Yesterday started out cold, wet and dreary, so I took the kids out to the garage and transformed the Madsen bike box into a playhouse. It's not my best cardboard palace, but it is grand.
Once the skies brightened a bit, we took the kids out for another ride around the neighborhood, this time to see how well our 15-month old daughter could handle herself in the bucket. She couldn't find her helmet fast enough when we asked her if she'd like to go for a bike ride.
Once on the road, she squealed and giggled with delight, just like the big kids. The kids wave at everyone and everyone waves back. We even stopped once to talk it up with a neighbor who happened to be heading out by bicycle as well.
Today I took the kids for a 5-mile ride around the neighborhood so that I could test my 100 pound payload on a few hills. I used all of the gears and would have used one or two more if they were there. I'll have to do the math, but I think a 44T or 42T ring may be a better option for Tacoma than the stock 48T (remember, 20" wheel in the back). Another thing I noticed is that I need to bend the chain guard a bit towards the back as the large sprocket causes the chain to rub on the guard.
After riding along with Sarah on her commute with our two kids later in the evening, I was starting to feel the effects of the narrow saddle that came stock with the bike. I'm likely going to replace it with a VO Model 7, which is very similar to the VO Model 8 that I use on my Xtracycle. The handlebar will also likely be swapped for something like a VO Tourist, which is what I use on my Cross Check city bike. This bike begs to be ridden with an upright position when loaded for low-speed hill climbs and better visibility of the road.