First day on the new bike!
It’s a Surly Big Dummy with Xtracycle Family Kit. Seattle Powder Coat painted it bubblegum pink, Haulin’ Colin installed the Rolling Jackass center stand, and Ride Bicycles put it all together, including add-on Surly Open Bar Handlebars, “grippy yet fast” Panaracer T-Serv 26 X 1.75 tires, bullhorn handlebars on the seat post, dynamo hub to power front and rear lights, and tricky install of Linus Delano Basket purchased at Dutch Bike Co. I think that’s everything. I’ll update with the make of dynamo stuff when I get around to reading the loooooong receipt. I think I may eventually add the new Xtracycle RunningBoards (narrower than wideloaders) and I’ve convinced myself I need a Brooks saddle, but I’m not allowed to make any rash purchases, plus I haven’t argued my case very well–“because everyone has ’em!” didn’t cut it.
I packed up the U-lock and kids to ride nine miles via the new ship canal trail to the waterfront to meet Santa Clam at Ivar’s Acres of Clams. I gotta say Santa Clam wasn’t really worth the big trip in 39 degree weather, but we’ve been here three years and never seen him.
The “free gift” from Santa Clam was a coupon for a free kid meal at Acres of Clams, but we opted for to-go lunch next door at Ivar’s Pier 54 Fish Bar. Eating it outside in Toyland Village seemed like a great idea at the time, but the kids were pretty cold by the time we packed up to head back north. The snow we saw on top of some box cars on our way down was unmelted when we rode back by.
I had hoped to make it to Wallingford in time for the Spokespeople ride along the soon-to-be Wallingford Neighborhood Greenways, but the kids really needed to thaw out and the riders were long gone by the time we reached the meeting point at 2:20.
The bike handled great. It’s nice having a granny ring and I used it on many of the hills, but not all of them. However, I did still need to shed my sweater and gloves for the eight-block climb up Densmore so while the new bike doesn’t feel heavy to ride, it also doesn’t negate the weight of the kids. I think one can stand and pedal uphill with kids on the back of a longtail, but I didn’t give that a try.
The kids had more of a changed ride than I. The little guy is used to having his fairing block most of the wind so he was extra chilly by the end of the ride. Next time he gets takled into the balaclava and ski goggles. The big guy is used to being ensconced in his Bobike maxi so no seat was a big change for him. He was perfectly comfortable and even kept his hands on his handlebars when we rode alongside a moving train–an event usually too loud for him, requiring ear covering. His feet aren’t long enough to reach Footsies or RunningBoards so we just tucked them in the FreeLoader panniers.