Sunday, May 04, 2008

Our weekend with the Christiania bike...

Well if I wasn't already sold on the concept of the Christiania bike, (which I have to say I was haha!) I am definately sold having had the chance to ride about the place over the weekend. Saturday - Brooke and I rode down to the shops, to the Op Shop first and got Brooke some footy boots, that fit well with not much wear and $10. Then we rode across to Woolworths and picked up some groceries - parked right outside the door, no parking hassles ;) Then rode home, at our leisure, chatterboxing along the way and spotting interesting things to look at. Took us an hour - there and back and both shops and I have to say, would have taken us roughly the same time by car, with parking and/or walking from one shop to the other. This is the same sort of travel that took us an hour and forty five mins when we walked it, of course travelling at the pace of the littlest person. Also I was told that 'once you have one, you use it more than you think you would' and already I can see this is going to happen - in just two days where I wouldn't have ridden at all, I have ridden at least four times, and a combo of short & medium length distances. I think you'd also end up planning your travel a little better, when you're riding, so perhaps end up more 'travel-efficient' full-stop, both bike and fuel for car (and no it doesn't have front headlights like that lol they're the reflectors & flash of the camera). We did a night ride, it has a front and rear light and that was good fun. Wasn't long until the jumper came off though, despite the cool weather - it was nice to 'use' my body like that again - no sore muscles just sore bum bones LOL from getting used to the seat.

My biggest question was going to be about the footpaths, and the 'crossings' - sometimes they have those bollard things and you need to weave in and out of them on a normal bike, sometimes the 'ramp' is a steep one or of centre etc. Well of all the riding I've done this weekend, there has only been one place I have gone 'hmmm, not sure if we'll make that one' and hopped off and walked the bike instead (and it's quite light so easy enough). Other than that we haven't had a problem, which I am rapt with.
The only other issue (which would apply to a standard bike as well at some spots) is when you stop in the 'break' in the median strip, to cross several roads at once, you have a little bit of the pbike prodruding, either front or back. That's only at one main spot that I would come through regularly, and enough room either side that it wouldn't bother vehicles.

Steering and Handling
I have been quite impressed. It's deceptively light and easy for me to manouvre (I'm definately not tall lol and not too heavy). Michael says he found the steering harder to get used to than me - however he rides his standard bike to and from the train every day, whereas I haven't ridden a bike in... mmm ... nine odd years haha so I think that may be why I got used to it easier. The biggest differences are that where you would lean into a corner on a standard push bike or motor bike, you don't with the C bike. Once you've had a practice, it's not at all hard and even right angle corners are fine for me, I quite like it actually.
Would it tip? - is the big question and I suppose if you went up or down a really steep left to right slope then it may - no different to a pram etc. In that case it's really not hard to just hop off and push past that bit, then back on and off you go. I've only had to do that once, and that was on road I wouldn't normally take.

The only negative
from today's ride, which is nothing really to do with any bike in particular, is I got bitten on the back of the calf by a dog on the way home. It certainly shook me up... I had been looking out for dogs all the way (as you do when walking or riding in general) but this one was let out of a car, chased me down the road and managed to just get a grip on me before it let go and went back to it's owner. She did yell out if I was okay and I said 'can you put it away!' since it was just sitting by her and I wasn't going anywhere until it was 'away'. So she put it in the car and came to see if I was alright. Lucky for me I (1) had long pants on and (2) it didn't get a full mouth on me - so didn't break the skin but can see where the teeth were and the bruising will show tomorrow - the photo on the left was taken tonight, bruising just setting in. Zeke was asking me all the way home 'are you okay Mummy... did the dog bite you Mummy...' Also lucky for me I was on the Christiania because on a standard two wheeler I reckon I would have stacked it, so had grazes and the like from that - nevermind whether the dog would have thought it a great thing I was on the ground... Also am happy that Zeke was out of it's reach, and somewhat safer than he would have been perhaps, in a rear-towed bike trailer... not sure, but just another thing to think about. eta the bruising is a little more this morning, but I'll mend!

Well, one school run complete! I took it at a leisurely pace, making about 30mins to get there (10-15 in the car). I'll work out how many kms that is later on when I check out the map. On the way there was just Zeke and I, and on the way home was Brooke, Jake, Zeke and I, so the total of just the children's weight is about 60kg (?) roundabout anyway. Stopped at school, which generated some interest from children and parents alike. Then started off home, this time probably about 40mins so only 10mins more. Only to big hills to go up and with the gears options, was far easier than the single bike I used to have. It's been wiped down, all the drink bottles and helmets are out and it's ready to go home to N&A&F... So the verdict from me? I liiiiiike it!

(Here's my earlier post of a test afternoon, and a pic with four kiddies, plus links to info)

oh and a Tuesday update (bitten Sunday) photo, it's the very back of the calf right behind the knee... you can see the two 'dots' where the canines went (from the top jaw I guess, which is lucky it didn't get both jaws on my leg)... it wasn't that far away from breaking the skin so I guess I'm lucky. I just keep thinking what if it had actually got a proper grip on my leg... I know there's far worse happen in the world, but also think far out... what if it was a child on a bike... and that's not a good thought... (and pardon the legs, they've seen better days lol) The pic on the right taken on Friday... I always find it interesting what colour bruises go along the way! So now this strange yellowy colour and I've worked out what angle the jaws were on, and actually how lucky I was not to be missing a piece of leg...

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