The classic Hyde Park, downtown loop

The most popular Rickshaw trip over the last 3 seasons has been from home at 25th and State to Hyde Park, to downtown, and back home. Today’s trip involved Kelly (wife) and the kids (Bryce @ 3yrs, Faye @ 1yr). There’s a variety of these loops done. More often than not, it is a nighttime trip with all the lights on, but today, it was a long trip to the Post Office with the family on the back.

We went through Hyde Park and didn’t stop, then made it to the downtown post office to drop off some mail. From there, it was time to go down 8th Street to The Grove. For those of you unfamiliar with Boise, Idaho, here’s a picture of The Grove:

The Grove was the city blocks surrounding the downtown intersection of 8th Street and Grove originally, but was turned into one huge block with new buildings and a fountain in the center of a common area. That area is used for events including Alive After Five, which we biked to last night.

Anyway, we did a couple loops round the fountain and headed home, going a chunk of the way back on the Grove Street bike lane. The whole trip came to 4.1 miles and the Odometer reads 23.6 miles.

The canopy is having some issues:
1. It is insufficiently attached. It was trying to blow off, and some of the velcro straps were coming loose.
2. The front is too low, and the velcro retainers up there aren’t holding the front up very long. They give while riding and my visibility goes down.

The canopy is going to need some work before the Eagle Fun Days parade this weekend.

Rickshaw Season 2008 has officially started!

Rickshaw with new canopy
Ah yes, springtime! The canopy was put on today, and though there’s still some issues to resolve, it goes on and it was time for the first ride of the season. I pump up the tires, Kelly and Faye hop on, and off we go. We went a little over a mile if I had to guess, just a loop south of the house and back home.

Training paid off:
I’m in way better shape beginning this season, no comparison. The training rides have paid off. I made good time, had really good power, and wasn’t tired or notably winded when I hopped off.

Canopy is coming along:
It isn’t perfect but has come along nicely so far (see picture):

  • The front sags down a little low
  • The Velcro is not sufficient. We’re gonna need more to hold that puppy on.
  • The battery boxes for the lights (which are integrated into the fringe, click on the thumbnail for a larger view) need to have a home. They’re hanging loose right now.

Summary:
I’m stoked about the 2008 Rickshaw Season. There’ll probably be some annoyances with the upgrades taking place while I’m hoping to ride, but so far that has been minimal. Getting the wheel trued early was a good idea. It is nice to not have the back wobble as you roll down the road.

2008 Pre-season Update

2005 Schwinn Classic Cruiser (April 2008)I still haven’t logged a single mile on the Rickshaw yet. The canopy is 90%+ done right now. The canopy frame had a burr in the metal from the time it was new. I bought a $2 file from Harbor Freight and it took minutes to smooth that off. Cake. Now Kelly’s handiwork should be safe from the canopy frame causing damage.

I’ve gone on some training rides, and as of last week could complete the 2007 Tour de Boise route in 1.5 hours on the Schwinn Classic Cruiser (pictured). That’s 10 MPH average, and there’s stretches I don’t pedal since the single speed Schwinn gears out sometimes downhill. I need to average 5 MPH on the Rickshaw. Not easy, but with gears it might be doable.

Canopy Materials Bought

Canopy Materials with Faye
It’s been a good week in rickshawdom. In preparation for the 2008 season, the canopy is getting replaced. Kelly said she wanted a sewing project. I offered canopy. She accepted.

Here’s what I’ve got:

  • Canopy fabric: Vinyl with snakeskin pattern. It goes great with the charcoal black frame while adding extra cheese. Should be durable enough to take on tree limbs, too. Cost: About $14. (clearance rack)
  • LED Christmas lights: 2 sets of battery powered Christmas lights. LEDs for efficiency and long life, 20 per assembly. I bought 2 of these in late 2006/early 2007 from Wal-Mart in seasonal clearance mode. Glad I did. Lights=fun, style, and safety. Cost: Don’t remember.
  • Fringe: Ah yes, glorious black and gold fringe with tassels. Really upped my cost and lowers my durability, but worth it for the look I’m thinking. Cost: $17. (60% off normal price, 7 feet needed)

This’ll add a trivial amount of drag (probably) and weight (absolutely) to the Rickshaw. Most importantly, it’ll add cheese.