23 April 2009

Madsen kg271: Day 2 and 3

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.


katie said...

how fun! My kids would love that box too. I am glad to hear you like the bike. Thanks for checking out my blog. I look forward to read more about your bike-filled lives!

Mum said...

Looks like the baby can hold her own with the big kids.
What a fun time for them. They look so cute riding in the bucket. Have a great time!

Carrie said...

Awesome playhouse! Good to know about the 15 month old -- I'm still trying to figure out the best option for my 12 month old!

Tim K said...

To echo the others, I love the playhouse.

And the Madsen in the blue. Nice. The color feels calm (which my be a benefit when the kids are pounding on each other in the bucket!).

Matt Newport said...

That playhouse needs to be another check in the "pro" column for anyone considering a Madsen purchase!

Carrie- My 15-month old is just under 22 lbs, which is way smaller than my older daughter was at 12 months when she started riding in our Burley Trailer frequently. By the time a child can manage their helmeted head, most kid-seat options will work fine.

Tim- You are so right. I had a 1, 3, and 5-year old in the bucket tonight and it was like piloting a small boat on rough water. The blue keeps me zen.