Archive | October 2019

We’re borrowing an Urban Arrow

Fun times in the Family Ride household, we’re borrowing an Urban Arrow Family, the original e-assist bakfiets. These days, most of my writing is in my weekly column on, and lately I’ve been musing about ways people can carry two tweens on a family bike. I reviewed the Urban Arrow and shared some additional thoughts about carrying tweens and biking less after lots of unexpected comments (silly me not to expect this) about “wtf are kids that age doing on your bike? they should be on their own bikes!”

There are always going to be people who think e-bikes are cheating, putting kids of any age in cars is OK but on bikes is not, and that everyone should be able to bike as fast and as fearlessly as they.

I’ll have one more post in my series of big kids on family bikes to go over various options I’m aware of (and please comment here or on BikePortland if you have solutions to share!) but in the meantime, we’re having a great time using the e-bakfiets. It’s a tight squeeze getting both kids in there, so we’ve started playing Pokémon Go as a distraction to the cramped conditions and it’s fixed everything.

Since it’s a big, precious bike I’m a little hesitant to bring it everywhere and lock it up out of my sight, but I’m still doing a fairly good job of putting it to good use. I almost didn’t take it to the pumpkin farm because I wasn’t sure it could go 33 miles on one charge and I was nervous about the lack of bike parking at Liepold Farms. But in the end I decided I really should be using the bike I said I’d use! So I brought the charger along and replenished some of the three-of-five bars I spent while riding to the farm and we made it home just fine. Parking worked OK, too. These last three years they’ve let us pile our bikes right by the entrance and I used a cable to attach the bike to the little gazebo I parked under.

This year the farm made a point of saying “Parking included in price” so perhaps next year they’ll add something for bikes. A bike rack would be nice, as would a discount. This year a parking attendant told us we were the only bike they’d seen.

* Here’s my Strava recording of the ride to the farm.
* Here is the Flickr photo album.

And here are some selected photos with descriptions…

I couldn’t find Pixie’s harness so we used her life jacket instead to buckle into the kid straps and it kept her in the bike nicely. The kids need a couple more inches of bench width to fit next to one another so I have the lighter kid sit on the front bench:

This is how Pixie would ride if she wasn’t strapped in. She loves leaning out the front of the bike, but it makes me very nervous. I tried for half a block to convince her to sit back down to no avail before I stuck her in my backpack during this initial voyage:

Charging up the e-bike battery and the Pokémon Go device while eating lunch:

Annual ruler photo!

It hailed on us!

It was tricky fitting two big pumpkins with two big kids. The bigger pumpkin filled the bottom of the bike and I used Pixie’s leash (I hadn’t thought to bring straps, oops) to attach the not-quite-as-big pumpkin to the Urban Arrow’s very sturdy rear rack. It slipped a bit to the side while biking home, but stayed on the bike:

Thank goodness for charging up during lunch! We made it all the way home without much juice to spare:

I’ll never quit my Big Dummy <3 One of the pumpkins was vandalized (maybe by squirrels? it had a soft spot so it probably smelled tasty) so I grabbed a replacement at New Seasons Market with my forever-bike: