Goodbye Rickshaw

The rickshaw was sold last month (June 2016). It has a new family to serve. It really didn’t get the action after the Main Street pedicab showed up on the scene a bit over six years ago. The Colorado made Main Street is just so much more capable.

Rickshaw and Dahon
The rickshaw on the last mission involving me. The Dahon got me home after dropping the rickshaw off to its new home.

The new owners wanted the rickshaw delivered, so I did that and put a Dahon folding bike on the back to unfold and ride home. I’m bummed the rickshaw is gone, but it really did sit a bunch of the time. Our garage seems so much larger now.

Would I buy the Chinese rickshaw again, knowing what I know now? Absolutely. It got me started as a Rickshawala. I wouldn’t have forked over the money it takes to get a used Main Street pedicab on day one. That stated, I seriously doubt I’ll ever go back to an eastern grade rickshaw. It’s nice to have a solid frame, fantastic brakes, and all those speeds.

Rickshaw + Pedicab Stop Motion 4K

Here’s the intro sequence my wife and I shot for the passive cycling show TV Cycle.

Both the rickshaw and the pedicab (which isn’t technically a surrey, but you work with what you have sometimes) are in there. It took about an hour and 45 minutes (with a conversation break in the middle) to shoot that sequence. It was shot on Canon 60D digital SLR, and if you look at the quality options, there’s “Original” in the list. In this instance, it’s 4K at 4096 x 2304 pixels.

It was a fun shoot. Here’s the test I did by myself earlier. The “panning” is done by selective cropping, and in reality the camera never moved on the tripod.

The odd world of the rickshaw wheel

When I bought the rickshaw half a decade ago, the tires and tubes were already on the rim. Last weekend, I snapped the metal stem on the left rear tube. Thankfully, it had enough air trapped in it to get home, but there was no way to add more air in the future, and all three wheels have leaked a little since day one.

I went to Bikes2Boards and picked up a tube. Then, the process of solving a mystery began. What’s it like under that tire? Here’s a glimpse:

Rickshaw wheel, tire, and tube
Rickshaw wheel, tire, and tube separated for the first time in over five years.

There’s a red tube! The tire is also odd. It essentially goes all the way around with a cut down the middle so a tube can fit in. The uncommon backside of the tire ends up functioning as the tape for the inside of the wheel, which has no tape at all.

Getting the 26 x 1.75 tire off and back on is a serious challenge. It can be done, but it is a difficult process. You have been warned. A nice change is that the wheel now has a common (in the US) Schrader valve. No need to use a Presta to Schrader valve adapter anymore.

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.

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.

Rickshaw and Pedicab Sunday

Four rides today, three on the Rickshaw and one on the Pedicab:

  • I rode the Rickshaw to pick up Faye Faye from Winco, and we both headed back. Fun. Managed to circle the fountain at the Grove along the way.
  • Faye and I went to Bikes2Boards on the Rickshaw to look for some thick tubes for my Pedicab, but they didn’t have the size I wanted, unfortunately. They had a size up, though.
  • Bryce and I went to Albertsons for hamburger buns on the Rickshaw.
  • Bryce, Faye, and myself were on the Pedicab while Kelly rode along on her new (to her) Nirve three speed cruiser.

Kelly said we rode about five miles on the Pedicab evening ride, and the Rickshaw odometer is reading 235.55 miles, or roughly 12.5 miles over the last five days.

Tonight’s Pedicab ride was interesting for a variety of reasons. It was the first time we had two child seats on either one of the rides. The Main Street has seat belts. The child car seats are designed to lock in from seat belts, and the Pedicab is wide enough to hold two seats. Problem solved.

Brock standing while Bryce and Faye are in child car seats strapped to the Pedicab in June, 2010

Very near where the picture above was taken, a grazing deer was just on the other side of the fence from the path.

Deer near the rail bridge, Boise, Idaho
Oh, deer!

And yes, we climbed the rail bridge path off the Greenbelt all the way up to Orchard, The first bench climb for the Pedicab, at least with this Rickshawala at the helm. I was geared down and going slow. Three straight days of riding and my legs are getting soft.

The chain came off twice, always while shifting. I can’t wait for Brad to start in on the Pedicab tomorrow. Each time I mentioned to Bryce that Brad was going to fix it correctly (as opposed to me just getting the chain back on). After we came home tonight, Bryce was quick to point out that Brad has tools, and he’s going to fix the Pedicab.

Faye Faye rides for pizza

Faye, Pizza, and Rickshaw

I show pictures on this blog with Bryce on the back from time to time, and indeed he does get to ride often. But, my daughter Faye Faye also gets to ride. Today, Bryce rolled around downtown with me, and when we got home, it was time for pizza. So, I called in a Papa Murphy’s pizza order and Faye and went on the trip. Faye loves riding on the Rickshaw.

Current mileage on the odometer: 223.98, so I’ve put up about 20 miles on the Rickshaw so far this season. Considering the rain we’ve had and the miles the Pedicab has taken, not too bad.

Cycling for recycling

I hauled glass in for recycling today on the back of the Rickshaw. Here’s a picture:

Rickshaw loaded with glass to recycle
Loaded up with glass and ready to go

Rickshaws certainly can haul things besides just people, and in fact I saw a few rickshaws doing cargo duty when I was in India last year. It worked out pretty nice for me today, and I’ll likely do this again.

I would like to clarify that just because I used a cycle to recycle, that doesn’t make me a hippie. I’m a recent MBA graduate. I don’t think I’m allowed to be a hippie anytime soon, if ever.

Odometer reading: 215.96 miles.

What a Tuesday! (part one)

I wake up Tuesday morning knowing there was going to be some Rickshaw action for the day. Not only was there a new ride to look at (see part two), but me and the Rickshaw had an appearance in the afternoon at McMillan Elementary. Mom and friends were making a presentation about China at the school, and as a special bonus, a whole bunch of kids (about 40 in all) were getting a ride in the process. The kids loved the Rickshaw. Here’s a pic of the last ride of the day, with the final student and their teacher on the back. I took a short leg on the school’s loop walking path this time:

Rickshaw at McMillan Elementary
Rickshaw at McMillan Elementary on Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It was interesting. I typically hauled three of the seven-year-olds at a time. The kids enjoyed it. We put a raised platform on the foot grate so the kids had a place for their feet. Everything worked out well. It was fun, and I wouldn’t mind doing another school presentation in the future.

Total mileage for the day (for the Rickshaw) was about 3.5 miles. The fun per mile rating was crazy high.

(Backdated to day of event. Actual post date: May 9, 2010)