10 June 2009

More Madsen Fun

I'm still digging on our Madsen kg271 Bucket Bike. I've made a few changes to it and have been happy with the results. It's a comfortable and stable setup with enough stopping power for the low speeds that come with hauling three toddlers around the neighborhood. I still plan to swap on a smaller chainring and a Marathon Plus tire in the back, and might try a larger brake rotor on the front.

We've become regulars at the pocket park in our neighborhood, thanks to the Madsen. It's the closest park to our house, but it's too far to walk to with the little ones, especially on a hot day. It's only a slow 5-minute ride, door to slide, with the Madsen. Other parents at the park have been very curious about the bike. The seat buckles in the bucket seem to be the one feature that makes them say, "That's great. I'd put my kids in something like that."

The bike has come in really handy for this one-car household. Last night, I picked up the kids from the baby-sitter after going on a group ride with the Harmon Bike Club. A nice slow ride with the kids was a great way to cool down.

Speaking of kids, remember that I'm riding the Courage Classic this summer and will challenge myself to ride our bucket bike if I can reach my fund-raising goal. Donate today!


sara said...

Hi Matt-- Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am looking forward to combing through yours and learning more about your family biking adventures. What are the ages of your three young 'uns? Ours are 6/6/4. My husband was a stay-at-home dad for a period of time (we took turns w/ the at-home parenting) & we enjoyhearing the experience of other at-home fathers. We are new on the family biking scene (got our bakfiets in Feb, the xtracycle Radish just this month) but we are totally hooked. New Haven just got its first Madsen & I have already been tracking down the family to hear of their experience with it! Glad to read yours. Best, sara

Susan said...

Hi Matt,
I am seriously thinking about a Madsen. I have a 19-month old son and I wonder how you think such a young one fares in the bucket with just a lap belt?

Matt Newport said...

My two girls are 3.5 and 1.4 years old. We frequently have a friend's 3 y.o. son in the mix, also, which was the real push for us to go Madsen.

Our youngest was only about 20 lbs when we got the Madsen in April, and she rode very well in the bucket from Day 1. The buckle snugs her up against the bucket and she doesn't seem to slip at all on the vinyl-covered seat. She likes to lounge an arm over the side and I've never been worried that she was going to fall out. Also, the big buckles require large hands to unfasten.

I'm careful about taking her in the bucket alone when she's sleepy, though her big sister makes a good pillow. I think a big stuffed animal might make a good riding companion in those solo situations. The Totcycle family has said they've slept their youngest down in the bucket on some pillows, which might work with the buckles as well since the straps are anchored near the bottom of the bucket.