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Thinking outside the boxbike - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Thinking outside the boxbike
A quick update on the bike: I went to look at it last night. There was more rust than was obvious from the photos on the bits of metal holding the box on to the bike; and the brakes weren't very good, though may have just needed tightening somehow -- they were hub brakes, despite what htfb thought from the photo (the thing that looks like a brake is actually an immobiliser lock). Hub gears too, at least, I couldn't see any external gear-like-stuff. Overall, there was just too much "would probably need a bit of fixing" about it, though.

Also, I did have a go at riding it, and, yikes, that would need a lot of practice. It actually felt more unsettling than the trick bicycle with backwards steering that I tried to ride in Dublin (pay a couple of euros to try riding, win 10 euros if you can cycle across the line about 3 yards away... nobody manages more than about 2 feet) -- everything seemed to pivot in the wrong places, and I felt like I was going to fall off any minute. Terrifying!

So, no, I won't be bidding on it, but it was interesting to have a (very brief) go at riding it. I think I will try to get to Cambridge at some point & talk to the Hope St bike folk (and say hello to all you nice people in Cambridge!) but that probably won't be for another month at least.

Thanks again to everyone who offered advice!

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claerwen From: claerwen Date: September 21st, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
We're just round the corner from Hope Street - you'll have millions of Cambridge folk who you know better to catch up with, but if you fancy coffee/whatever with YET ANOTHER other mum & baby, let me know (or just an interaction-free parking space, if you're driving).
j4 From: j4 Date: September 24th, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! It'd be lovely to see you, so we will try to drop in if we do make it to Cambridge (not sure how we'd be getting there, we don't have a car but could hire one for the w/e or something).

Hope things are going well with you! :)
claerwen From: claerwen Date: September 27th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool. Best way to get in touch is helen@ex-parrot.com/07929 841 860. Stuff is good here - John's getting a bit more interactive now and a bit less, you know, unremitting; hope you and Imogen are well and happy too!
julietk From: julietk Date: September 22nd, 2011 09:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Hm, not *just* a trike (so with steering that you have to steer rather than lean into, I assume, unless the photo is misleading me?) but a trike with a much longer front wheelbase & the two wheels on the front... so even more complicated, I guess.

I had a go on a regular trike a while back and kept steering in the wrong direction. I gather that it takes less time than one might think to get used to it, but I was a bit unconvinced. The recumbent I rode the same day, OTOH, was entirely intuitive despite also having 3 wheels. Possibly because the steering was one hand each side of the seat, so leaning did the correct thing.

Sorry it didn't work out, anyway, & good luck for the ongoing option investigation!
j4 From: j4 Date: September 24th, 2011 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, steering rather than leaning (which made me feel like I was on the point of falling off all the time) and two wheels at the front (which is frankly just WRONG). I think it's just _too_ different from what I'm used to. I can't imagine how a two-wheeler cargo bike would handle, but it's got to be easier than the trike.

Never tried a recumbent -- they look a bit scary but everybody I know who rides 'em seems to think they're brilliant (one of the guys I work with commutes in from Cassington on one, but he is also a bit mad, so hmmm).

Thank you for looking up the legal stuff on twitter, too!
julietk From: julietk Date: September 26th, 2011 10:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Two-wheeler cargo bikes (IMlimitedE) are just *heavy*/ponderous, more than anything else. I haven't ridden one heavily-loaded, so that might well affect it; but then I remember when I was cycle-touring, every time I switched from riding with front panniers to riding without (and vice versa) there was maybe 30 seconds of "whoa shit the handling has changed" and then I was good. So I imagine the transition would be much easier than the trike, even for a front-loaded cargo bike. A back-loaded cargo bike ought to be even easier.

(Have been in touch with ex-colleague, btw, but not heard back yet.)

Legal snippet that didn't fit on Twitter: there was quite recently a case of a parent being fined for carrying a child on an 'inappropriate' bike-seat. He refused to pay, went to court, & then pled guilty, so sadly no court details available nor were the facts of the matter legally established (damn these guilty pleas!). Newspaper reports are, unsurprisingly, not entirely helpful (i.e. conflict on the factual details), but it looks like it was either a home-brew top-tube solution, or a heavily-duct-taped/altered version of a shop solution. So, um, perhaps legally best to stick to things actually sold as child seats (though sadly there's no British Standard for such).

(He would probably have got off with a polite warning, but apparently he had a row with the officer & got fined for that as well...)
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