Oops, did I say the Rickshaw Season was over?

I was going to ride the Schwinn to check out Joyride Cycles bicycle shop in Hyde Park here in Boise, but my son wanted to go with me. Next thing I know, my daughter did too. So, it was pedicab time. I declared the 2010 Rickshaw Season over yesterday. Oops.

Pedicab with Bryce and Faye riding. December 2010.

It was a neat shop. They’re clearly focused on mountain bikes, and there was maybe 2 fat tire cruisers in there. People in bike shops are usually pretty cool, and that was the case today.

We left there, went by Camel’s Back Park (just a little north) and then back home. It was a fun little ride. The kids were having fun seeing the holiday lights, and they stayed warm thanks to coats, hats, mittens, and a blanket. I guess the 2010 Rickshaw Season hasn’t ended just yet.

It’s mid-December. Time to call Rickshaw Season 2010 over!

It was a huge season. I bought a professional grade pedicab! I took my mom as a passenger on an organized cycle ride. The pedicab and rickshaw did service duty as a part of a wedding bicycle parade this year, and someone got to be a Rickshawala for the first time with the pedicab while I took passengers with the rickshaw. Mark made it out for a few missions. I was part of a presentation to grade school kids about China, and hauled about 30 of them around. I hauled Brother Bob up the bench and to a gig on Federal Way. The rickshaw failed during Tour de Fat, but even a “bad” Tour de Fat was still pretty good. Go Tour de Fat!

2010 Meridian BlueCruise of Idaho after event
With the kids, posing for a picture after Mom and I finished the 2010 Meridian BlueCruise of Idaho

The goal of every season is 100 miles. Well, I don’t keep a good track but it doesn’t matter. I’d be very surprised if I did less than 150 miles with the pedicab alone. The rickshaw’s odometer looks like it’s reading 267 miles (the battery is low), and if that’s the case, I put 63 miles on it this year. The 100 mile goal is starting to look silly. Bryce had the most passenger miles, followed by Faye.

The biggest change this year was having the pedicab and the capabilities it brings. I wouldn’t have done the Blue Cruise of Idaho with the rickshaw, but with the pedicab it was doable and safe. The greenbelt saw far more time in 2010 than all the other years combined because the pedicab handles it nicely. The kids’ car seats belt into the pedicab with the stock seat belts, so I had far more time with the kids riding along. This also led to me having fewer miles with adults on board than other years. It was so easy to get passenger time with the kids, that I didn’t work as hard at riding up rides with adults. Doug didn’t get a ride in this year, but I imagine he’ll be back next year. He moved up the bench but no big deal, I’ll just climb it with the pedicab.

I’m looking forward to the 2011 season already, and 2010 hasn’t even ended yet.

Hauling a Television for TV Cycle

Rickshaw with TV
Rickshaw hauling a 1988 General Electric television
I’m working on a new TV program for Treasure Valley Community Television (Boise, Idaho public access cable TV) called TV Cycle, and I needed a TV to use in the opening sequence. I wanted a two knob side tuner set for the look, and had searched local thrift stores with no luck. They don’t accept TVs that crappy anymore.

My wife and I were driving home today and saw a house that was getting renovated. Out front was a bunch of beat up crap, including a 1988 GE two knob side tuner TV. Nice.

I went back to the house on the Schwinn not expecting to see anyone, but people were there. I plugged the TV set in and it looked like it might work (there’s no analog TV broadcasts to tune in, plus it is missing the antenna). The bungee cords with me weren’t long enough to hold it on the Wald rack, so I returned later with the rickshaw to haul it home. The TV barely fits on the floor grate behind the saddle, but it does.

I’m out $5, which is more than the TV is worth, but I now have a TV that we can use on the intro for TV Cycle. Problem solved. We’re going to mount the TV on my friend Bob’s Worksman cycle truck in place of the front basket for the shoot. This 1988 side tuner TV is much lighter than one made 10 years earlier, let alone one from 25 years earlier loaded with tubes. Bob’s Worksman could handle a heavier TV, but it’s nice that it won’t have to.

Brother Bob gig haul 2010 to Shangri-La Tea Room

I hauled Boise’s own Brother Bob to an acoustic guitar gig by rickshaw a couple years ago. This year it was a different gig, more distance, a bench climb, more equipment, and a different ride since I used the pedicab.

