Wednesday, June 10, 2015

300 Mile Retrospective: Co-Motion Periscope Triplet

Our ride to the library on Sunday brought the odometer on the Co-Motion Triplet over 300 miles. While I rode a fair number of miles solo (mostly to school in order to pick him up on the bike), Bowen's gotten at least 250 miles or so on it. We've even had to raise the seat a little since he got an inch taller!

The bike is indeed longer, but surprisingly when riding solo it doesn't feel particularly hard or different. I can mostly do the same kind of riding I can do on the other bikes, but have to take into the extra turning radius, which got me in trouble once. The bike is heavy, at over 50 pounds, so riding into the hills won't be done for a little while. For reference, and 3% grade feels like a 6% grade, and a 6% grade feels like a 12% grade. The 24x36 drive train is not nearly over kill.

What's most surprising to me is how much of a handful the bike is to manage when you're not riding it. When parking the bike in the bike shed, I always have to man-handle it in ways I never had to when dealing with the single or tandem. I've beaten up the rear handle bars a few times because I mis-estimated the distance to the door way when maneuvering the bike in and out of the shed.

One thing that I'd read about but didn't really understand until I had one is that your kids aren't going to really get tired on a tandem. They might get bored, thirsty or hungry, but tiredness is not something on the agenda. At this point, Bowen's had 20 mile days, and he'd get home and still want me to chase him around the house. I don't know what his limits are, but 20 miles isn't even close! Others have warned me that a toddler might fall asleep on the bike, but nope. Never happened. The bike's just too much stimulation for Bowen to even consider taking a nap.

One redeeming feature of the bike being this big and heavy is that I don't care about weighing it down further with panniers. The bike always has front panniers aboard, and sometimes have rear panniers when I have to bring Bowen's blankets and sheets home from school. It truly is set up as a utility bike and we frequently drop by the supermarket or library on the way home.

I fully expected the other kids at the school to get used to the bike in short order and treat it as no big deal. But no. Every time I show up to pick Bowen up, the other kids run around and stare. Bowen's learning to develop a thick skin as a result, which can't be a bad thing at all. The bike definitely gets a ton of attention even when riding to and from the library.

The bike's ridiculously expensive, but it all seems worth it for the days when I ask Bowen whether he wants to drive to the library or bike. He says, "Bike of course! The library is so close!" Maybe one day he'll realize that most adults consider a 6 mile round trip a long way to bike. Recommended!

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