I say something

MartinYorkshire

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Guys and gals,

The subject sounds like a no brainer, tell the parents/grandparents. However, they are a little bit unusual in that they literally don't really talk to anyone on the street aside from hello or goodbye. You get a small smile and a rapidly closed door in response to a "good morning". We have lived as neighbours for 16 years and never had a disagreement as far as I know.

My gut obviously says to tell these people, but conversely, from what I know of them, they are so insular, I think they would take it as some kind of insult and then not do anything about it as a matter of principal.

I don't want to offend anyone but every single time I see this kid cycle about on his BSO, it makes me cringe. He's a nice kid too, always trying to include my (younger) lad in outdoor play, which his grandparents then kind of block for some reason. The kid has even knocked on our door and asked my lad to play out. He's such a kind soul. The kid is 11 and my lad is 6 but a big 6 I suppose, and I dont think the 11 year old really understands the age gap fully. Regardless, they tend to block their grandkids interaction with any of the other kids around anyway. It's all a bit strange to me.

For this situation, I'm considering them a complete stranger, so how would you approach them in such a way as to say there was a danger to this child, but also not to come across as so condescending that they ignore it and carry on regardless?

As an aside, they don't know that I have any knowledge regarding bikes at all unless they have seen what we ride and looked it up, but I don't think they are interested in any way, so I doubt it. Should I bother at all, is it such a danger to this childs health that I should risk somewhat amicable neighbourly relations over?

The child in questions riding seems limited to around the local streets and I've not seen any members of his family riding with him. He wears a helmet on his bike and on his scooter, so they do have some semblance of safety reasoning.

Bit of an odd one for retrobike, but just not sure how to proceed in this day and age. Years ago I'd have immediately taken the bike off him, calmly, then gone to his parents/carers regardless of knowing them or not, and just told them. These days, christ knows what could happen if I did that.

I'd appreciate some thoughts on this oddball question.

Thanks

Anyone encountered anything similar?
 

mk one

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Just go and tell them, say you noticed they were wrong way round and you thought it best to let them know as you don't want the kid hurting himself. You could even say you have the tools and are happy to sort it for them.
 

MartinYorkshire

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mk one":3gg5y53m said:
you have the tools and are happy to sort it for them.

This is part of the situation. I feel awkward mentioning it without offering to sort it.

The difficult truth is, I'm absolutely not going to sort it for them, as much as I want to for the kids sake (and the family are not unkind towards me either). It's simply that theres too much liability flying about these days, not to mention "sorting" a BSO is a liability in itself. Been down that road decades ago on many occasions for former neighbours kids. A rubbing u brake leads to X leads to Y. Suddenly the owner/parent/person blames you for the massive repair bill (a £10 chain) despite the fact they bought a mode of transport worth less than an average weeks shopping.

BSO's are garbage, but try convincing someone that they really should just scrap it when they genuinely don't know better and spent 2 weeks salary on a "top fo the range" bike for Christmas.... I just envision this nightmare conversation. It saddens me so much to type that.

I probably should at least say something, which they probably won't believe and then if I present a bunch of documents proving it, I'll be the weirdo neighbour and make things even more awkward.

The more I think of it, the more I think this is a nigh on impossible modern problem. Thanks, Facebook etc.
 

M-Power

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Just send them an anonymous letter with some images printed off showing them whats wrong and how it should be set up. Encourage them to take it back to where they got it to get it fixed ( saving them money ) and mention its a serious safety issue et . I have fixed plenty of bikes like this and worse over the years, on the cycle the Brighton and other charity rides or kids bikes out and about ( often buckled wheels ). I usually carry plenty of tools so can do it properly there and then and quickly. Never had anything other than real appreciation.
 

66 triumph daytona

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They dont sound odd,they are dream neighbours to have.They seem courteous and like to keep to themselves.I`d pop over and tell them about the fork.They would definitely appreciate it.
 

2manyoranges

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We live in a small village and have some of the same dynamic going on with some families. They get very defensive when anything is said.

In am with RWM on this one - just mention it through kids ‘...you could hurt yourself with the fork on the wrong way around...just look at some bikes on the web and ask for it to be fixed at a bike shop...’
 

MartinYorkshire

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Re:

Thanks for the views everyone. I'll probably mention it to the child themselves when they are all out playing again. Hopefully it will filter through.
 

Captain Stupido

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If you seriously think there's a good chance your neighbours will sue you for fixing their kid's bike I would suggest you move house ASAP.
 
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