Waiting for the Radish, and drooling over other cargo bikes.
I just ordered my Radish, check her out:
I've been looking into a bunch of different 2-kid configurations, and finally decided on this one (different base bike, just look at the kid seats):
Except that I got some canoe seats that are more thickly padded on bottom, taller in back (for better upper body support, possibly nappable in Adrian's case?) and a little bit shorter in the seat.
So I will need to attach the seats for the kiddos, and then I got a set of "stoker bars", which is basically a set of handlebars that attach to my seat post, so Adrian will be able to hold on to something if he wants to.
I can't wait to get my new bike. I'll be able to go do my grocery shopping and run errands, go to the gym, pretty much everything.
I went back and forth for a LONG time between this bike and a Bakfiets, which is a Dutch cargo bike also known as the "Amsterdam Minivan"
There is an awesome, very detailed review of the Bakfiets here, if you are interested. And if you want more photos of ALL different sizes and configurations of these Dutch treats, see the Bakfiets Flickr group
I am feeling a pang of remorse right now about not getting a Bakfiets, because MAN, they are really fucking sweet. However, I chose the Radish for a few reasons.
1) It is less than half the price. The Bakfiets delivered (closest dealer is in Portland) comes to about $3250. Expensive for a bike, but totally cheap compared to a car. Remember...no gas, no oil changes, almost zero maintenance. Still...I don't have that much right now. I saved up about $1500 for my Radish and accessories, and I don't want to have to wait until I can save twice that.
2) The Bakfiets is heavy. It's remarkably nimble, but it does handle better when you have a load of something inside it. Right now I would always have a load of kids + whatever, but a few years down the road, maybe not, and I don't want to have to get a second bike for times that I'm riding without cargo. The Bakfiets is also not all that great on hills, as it was perfected in Amsterdam, which is flat as a pancake.
Still, I do feel some regret. Having the kids in that fine wooden Bakfiets box, safely harnessed into their bench seats...that sounds safer than the two kid seats on the back of the Radish. Plus on the Bakfiets I could actually carpool and carry *several* kids at once, up to four! I can't carpool with anyone now in my station wagon because I can only fit two carseats in my car, which are already occupied.
The Bakfiets also has a lovely rain/cold weather cover for the box, so the kids stay nice and dry and toasty in inclement weather. Oh well, I live in California, so this isn't *too* much of an issue for me.
I would also relish being able to carry more than four bags of groceries + kids, which is my probably limit on the Radish. But hey, I'll just have to start going grocery shopping at Trader Joe's more often, and not wait until the situation is so dire that I need to buy half the store.
Anyway, I am thrilled with my Radish, and I can't wait until it arrives and Mike gets it assembled. I am thinking about carrying them in my store for local customers, already assembled, with the two-kid seats already added.
Speaking of two kids on a bike:
This bike carries up to 8 kids
This Danish model (the Christiana) carries up to 4 kids on two benches:
A front tandem bike that can carry two kids (the front kid can help pedal, or not, works either way)
And there was a totally sweet Dutch bike that I saw yesterday that had two built-in bike seats for kids on the back, and a big cargo basket up front. Gorgeous. Can't find it now though.
Bikes! Screw cars, I can't wait to get my two wheels out on the road.