Monday, June 30, 2014

Urban Arrow 2013 versus 2014 Models

We dropped by Rolling Orange this weekend and I grabbed a couple of pictures of the 2014 Urban Arrow, currently in stock they have four rollar brake models if anyone is interested. 

Battery/Bench (2013 T, 2014 B) 

Brakes/Front Tire 

Front Light/Fender

Undercarriage/Wiring Front


Motor Casing

Rear Lock/Tail Light (2013 Light on Rack)

Assist Reader

Rear Area

Urban Arrow 2013 versus 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tabling For Firth & Wilson +Test Riding A BionX Bullitt

Father's Day Weekend for the past two years has equalled at least one day of tabling for this family. This year we went to Artspiration at Fleshcher Art Memorial to table for Firth & Wilson, our local cargo bike shop.

Armed with spoke cards for kids to decorate we dropped by F&W to pick up the bionX Bullitt for display and made our way over. We were positioned next to Wash Cycle Laundry and Little Babies Ice Cream (both are businesses by bike!). 

A crowd came and went for several hours. A lot of e-assist questions and a lot of moms who were really impressed and excited by long john style bikes. I truly believe the more we have these bikes out in public view, loaded with kids and stuff the more parents will take note and say that is so smart. One mom said I don't have a bike but I want one of those bikes! Exactly.

 Last week a recycling truck stopped in an intersection to ask me about my bike (not safe, but funny to see). People just need to see what they don't even know exists to want it. 

I also finally tried the assisted Bullitt. I had always assumed I was too short after I failed mounting it at 35 weeks pregnant. But hello I was very pregnant. So in an empty Old City parking lot I got to try it out again. First yes at 5'3 with shorter legs I'm probably at the bottom edge of someone who can ride it. And yes I still prefer the easier mounting of the the UA. 

The UA is a Dutch ride, upright, stable a luxury car of bikes, the Bullitt is a fast sports car. It feels wobbly at first with a turning radius smaller then UA. But in basic principle they handle a lot a like although you can see the front wheel on the Bullitt which is a bit distracting. 

The bike is a whip though; fast and light when using it. I actually turned off the assist because it felt too fast for my test ride. This particular build had a basic sized plywood box. My two kids could both fit for sure. With legs intertwined could fit as they got bigger as well. 

I didn't find it as comfortable as the UA for us. I actually think it is ideal if your kids are toddler + because there are a couple ways for bigger kids to ride even with smaller box. I know if we were to buy a second cargo bike it would be a rough choice between the Edgerunner or Buillitt. 

Based on J's smiles though I think she would be pro Bullitt. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Moms Are Infrastructure Watchdogs: N. 25th "Improvements"

Don't complain about new bike infrastructure they say? But how will it ever get better this mom says. 

We build city streets that fit mini-vans and SUVs (and even huge trucks, hello Ridge Ave & Washington Ave!), why don't we build bike lanes that allow space for cargo bikes? A few changes down the Art Museum area bike lanes have prompted this post. I was initially really excited to hear about improvements as that area could use a car diet but I feel like they are mediocre at best and certainly not best practice. 

This segment is about the N 25th street changes. I want to take some additional footage of the new Spring Garden Street changes as well but would prefer  to do so when not on cargo Bike as it feels too unsafe to enter that portion of EO with them. So expect a post in the hopefully near future. 

I feel the same way about sad bike lanes J.

I ride the Art Museum/Fairmount area a couple times of week, my kids attend classes in area, we go to the museums and use the city green space. I have finally got around to shooting with the GoPro when I felt it was safe enough (aka empty enough, Sunday afternoon) to use the new setup. Normally (see the picture below)  the tour buses take up a lot of room and the cars headed to Kelly Drive at higher then posted speeds make me too nervous to use the space as intended, "painted". I use the large adjacent sidewalk and crosswalk to get onto the path across the street. 

Also the allowance of right hooks is double exciting! Keep me guessing will I get pinched, rear ended or right hooked. 

The busses connect the Art Museum Buildings and other city attractions. 

**Note I cross on green >yellow and was smoothly able to turn and proceed across street on green. If I had to stop and start back up it would have taken me a couple of extra seconds more, if an impatient car/bus was behind me that can be very scary**

While watching this video I made note of two other "signage" issues. First the directional sign for bicycles is really far up the pole on the right side. I only noticed it now watching the video, not while biking. Also I only now noticed the "ENTER HERE" sign when crossing over onto the River Trail/sidewalk, it doesn't say entering for who. Now looking at it, I guess it means for bicyclists, but this entrance is also where tour buses and cars enter the Art Museum. If I was to cross and then make a wide slow right in front of them to enter the path I would be concerned about being hit from behind. Which by the way is the number 1 fatal car/bicycle crash.

I am sure someone is bound to tell me I am using the bike box wrong. However I am using my bike right and know how much radius and speed it needs to turn.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bike to Work Day and Manayunk Bike Race

It has been a bit busy around here so these two events are almost a month apart but showing up in the same post. Oh well.

First bike to work day! The nation wide BTWD was rather rainy and the local Nike Coalition made the call for a very sunny Monday instead if the original Friday. My H decided to take off and join us for a nice three day family bike weekend (same weekend as Kinetic Sculpture Derby).

 We were up early and out the door. On my descend down Ridge Ave. my kleen kanteen came flying out of my cup holder! As my husband put it, it look and sounded like a grenade. He nicely retrieved my banged up coffee cup as my general rule is can't stop safely can't get what fell out off bike. 

We made our way to Lloyd Rec Center along boathouse row and met up with he organizers, friends and other riders including Philly's mayor. We made our way on route and even had a small run in with a car around Eakins Oval see vimeo (coming soon!) for that. We ended at Love Park, where two Philly cops carried my bike up the steps. Swoon.  We then heard from the mayor, head of MOTU, parks and rec and the ED from the Bicycle Coalition.

Afterwards we made our way to breakfast and the Academy of Natural Sciences. Later that afternoon I actually biked to my part-time job in Germantown. 

Bike Race Weekend! 

Usually Manayunk Bike Race is a one-day affair for us. We have lived on route the past three years. We go to the end of our block to watch usually, but this year we got adventurous. 

First on Saturday I checked out a Women Bike PHL event at Cadence Cycling Center on Main Street. It was a chance to meet the pros, listen to them speak and eat some tasty food. It was a really great event and got my excited for watching the women's race the next day. 

Sunday we started our bike race day by walking the reverse of the route from our house off of Ridge/Main. We walked up to the Wall and watch the women climb and then made our way down to Main Street. We stopped to have drinks with my H's coworkers who doesn't love an Amstel Radler or three before noon. After seeing the last lap go by we walked back home so we could regroup and I could change my shoes for the men's race. Pro tip if you haven't worn a specific pair of shoes in seven years your feet maybe angry. 

After some debate we decided to ride our bikes down to our second location to meet up with more of my H's coworkers. I was honestly against riding just with congestion and you are forced to ride on sidewalks (to the path). Literally the cops tell you to but it was quicker and my feet really hurt. Stupid shoes. 

So my H road the UA and I road my Vanmoof down. It was congested and honestly a bit harder on the littler bike. Shout out to the roadie who felt the need to correct my mumbled ( I don't want to talk, trying to get by on tiny bridge) pronunciation of bakfiets.

We drank more afternoon beers, hung with friends and some of my H's coworkers and watched some bike racing. Once my kids were hitting meltdown zone we packed them in and headed home. 

A successful bike race day if I do say so myself.