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.

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.

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.

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.

Bryce and the Pedicab see the Boise Greenbelt

The Pedicab has nice new parts. Unfortunately, they haven’t been installed yet. It needs them. Well, new parts or not, it was time to ride today, farther than I intended when I left. That happens sometimes.

Bryce and I headed out on the pedicab, which it turns out has seat belts, so mounting a child seat is cake. I decided to give it the Boise Greenbelt test, something you’d never want to with the Rickshaw (I know from experience). Well, it handled the root bumps and sideways grades with ease. The inclines were also nicely handled. There’s advantages to having 21 speeds.

We rode out to the Warm Springs Golf Course leg of the Greenbelt, and stopped for food and drink. After that, I decided we’d go to Bown Crossing. So, we kept heading down the Greenbelt until the bridge was in sight. It appears there’s a nice new bridge where you turn off to go to the Bown area, but I don’t know for sure because the bridge was not open. But, there’s a steep (by rickshaw standards) dirt incline to the Warm Springs Avenue. No way I’d try this with the Rickshaw, but the Pedicab can probably handle it fine. I drop it into the lowest gear, and I do lose traction in the drive wheel a few times, but I make the climb. Now up, there’s a short jog and another connection through the dirt. This time, it is downhill and far from perfectly even. Again, a scary proposition with the Rickshaw, but the Pedicab handles it wonderfully. The brakes are fantastic.

We make it across the bridge and to Bown and then head back on the other side of the river. Some headwind picks up, and I’m far from fresh as well, but we keep going. The Greenbelt is closed due to flooding at the Park Center Bridge, so I turn around, stop, and hang around with Bryce on the back for few minutes. It’s time to go again, and we cross the Park Center Bridge on the nice wide sidewalk area. We continue to head home, and I want to rest, and I want to eat. So, off to Carl’s Jr. for some more food and drink. Rested and fueled, it’s time to continue heading home, so we do. Not long after, the chain drops off while shifting. I fix it in front of NNU Boise and then go in to wash the grease of my hands. Then we’re off again, and we make it home. Total trip was about 15-16 miles judging by what Google Maps reported.

Shortly after we pull up, Kelly and Faye appear and Kelly takes this picture.

Bryce, Brock, and the Pedicab in 2010

Like the Rickshawalas I saw in India, this Rickshawala also likes to hang out on the back of the ride sometimes. We hung out for a while, and then it was time to pack the Pedicab away.

Some conclusions from the ride:

  1. The Pedicab is very capable. Inclines, declines, sideways grades, bumps, you name it. Far, far better performance than the Rickshaw. I climbed the Friendship Bridge between Boise State and Julia Davis starting from a stop and the Pedicab and myself handled it very convincingly. As mentioned above, in the area around the Bown Crossing bridge, I did a climb and a descent in the dirt and both went quite well.
  2. The handlebars, tires (especially the knobby on front), grips, twist shifter on the right, and seat are crap. Also, the 21 speed needs to be set up. Thankfully, Brad will be dialing all that in next week and installing the new parts. I have a fix for everything but the seat in the works.
  3. Bryce seems to like riding as much as I like being the Rickshawala. It was another great Father and Son trip.
  4. I don’t think I’ll be finishing that seat assembly for the Rickshaw. Just strap in the seats to the Pedicab and all is good. Time will tell, but the problem looks solved.

53 Miles Per Burrito (and other stickers)

My Rickshaw has a valance panel below the luggage rack. Here’s the stickers currently on there:

I added the 53 Miles Per Burrito sticker today. It was bought at Tour de Fat Boise 2009. I doubt the Rickshaw gets that good of mileage, and in fact this sticker was designed with bicycles in mind.

The “This driver shares the road with cyclists” sticker is from the Treasure Valley Cycling Association and trimmed slightly to fit. The Schwinn sticker is from the odometer packaging. Speaking of the odometer, it is currently sitting at 209.90 miles. Bryce and I went on a short ride today.

Father and Son Rickshaw Journey

Bryce and I were going to go on a bike ride our normal way, with my Schwinn hooked up to the In Step kid trailer. Well, it was a little wet out with clouds overhead. I could have canceled but the little dude was stoked for a ride. Well, the Rickshaw does have a full canopy…

I took Bryce’s car seat out of the “Big Rig” (our van) and put it on the foot grate on the Rickshaw. Kelly checked it out, we tried mounting the seat up in the seat area (which failed), and then went back to the grate area. This is where Bryce ended up riding. It wasn’t perfect. Bryce had to keep his feet up to give me pedaling room, but he didn’t mind.

Bryce and his car seat

We went to the bank downtown, then to Hyde Park, and finally back home. It was the classic triangle ride but in reverse. There was a light rain for a little bit of the trip and between wind and my speed I got a little wet up front but the Rickshaw canopy for the most part kept me dry, and Bryce was doing well behind me.

Bryce and I will have to ride again. He enjoys riding. The biggest difference between the Rickshaw and a bike/trailer setup is Bryce talks and makes observations to me, since he’s riding with me instead of being isolated off in the trailer. It was pretty cool. It was a pretty good ride, but Bryce wanted more, requesting we go on a bike ride after returning to the garage and seeing the Schwinn and trailer sitting there.