To Barber Park and back

The kids and I rode from out home near 25th and State to Barber Park yesterday. The round trip was around 22 miles total including a dead end detour and some Boise State campus riding. Here’s a map that will give you an idea of where we went, it but lacks some serious accuracy:

Where the map is the most off is from around the Bown Crossing area to Ekert Road (the road in front of Barber Park). There’s a ton of new Greenbelt in there so I wasn’t along side Warm Springs on this trip like a would have been a few years ago. Here’s a look at some of the new Bown Crossing area via This Is Ambient:

We ended up crossing that bridge, then taking the concrete greenbelt path in the very front of the shot.

A couple unpleasant additions to this trip:

  1. I didn’t eat before I left.
  2. My light group isn’t working at present.
  3. It was late evening, and pretty close to dark on the last leg to home.

So, I ended up down on calories and riding hungry home since there was the whole battle for daylight.

It was a nice trip though, everyone had fun, and we made it back. Back when cycling was seasonal, I used to hope to reach 100 miles in a “Rickshaw Season”. I cleared over 20% of that in one ride yesterday. Times have changed. and I am a much more functional Rickshawala than I was in season one.

Hauling people and stuff

People sometimes wonder what one does with personal pedicab. Common uses are similar to the family car. Here, I’m hauling two people and a 25″ CRT TV. I don’t necessarily recommend having people sit on the back parade style, but in this special case we weren’t going far, I was riding cautiously, and that TV pretty much took up all the leg room.

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.

Faye and I ride up the bench for a drum key

I need a drum key for a bass banjo project I’m working on, and Faye wanted to ride along. So, off we went. We climbed up the bench on the rail bridge (as featured in this episode of TV Cycle) and made it to Gig’s Music on Orchard. That street seriously needs bike lanes. Lots of bike traffic and no lanes. Annoying.

Here’s a couple pics at the end of the ride. Faye had fun. Me too.

One less car (or is that "One less minivan"?)

15+ miles of pedicab goodness

The kids and I went on a crazy ride tonight in Boise. We went from 25th and State to Ustick and 5 Mile to Glenwood and State. From there, we took the Greenbelt to Veterans Park, and then the back roads to 25th and State. Here’s a mostly correct map, with most of the error being the Chinden section, which was actually done by crossing on the new 36th Street Greenbelt bridge and then riding alleys near Chinden.

What made this ride crazy was the weather. It was threatening rain the whole time, and from the time we entered Veterans Park to home, I saw large tree limbs drop, it was starting to rain, and the wind seriously picked up. I booked it home!

It was a fun trip. I took on the Ustick bench climb on quite convincingly (a tailwind didn’t hurt). Once up the bench, the Ustick bike lane gets a little narrow around some of the intersections. We had some tasty sandwiches and Cheetos at Uncle Giuseppe’s, which I recommend. We were all a little wet by the time I parked the pedicab. All in all, a choice pedicab adventure.

Boise Bike Week 2011 recap

Last week was Boise Bike Week 2011. The kids and I had fun on the pedicab. We were out with Kelly for the Thursday “LOOK! Family Ride for Safety” ride. The ride was a Greenbelt loop ride from Veteran’s Memorial Park, across the new 36th Street bridge, to Main Street, and then back to the park. It was a somewhat similar route to this recent episode of TV Cycle:

We didn’t make it to the Veteran’s bridge like that episode of TV Cycle did, but there was a lot of common trail. This is an unusually nice area to ride.

On Saturday, we participated in the Pedal Power Parade. I was short on time and could either shoot an episode of TV Cycle on the Schwinn or take the kids with me on the pedicab. I took the kids. It was a fun ride. The parade was a good ride, and there was food afterwards. The kids played with some other kids in the park, and on the way home we rang the bell outside the capitol building. Here’s some pictures:



…and yes, the pedicab is now advertising for TV Cycle. It’s not the prettiest sign since I made it by printing on six sheets of legal paper and then taping them together onto a piece of poster board, but it works.

The 2011 Rickshaw Season has started

Hello and welcome to the 2011 Rickshaw Season! This season has been a bit odd because it had a soft start. The pedicab was still seeing action in the “offseason”, though not at the levels of a rickshaw season. Still, I used to take months off during the cold part of the year, but that didn’t happen over winter 2010/2011.

This year’s kick-off ride was a few days ago with Bryce on the back. We went on a long ride from the 25th and State area to the Greenbelt, through Boise State, to the Park Center bridge, and back home. I took the pedicab through some shallow water under a couple bridges along the way. The south side of the Boise River had claimed the shallow section around the Park Center bridge so we rode around that.

I did get an upgrade for the pedicab in the off-season. There’s a new, larger top gear in the front of the pedicab. Bikes2Boards dropped it in there for me. I believe the old one was a 38 tooth, and this one I think is a 44 tooth. The moral is simple: The pedicab is now faster, but the lowest gearing has been left intact.

Welcome to the 2011 Rickshaw Season.

TV Cycle – a new cycling TV program

I’ve been working on a cycling television series called TV Cycle. It premiered this week on Boise (Idaho, USA) cable channel 11 and is also available in HD on YouTube. More about the show at the TV Cycle web site. Here’s the premiere episode:

The rickshaw and the pedicab are in the intro sequence and thus will be on the show (briefly) every week for as long as the current intro sequence is used. Both will also have at least one future episode each as the featured ride as well.

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.