2009 Rickshaw Season Summary

The 2009 season was not the pinnacle of all Rickshaw Seasons. It had its moments, but clearly was not at 2008 season level.

Dad in 2009
Dad smiling and wearing a sweater vest while traveling in 2009.

The season came to an ugly end when Dad died in his experimental airplane, but to be honest, this season wasn’t comparable to the prior season regardless. After his death, I turned down what would have been a great night of Rickshaw because, in my own words at the time, “I just don’t have it in me.” It was hard. I did graduate from MBA school with nice marks, so life does go on, but Dad’s passing had a profound effect on me, including the 2009 Rickshaw Season.

Let’s look at the 2009 season highlights, shall we? The ultimate highlight was having Kelly and Faye on the Rickshaw for the Eagle Days Parade. Faye loves waving at the crowd, and Kelly got out of her shell a bit.

Doug and Mark rode on the back for a night out, which was fun. The next day was very interesting since I didn’t anticipate the calorie deficit I set myself up for, and I was hungry all day the next day. I finally pigged out that night during and after class. I’ll have to watch that in the future.

There’s never been a bad Rickshaw Season, and 2009 was no exception. The trips taken were enjoyable. Hearing Bryce tell me what he was observing while we were riding was wonderful. He wasn’t in a rolling tent behind me, he was with me on the Rickshaw.

I probably would have completed a dual child seat assembly for the Rickshaw in the 2009 season, but that was derailed by Dad’s passing. Oh well. It’ll be working for 2010. Kid trailers aren’t favorites anyhow, and after seeing the kids fight over who got to ride on the single seat last year, it became more clear that the assembly needs completion.

Neither of the top riders of prior years were even on the back this season. The #1 rider for the 2009 Rickshaw Season was Bryce. Certainly one of the easier pulls I’ve ever had.

Total mileage for the year: 73.37 miles (odometer reading at 204.29). The goal for the last two seasons was to clear 100 miles by the end. This year fell short, but I’m sure I’ll be back over the 100 mile mark in 2010.

Eagle Fun Days Parade 2009


Great Eagle Fun Days Parade this year. Kelly (wife) and Faye (daughter) decided to ride on the back, and dress for the 1950s theme. This sort of high profile appearance is uncharacteristic for Kelly, and was much appreciated. Faye loves waving to the crowd.


And yes, sometimes when it “rains on your parade”, there’s an actual parade with actual rain. It was extremely light, however. After the parade, Kelly and I hung out and listened to our friend Brother Bob play guitar and it started to rain a little more, so we sat together in the back of the Rickshaw together under the canopy. Nice and dry.

Father and Son Rickshaw Journey

Bryce and I were going to go on a bike ride our normal way, with my Schwinn hooked up to the In Step kid trailer. Well, it was a little wet out with clouds overhead. I could have canceled but the little dude was stoked for a ride. Well, the Rickshaw does have a full canopy…

I took Bryce’s car seat out of the “Big Rig” (our van) and put it on the foot grate on the Rickshaw. Kelly checked it out, we tried mounting the seat up in the seat area (which failed), and then went back to the grate area. This is where Bryce ended up riding. It wasn’t perfect. Bryce had to keep his feet up to give me pedaling room, but he didn’t mind.

Bryce and his car seat

We went to the bank downtown, then to Hyde Park, and finally back home. It was the classic triangle ride but in reverse. There was a light rain for a little bit of the trip and between wind and my speed I got a little wet up front but the Rickshaw canopy for the most part kept me dry, and Bryce was doing well behind me.

Bryce and I will have to ride again. He enjoys riding. The biggest difference between the Rickshaw and a bike/trailer setup is Bryce talks and makes observations to me, since he’s riding with me instead of being isolated off in the trailer. It was pretty cool. It was a pretty good ride, but Bryce wanted more, requesting we go on a bike ride after returning to the garage and seeing the Schwinn and trailer sitting there.

Batteries Replaced and Ready for Night Duty

Today was the day to replace the batteries in the Rickshaw that needed replacement at the end of last season. The headlight needed 3 AAA batteries and the canopy needed 4 C cells. The taillights are still going reasonably well on the 4 AA batteries installed two or three years ago.

On a hunch I went to Rite-Aid guessing there might be batteries on sale. It was my lucky day. The Rite-Aid batteries were buy one, get one free, and both packages (4 C and 8 AAA) were priced at $6.49. Nice.

Here’s some video showing the canopy and how the lights and battery boxes for it are positioned:

The 2009 Rickshaw Season has Begun

2009 Rickshaw Season Opener

It was around 65ºF or so, and time for that first ride of the season. I didn’t do any adjustments on the Rickshaw, and sure enough the chain wasn’t dead on. I’ll go over everything with a wrench before I ride next.

That first ride is always the worst. Months of Rickshaw inactivity let my lungs get a little lazy, but another ride or two and I’ll be doing well again. The legs were doing well, however.

We went from the house to about 20th Street on the way to Hyde Park. On the back (as pictured) is my Mother-in-Law and Bryce. They enjoyed the ride, and I’ll enjoy the rides more as the season goes on and my performance improves from the sluggish early season levels.