There are so many exciting new gismos on the Bianchi! The pox-free four-year old and I took the bus (so pleasant with only one kid in tow!) to Dutch Bike Co to retrieve the bike. It was drizzling when we left the house, but gorgeous by the time we reached the shop. I wheeled us down to the viewing platform at Fremont Canal Park for some photos of our new bits. Note: ADA accessible viewing platform means ramps, but not necessarily generous turning room so we probably won’t try this again.
Most exciting/expensive is the Shimano 8-speed internal hub. It doesn’t make for a very exciting picture, but here it is:
And here is the new shifter that goes with it. It’s oriented differently from the old one (twist up for easier instead of down) so that will take some getting used to. I’ve had a bit of practice with that, though, as the Dutch cargo bikes I’ve rented in the past are the same. I also finally got a bike bell, which I found by Googling “cute bike bell.”
It didn’t seem wise to only give one kid access to a bell, so I got two. The front bell is a bunny and the rear bell is a kitty. The kitty is attached to the front of the rear rack for now, but I might try to find a different place for it.
Next up is the Brica snack pod to hold snacks and drink for the rear kid. It’s designed to go on a stroller or car seat and works fine on the Bobike maxi. It makes it harder to put bulky stuff in the basket under it, but it’s easy enough to momentarily remove if I really want to cram large items under it.
For my own water (or more likely, a small cylindrical container filled with trains and rocks) I got an Orbea lateral-entry water bottle cage. It’s carbon fiber which I find hilarious on my bike. You can also see the zip ties holding my new cable in place. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I would have been disappointed if Fritz “King of Zip Ties” Rice hadn’t utilized any. They’re not the first zip ties he’s put on my bike, by the way.
I don’t think the cage will hold a full-sized water bottle, but at least it holds a 12 ounce Thermos FUNtainer (7.38 inches high):
I had hoped to stop by the library and grocery store before heading home to really load up and test the new gear range…but I forgot to bring my bike lock. So I can’t comment yet on how much easier things are. I’m also quite out of shape from being cooped up for the last few weeks so I might not appreciate how awesome the new hub is until I’m back in fighting form. Once home, I discovered my final delivery of exciting stuff had arrived: my new Betty Basket Liners! I’m having some fit issues so they’re not ready to roll quite yet, but expect a full report on them, too, soon.
Daily distance: 4.9 miles
Bike Month cumulative: 76.9 miles
Hey!, That’s my ride! Except the older kid rides rear, on an imported 9 Euro padded seat with foot pegs and it’s a Breezer Villager. Sadly, the 32 lb, 2.5 year old has outgrown the bobike mini, and I am loath to pull a trailer (I like to talk to them!). We mostly stick to Capitol Hill/Central District but it’s how we get around.
Any suggestions? What’s next for you guys?
Hi! I want to start spending more time in CH…if I can find my way there without too many hills (ha). I’m torn on what to do next. Xtracycle is a great choice…but then the bike won’t fit on the bus (which I’ve only done twice anyhow). My other idea is move small kid to rear seat and put rear kid on a real bike attached to me with a FollowMe Tandem (available at Clever Cycles in Portland). It’s pricey, but so cool! And will resell well. But then the older kid is a lot farther away…though still closer and easier to talk with than in a trailer. Also, my two would probably occasionally tussle if they were right next to each other on an Xtracycle, but I’ve read that this usually doesn’t happen. It’s a hard one to figure out!
Re: bus- I know! I have only put the bike on the bus a handful of times but it’s my back up plan and gets us out more often.
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Can you tell me what baskets those are? I’m trying to come up with some sort of setup for a bobike junior or similar plus room for cargo…
The baskets are Wald 582 Folding Rear Baskets and they’re great! We swapped out the rear rack that came on the bike for a Civia Hyland Rack that sits farther back. There is also a Basil Carrier Extender For Length that I believe works with all Bobike products and would give even more room for baskets or panniers. I’ve been thinking of switching that Bobike maxi for a Bobike junior now :)