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....


DrMekon said...

I agree, Hugh @ is very helpful. We got our's secondhand, and he's stood by the bike in a way that would delight me if it were new, let alone a couple of years old and not treated sympathetically.

Cold Bike said...

The bakfiets actually has better handling with something over 20kg in the box.
I have had one on long term loan for the last few months and other than a few small things, it is a great bike.
The few small things are brakes and the (lack of) climbing ability - not just the heavy weight but the geometry of the bike.
The main reason I won't be buying one is the brakes. On any kind of sustained downhill, the brakes become unpredictable and grabby.
One less minivan...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info Cold Bike: I doubt I'll be allowed to ride ours empty with our boys. They're a tiny bit bigger then "Me Bike": Now its I come too, I come too!"

And if the brakes are grabby downhill it's even more like a white van than I thought...