Monday, 27 April 2009

Mikes Riding!

Mike and i have developed a new game, which is racing round the patio on our bikes. I have the edge on the straights but he wins most of the time because he can turn on a sixpence. Its great for filling 15 minutes while dinner is being prepped. Only trouble is it tends to be 30 minutes, 45 minutes etc. particularly with pit stops!  

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Coffee, Scones and Bakfiets

We have friends over from New Zealand and we're having little day trips out with the kids. Three kids in the house for a week is an interesting lesson in parenting. 

We had a day trip out where we stopped at the Orchard in Grantchester for coffee and scones. After our refreshment, i persuaded the others to go for a walk through the cute village. Imagine our supirse when, after 5 minutes we stumbled upon a bakfiets  (which i had spotted earlier). It was clearly set up as a display model, with an advertising hoarding on the side.

We prodded and poked the bike for about 10 minutes before a very nice man came out and said the magic words, 'Would you like a ride?' . 'Yes please!' says i, and on i hopped! Michael promptly bursts into tears when daddy rides off without him. 'Me bike! Me bike!' he shouts.

It had a nexus 7 gear, so i put it in a low gear to get it going thinking the ride would be heavy and slow. Instead, it twitched out into the road and within 30 seconds i'd worked out how to go straight. Slipping the gears to something  a little higher i found it absolutely flew! I'd thought it would be 
a lump and heavy and hard to steer, instead it was more like a flighty stallion. For anyone who's ever ridden a brompton, the ride is very similar. The steering is light and twitchy, but perfectly safe. At high speeds the bike just goes and feels like your not riding it. Very impressive for something that looks like a tank!

So back to base and we picked up the Mike. Off we went...... Straight away we got that magic ride and talk experience. 'Hows it going Mike? Do you like the bike?' 'Yes, Yes' etc right to 'Ok, time to go home', 'No no' followed by tears and screaming. 

I have to say i was very very impressed by the bike. The cons were light steering and bumpy ride in the front. The pros are i loved it and so did Mike!

The nice man from Dutchbike UK will do short term loans for interested parties.........Like me...hmm damn recession....

Saturday, 25 April 2009

More Bikes!

In a bid to ensure my wife starts to cycle again, maybe and also just for the convenience of it, i'm planning to get a new bike to live at the station near my work and my wifes. We want a bike that can take the hamax rack on the back and a bobike mini on the front. Its also going to be used by 6 foot me and 5.5 feet wife.  It also needs to be very suitable to ride in long coats, skirts, trousers, heels etc  So dutch stylee but a bit cheaper :-)

After a test ride i've settled on the new Dawes Graduate which i tried at Station Cycles in Cambridge. Its the only step-thru steel town bike with a 7 speed hub and non back pedal brakes that i've come across.  Also i think it will handle a bobike mini front seat and a hamax plus on the back. Plus its a dawes frame so i'll feel confident that it'll handle me and mike and stuff.

I'm waiting for my voucher from cyclescheme, so once it arrives i can get the bike and i'll let you know how we get on.

The Hamax Plus System Revisited ..... Again!

Theres been a little debate about the hamax panniers running on my blog. I'm pulling together some things for a new fuller post on the pros and cons of the new system, plus some info on the new version of the pannier.

This post is just a placeholder, but just so folks know i'm still very happy with mine.