Bob got everything loaded up and we climbed up the bench on Capitol Boulevard by the Boise Depot. I took a few stops on the way up, but was by no means wasted by the time I got to the top. The trip down Federal Way was complicated by the sidewalk that leads to the bike path being closed, which put me on the other side of the street with shrubs hitting the left side and later having to deal with a narrow sidewalk that the pedicab barely fit on. Thankfully, I never encountered any pedestrians.

Brother Bob on the pedicab outside of Shangri-La Tearoom
Brother Bob in front of the Shangri-La Tea Room just before dark

Bob’s gig at the Shangri-La tea room ends and it’s getting dark. The pedicab doesn’t have a working light group at the present, but Bob’s working flashlights and clip-on LED bike reflectors for me and so we’re visible. We make it down the bench and home. The disc brakes handle the way down wonderfully.

(Backdated to day of the ride. Actual date: Aug 17, 2010)

Hauling a bicycle with a rickshaw

Some neighbors are getting married today and they are having a bicycle parade. They wanted some ride support for those who didn’t want to pedal, and since I’m nearby and all, figured that I might offer up some rides. Sure. Why not.

A challenge in this situation was getting both of the rides up to Camel’s Back Park here in Boise by myself. Kelly was gone for part of the day, so she wouldn’t be around to pick me up and take me back home. I did have an offer from the wedding party to get hauled, but naw, not necessary. I have a rickshaw, a lock, a car carrier for bikes, and a Schwinn. Simply mount the bike rack to the back of the rickshaw, put the bike on the rack, and off you go.

I wasn’t sure how this would work now that I have the huge Wald basket rack on the back, but all was good. It did make it less stable than before the basket rack, with all that weight now off to the side, but no problem. I hopped on, rode to the park while being careful about not slamming the bike into something, and before I knew it I was there. I locked up the Rickshaw, took the bike rack off, bungied it to the basket rack, and I was ready to go again.

Schwinn hauling bike rack

The ride home is cake, since it is downhill, plus the Schwinn is a way easier ride than the Rickshaw with the Schwinn as cargo. It was actually too easy. I uncharacteristically missed my turn and had to backtrack a block to get home. When it’s time to be there for the festivities, I’ll just ride myself back to Camel’s Back on the Pedicab, someone else will ride it back to the neighborhood (with passengers) and I’ll take the Rickshaw back with passengers.

Meridian BlueCruise of Idaho 2010

I had wanted to enter this event before, but it’s a lot of terrain for the Chinese rickshaw. Well, this year I have a 21 speed Main Street pedicab. My friend Bob and I drove the 15 mile route last weekend, and I did some trial climbs with Bryce to see how well the Main Street and myself could climb. After Bryce and I conquered Sky Drive in Boise’s North End, I decided I could make the big climb on the 15 mile route, a bench climb. I talked to Mom and she was willing to be the passenger. Game on.

So, earlier today, Kelly and I load up the Pedicab onto Mom’s trailer, not unlike we’ve done before to get the Rickshaw to events. Turns out it is longer as well as wider than the Rickshaw, but still not too long, and it fits on the trailer. I drive out to Meridian, sign in, find Mom, unload the Pedicab, and it’s time to ride.

Pedicab towed by the jeep

The ride wasn’t easy, it was hilly, and then of course there was the bench climb. I fell behind the pack pretty early on, and then when the first climb happened, the bicycles disappeared off into the distance ahead of me. There’s a chase vehicle for the event that kept coming back and checking on me.

The bench climb was HARD! I stopped three or four times, as I didn’t want to waste myself. The bench is a little before the halfway point, so there’s plenty of ride left after the climb is complete.

Past that, there’s more climbs left, plus some unfortunate headwinds. There is one steep descent, on which the GPS showed us as going 25MPH down at the fastest point. The ride was smooth and controlled.

I had to climb over Highway I-84 once again, and continue on into some headwind. Finally, the turn for Pine comes and I want to dime the pedicab for the final stretch but the legs aren’t so sure. I ended up bouncing between 3-5 and 3-7 (top gear) and finally made it.

Total time: 2 hours, 24 minutes, or 6.7 MPH average. Not too shabby for a first event ride with notable terrain and distance. I decided before the ride that I’d be impressed if I made it in under two hours and disappointed at over 3 hours. That 2:24 was not optimal either, as I clearly took multiple stops after the bench climb that weren’t necessary, but hey, Mom made me a tasty turkey sandwich. I didn’t have to ride and eat, so I didn’t. Next year, I might have to shoot for a two hour or lower time. Is it doable? Sure.

  1. Train more, specifically for climbing
  2. Don’t stop as much, certainly not to eat
  3. Have a higher top gear. I geared out multiple times
  4. Start out optimally hydrated. I wasn’t bad, but if I’d taken down a little more before the event, that would have been helpful
Finishing the 2010 Meridian BlueCruise of Idaho
Finishing the 2010 Meridian BlueCruise of Idaho

I wasn’t rolling for the best time I could deliver, but I wanted to finish before three, and preferably closer to two hours. Of course, I also wanted my passenger to have a great time. Mom had a great time back there, noting that it was a nicely scenic ride. Success. I actually enjoyed the scenery too, but I wasn’t on a road bike staring at the ground.

All in all, a quite worthwhile event that was a strong motivator in getting the pedicab in the first place. The rickshaw simply would not have made the trip. I couldn’t have climbed the bench with a passenger, and stretches like the downhill bench section are ill advised with the rickshaw. The pedicab isn’t perfect by any means, for example the carriage needs some work and it geared out, but overall, excellent performance. At 25 MPH, the pedicab is smooth.

Pre-ride mods are done

It’s the night before the big 15 mile ride, and the Pedicab appears to be ready to go. The new parts have been on there and working for some time and distance now. There’s still a little concern with the right fender (which sags a little) rubbing on the fat Maxxis Hookworm tire on that side. In fact, it was rubbing earlier tonight, and then I found a piece of metal hanging from the outside fender trim, and I removed the piece of metal. Problem solved (I hope).

Kelly and I used some Dp-Tek 3-2-1 Liftoff paper and some 3M Scotch clear packing tape and made a custom sticker for the back. Here it is:

RickshawSeason.com 3-2-1 Liftoff sticker

It’s not perfect, but it’s at least as nice as the carriage around it.

Downtown Boise and Deli Days

Bryce and I went on a fun trip today. We dropped off paperwork downtown and then went to Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel synagogue for Boise’s annual Deli Days. Here’s a somewhat correct map:

View Larger Map

So, around seven and a half miles for the whole trip. Bench climbed on Capitol by the Boise Depot. Actually went by the depot and rode in some gravel, which the pedicab, and especially the Maxxis Hookworms, took like a champ. Here’s a picture of Bryce and myself at the synagogue just before we left.

Bryce and Pedicab outside the Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel synagogue for Deli Days

My pastrami sandwich was tasty. Going down Americana proved to be a challenge since they had signs in the way. We crossed the street and went down the other sidewalk. Bryce spotted the greenbelt, so we hopped on it at Ann Morrison Park. We crossed the river on the bridge there, and then went through town on the way home. A great ride, about half the length of the ride coming up on Sunday.

New saddle for Father’s Day

Father’s Day comes and Kelly is so thoughtful and makes sure I get a new Schwinn “Dual-density saddle” (item#: SW75961-2) for the Pedicab. What a nice surprise. It’s made by Velo. We have other Velo saddles around here. The Torker saddle on my Schwinn, Kelly’s Nirve saddle, and the Bell saddle on Kelly’s Giant are all made by Velo. Here’s a picture of the Schwinn Velo:

Schwinn SW75961-2 saddle

It’s a cruiser saddle, but has a hole in the middle like some of the performance saddles these days. I didn’t care at all for the non-original mountain bike saddle that came with the Pedicab, and now it’s gone. The new one is much more comfortable.

The kids and I went for a ride to Veterans Memorial Park, and then took the Greenbelt back home. Bryce especially enjoys the “bike road”. Me too.

50 minutes, 5.22 miles, 2 kids, 1 Rickshawala

I was told to be home at 6:30. We made it home at 6:20. It was a nice 50 minute ride in the Pedicab.

Bryce, Faye and myself went to the Greenbelt today. Here’s a picture:

Bryce, Faye, Pedicab, and Greenbelt

We crossed the river at the 9th Street rail bridge, the Ann Morrison bridge, and the Friendship bridge. We went by the Ann Frank memorial. Then, we went home.

I’m not all happy with the newly improved ride. There’s still some fiberglass noise. I think it’s the right fender (not the one that’s messed up) rubbing on the Hookworm tire over there. I’ll have to troubleshoot. I’m also not sold on GPS yet. I don’t like the lagging speed readings or having to removing the GPS when I park and leave. A bike computer wouldn’t have the lag and could stay on the handlebars at all times.