October 28, 2009
I rode the Madsen today. Solo.
We have a house guest coming this Sunday, so the basement has become a priority on the to-do. Madsen baby retrofit is last right now, with an unpromising "we'll see..." from Don when I followed up about whether we could maybe find time on the weekend.
All that aside, I knew I had to ride this bike soon. Seriously. It's been in the house for around two weeks and no outside time?
The weather was around the plus 3, minus 4 mark (24-36 for the rest of you). Sort of wet. And by the time I was heading home there were ice flecks getting in my eye. I wore this dress with boots, my trench, scarf, and gloves.
Took it over to redbike to show the guys. They thought it was really novel and Cliff immediately suggested he and Brent get into the back while I pedal. At first I was like, "Uh... really?" and then he said, "Well, that's what it's for." He's right. It's just that I've never had two grown men offer to ride with me on my bike! Too bad a customer came and they had to help him out so perhaps next week when Bryce is in town.
Took Madsen on the Miss Sarah circuit. Bike place.
Cargo included goodies such as birthday presents for my niece, some groceries, and a box of pastries and muffins.
I can eat this way because I bike a lot.
So my initial thoughts? It was surprisingly easy to ride. The turning radius is wide, but not weird like on a tricycle. It's definitely not FAST. Though, and I quote from some dude who was talking to me about my folding bike (another post I'm working on), "All you need to know is that it's faster than walking." His friend was dubious about whether a folding bike had any good purpose, and was very curious about how fast it went.
So it's not as fast as riding alone (I anticipate that I'll get very strong from riding and then I'll be faster), but that is likely because of the weight, the fact that it's new to me, and because I don't have everything in the right position yet.
The saddle isn't as comfortable as my Brooks on my other bikes. Again, this will probably be "whatever" once I tweak a few things. Still, it felt very pointy. I'll see how much Don likes it, since we'll both be riding this bike, and then we can make a call about whether to leave it or change it.
I'm going to change out the plastic pedals. Maybe I'll wait for them to break and crack with the cold first, then I'll replace them.
The brass bell isn't nearly as offensive and shrill outdoors as it was indoors, so I'll probably keep that too for the time being.
Brent at redbike said the bits on the bike are all decent. It's certainly not state of the art and the most luxurious of bike parts, but it'll do the job and it's not outfitted with a bunch of cheap crap parts either.
I like the cargo on the back and it is handy to just dump things in the bin. I think this is a bike that will be handy for taking Dexter on short runs in the surrounding areas. Somewhere between 6-12 miles round trip? It should suit us fine for school, groceries, library, and some extra curricular activities depending on where those are. Yes!
I know, I know. Dexter is still a baby, why am I thinking about school already? I like planning ahead. And seeing all the moms that drive less than 10 blocks to ferry their kids to school... forces me to take these things into consideration.
Oh, and once I have a second baby. I'm pretty sure riding this bike is going to make me fit again. I don't want to scare anyone away from buying a cargo bike, but I'd be lying if I said it was as easy and light and fast as riding say, my road bike. On the other hand, as somebody who is used to riding bikes, I know it's just a different style of riding and once I get used to it I'll probably wonder how I ever thought I was traveling slowly in the first place. I decided to just go for it and rode on the main roads, in traffic, just as I would with any of my other bikes. It was surprisingly not terrifying. Felt normal.
None of my muscles hurt. I'll check back tomorrow and let you know if that's still the case:)
And yes, lots of people stopped to gawk and talk about the bike. I am the harbinger of stylish, active living with kids (in Edmonton)!