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.

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)

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.

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.

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.

16 Miles of Selfishness

My friend Bob came by and we started a ride that ended up going about 16 miles, which is quite a haul for the Coker Monster Cruiser. I started at my home off 25th and State (Boise, Idaho) and made it to Fairview and Maple Grove, and from there Bob continued west and I headed north and west to the area of McMillan and Five Mile. I started heading back home from there, riding a fair portion on Mountain View. While riding Mountain View, I had a feeling most people on a bicycle probably never experience: I felt a little selfish.

I thought “Hey, the kids would enjoy this”, and indeed they would have. I don’t have the child seat assembly completed for the Rickshaw yet, but it’s a higher priority now. I’ve joked for a few years now that “Riding a bicycle is selfish. When you have a rickshaw, you share.” Today, I learned there’s some actual truth to that. I’m glad I went on the ride, but would have enjoyed sharing it with some passengers. I need to get that seat assembly done.