Saturday 19th April 2008
Well, ever since I saw the Christiania bike on Carbon Cops, (go here and click on the top left pic for vid from the show) I have been curious about these bikes... and I finally worked out what they were called (even tho I can't remember how that happened!) and got in contact with the fellow who sells them in Aus, Peter from PS Bikes.
I am so keen it's not funny. Yes yes, I know, I know I will need to save like crazy. But I have to look at it this way - apart from savings in fuel, and to the environment, and apart from the exercise and slowing down the pace of life factor, not to mention the 'with the kids' factor, I gotta look at it like this...
Once we have our bike, even if we can save just HALF the money we would normally spend on fuel in a week... then it won't be long before the bike has reimbursed itself via savings. And then, that money that is saved on fuel, can go towards solar... and then that money that's saved on solar and fuel... can go towards a rainwater tank... and then the money that we're saving on fuel and solar and water... you see - it's a follow-on effect with so many positives it's not funny... so for now... save save save! I know we have to be sensible about what our limits are to save for, and it will take us a while to save for this, but once we reach the first goal, the savings from that will make it that little bit easier to reach the next goal... kinda thing...
Ah but the best part of this post is yet to come! Do tell, do tell I hear you say (or at least 'hurry up and get on with it then!' haha) Well, in chatting with Peter, we ended up hearing from someone (N and A) not too far from us who was willing to have us come round and check out their Christiania bike... that was very awesome that someone was willing to do that! So we did. Michael went for a ride first, no load (the box takes 100kg) and then well heck, all the kids hopped in!
Then it was my turn and once I sussed it out (the steering is different than a 2 wheeler but easy enough to sus esp with N helping with simple suggestions, thanks N!)... so I went for a lap around the block, turning corners, trying footpaths, up and down a driveway or two and most importantly *wink* a hill or two... and I was very impressed. On the flat, after a few pedals the momentum of the bike almost does the rest of the work. Then I hopped Brooke in the front (25kg) and off we went again... and up the hill and it was easier than I thought it would be... (specs on the bike are here, just scroll down a little)
N & A have very generously, and very kindly offered to lend the bike over a weekend and Monday, so we can try it out in our area (which is where I want to use it most), plus try and do a school run with it - which I am very keen to do because if we can do the school runs in the bike (at least half of them anyway), that and the shops is the majority of the travel we do on a normal week...
of course there are kiddy seat belts, optional rain cover, sun cover etc and a host of other things, not to mention what you can add on yourself to suit your particular requirements. You can even have carseats in for littler people.
We have also been offered a loan of a bike and trailer style one, from A and T while they are away, for which we are very thankful because it will give us a chance to have a good trial of both and see what we prefer... Given we've only tried one briefly, I of course haven't decided but am very much leaning towards the Christiania at the moment.
I am truly very excited. One of my biggest questions (how to minimise the car, in practical ways) has been answered. Now I just gotta save!