2008 Pre-season Update

2005 Schwinn Classic Cruiser (April 2008)I still haven’t logged a single mile on the Rickshaw yet. The canopy is 90%+ done right now. The canopy frame had a burr in the metal from the time it was new. I bought a $2 file from Harbor Freight and it took minutes to smooth that off. Cake. Now Kelly’s handiwork should be safe from the canopy frame causing damage.

I’ve gone on some training rides, and as of last week could complete the 2007 Tour de Boise route in 1.5 hours on the Schwinn Classic Cruiser (pictured). That’s 10 MPH average, and there’s stretches I don’t pedal since the single speed Schwinn gears out sometimes downhill. I need to average 5 MPH on the Rickshaw. Not easy, but with gears it might be doable.

The Wheel is Back!

The first of the season’s mechanical upgrades has been completed. I got my wheel back from Bikes2Boards today. The wheel wasn’t right when I got the Rickshaw new off ebay and I may have made it worse when hitting a speed bump while sprinting to the 2006 Tour de Fat (or maybe not). Thanks to Bikes2Boards the wheel has finally be trued. We haven’t mounted it on the Rickshaw yet. I should call Joe and let him know it is back.

Bikes2Boards is my favorite bike shop in town hands down. They love bikes and are fearless to fix whatever comes in. I don’t roll average stuff, so I typically get an interesting look with whatever I bring in. This time the question was “Where did you get that?” as the Rickshaw wheel with the odd cast iron hub was being looked over. “Ebay” I said.

I also drove the 2007 Tour de Boise route today (one way) so I could show Kelly what I was hoping to finish. It should be an interesting challenge if I make it. I can ride the route on my Schwinn Classic Cruiser fine, and have, but Rickshaw is another level of demanding. To finish, I’ll need some upgrades, as will the Rickshaw. I think it can be done, but will it? Not a gimmie.

Boise Bike Week is Coming

I was pleased to discover Boise Bike Week today:

There’s a schedule and of extra interest is Rickshawing the Pedal Power Parade. This an early season event being on Saturday, May 17. The route is cake though once you get to the start. All downhill through the north end to Julia Davis park.

This ride would be interesting for Rickshaw, but there’s a bench climb at the end and a jaunt out to the old penn. Oh well. Might have to take a bike instead.

I’ll also probably make the live music night via Rickshaw as well. Looks like fun.

Canopy Materials Bought

Canopy Materials with Faye
It’s been a good week in rickshawdom. In preparation for the 2008 season, the canopy is getting replaced. Kelly said she wanted a sewing project. I offered canopy. She accepted.

Here’s what I’ve got:

  • Canopy fabric: Vinyl with snakeskin pattern. It goes great with the charcoal black frame while adding extra cheese. Should be durable enough to take on tree limbs, too. Cost: About $14. (clearance rack)
  • LED Christmas lights: 2 sets of battery powered Christmas lights. LEDs for efficiency and long life, 20 per assembly. I bought 2 of these in late 2006/early 2007 from Wal-Mart in seasonal clearance mode. Glad I did. Lights=fun, style, and safety. Cost: Don’t remember.
  • Fringe: Ah yes, glorious black and gold fringe with tassels. Really upped my cost and lowers my durability, but worth it for the look I’m thinking. Cost: $17. (60% off normal price, 7 feet needed)

This’ll add a trivial amount of drag (probably) and weight (absolutely) to the Rickshaw. Most importantly, it’ll add cheese.

Welcome to Rickshaw Season Blog

Hello and welcome to the Rickshaw Season blog at RickshawSeason.com. I’m extra stoked about this year, the third season. For those of you unfamiliar with the Rickshaw itself, see the about page.

Here’s what’s in the works for the 2008 season:

  • Rickshaw Engine upgrades: That’s right, I plan on seriously upping my condition for longer and more involved Rickshaw missions (aka rides). I was in my best shape in many years towards the end of last summer, all due to the Rickshaw lifestyle.
  • More passengers: More passengers, more fun.
  • More missions: More rides total.
  • More miles: I plan on eclipsing 100 miles this season. There’ll be an odometer on the front wheel.
  • More events: The Eagle days parade was great last year. This year the Rickshaw might even complete the Tour de Fat (mechanical/driver error in 2006) and a more ambitious event.
  • Mechanical upgrades: A variety of fixes/upgrades to the ol’ piece of junk.
  • Cosmetic upgrades: New canopy, and maybe more.

Am I going to pull off everything? Probably not, but with help from others (Kelly, Joe) and added determination I’ll get more done this year than the other two years combined. Thanks for tuning into RickshawSeason.com!

2007 Rickshaw Season Summary

The 2007 Rickshaw Season was the best of the first two easily. More passengers. More miles. More fun.

The first mission was taking a (then) 300 lbs (+ I bet) Joe Lake from his place at State and Veterans to Hyde Park. That’s an uphill haul with over 700 lbs. rolling. Not an ideal first mission. Indeed, I stopped 2 or 3 times if I recall. But I made it. I was better the rest of the season.

The first event of the year (Eagle Fun Days parade) was nice. I got to haul some of my favorite people in the world (my Mom and my Son) and get some ride in too. Some friends were off to live in China for work and we had the Rickshaw out for their going away party, which was fun. I did not enter the Rickshaw into the Tour de Fat. Between route changes and learning how to ride the Rickshaw without breaking it, I could have finished the Tour de Fat 2007. But no, the Roadmaster Luxury Liner got the glory.

Doug rode on the back sometime mid-season, and took the only video we have from the season with his cell phone. Notice the old canopy is lame, and the old headlight on the handlebars is huge:

My season Rickshaw Engine highlight was late in the season. Passenger Brother Bob and I were headed downtown. There was a (big by car terms) split between a Miata and a herd of cars that had stacked at a stop light. I’m looking at this and thinking “I can shoot the gap no problem”. Keep in mind there’s an incline here too. Well, I dig in a bit too hard and actually have to slow down a bit on my approach. Even with that, I made the split (which in car terms was huge) very convincingly. This was the highlight of the season as far as Engine performance. I wouldn’t have pulled that off on day one, and certainly wouldn’t have tried.

(I’m backdating this entry, actual date is April 15, 2008)

2006 Rickshaw Season Summary

The 2006 Rickshaw Season was the first. I started the year in poor shape, and as I’d mentioned many times “The way to get into Rickshaw shape is with a Rickshaw”. Evidently. The season was rough at the beginning, but sure enough, was more tolerable as it progressed.

The low point of the season was the Tour de Fat. Yes, the Tour de Fat was still enjoyable, but the Rickshaw, already damaged from hitting a speed bump in a parking lot too fast, hit a section of tree roots under the asphalt on the Greenbelt during the tour, vibrating the carriage to the rear right wheel, and ending that year’s ride very early.

All in all a great year. I got in way better shape, and had fun. The Rickshaw suffered some damage it wouldn’t receive the next year as I learned how to baby it. For example, don’t pedal on notably uneven surfaces because the frame lacks rigidity and you’ll bend on the front sprocket with the chain in the process.

(I’m backdating this entry, actual date is April 15, 2008)