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.
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.
- Train more, specifically for climbing
- Don’t stop as much, certainly not to eat
- Have a higher top gear. I geared out multiple times
- 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
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.