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Thread: Roll Call, 5/6

  1. #11

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    NZMama, that bike looks very cool. We don't see anything like that where I live; are they more common in NZ? I would definitely use something like that for errands, as we live just far enough away that walking with bags and packages is unrealistic, but a cargo bike would be perfect.

    I hope you enjoy your in-country travels soon. NZ is on my bucket list, but I"m sure almost all countries will be blocking international travel for a while until the virus gets figured out. I'm very disappointed in the US federal response. It seems like the countries doing well at battling COVID have a nation-wide plan. Ours is patch-work, being state-by-state.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University graduate: BS in Computer Science, minor in math, geology, anthropology, and history

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  3. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by inmom View Post
    NZMama, that bike looks very cool. We don't see anything like that where I live; are they more common in NZ? I would definitely use something like that for errands, as we live just far enough away that walking with bags and packages is unrealistic, but a cargo bike would be perfect.
    Cargo bikes: We were similar. Most errands are relatively close but far enough way and too much stuff to make walking and carrying worthwhile.

    No, they are not common at all. We are somewhat of a spectacle sometimes I think. I noticed one time when I had both kids on the back that a passenger in a car driving past us was filming us on their phone. There are a handful of e-cargo bikes in our city (population around 120,000), but I find we generally get good respect from traffic (because it larger than other bikes, more obvious, and somewhat of a novelty) and many people (even non-bikers) comment on how great they think it is. I have not had any of the negative comments that you can encounter as a biker from those car drivers who don't like sharing the road.

    When we were looking, we also looked at a Tern GSD (https://www.ternbicycles.com/bikes/gsd) and a Riese and Muller Multicharger (https://www.r-m.de/en-dk/models/multicharger/). So if you want to look at electric cargo bikes—which if you had the $, I would highly recommend as it has been a 100% positive change in our life—I would also look at those models. We got the Yuba Spicy Curry (https://yubabikes.com/cargobikestore/spicy-curry/) because it can carry two older children as passengers. You could also carry one adult on the back, but it has a limit for how much weight you can have behind the back axle so you could not carry two adults. It rides like a regular bike (big front wheel) but is well balanced with a load (little back wheel).

    The Tern GSD we liked but it was not so good for carrying two older children at the same time (it can take two younger children). It felt a bit odd to ride (both front and back wheels are small) but it was well balanced and we would probably have got used to the small front wheel over time. I liked its cargo carrying accessories (racks etc.) and bags better. It is a very adjustable bike if you have two riders of very different heights. The Spicy Curry we got is perfect size for me (about 5 ft 5) and DH (6 ft) can ride it with the seat at its absolute highest (we also got it with an extended/longer seat post option). He is not in an optimum position but is comfortable and I am the main rider. The Tern is also great if you do not have a lot of storage space as you can fold parts of it and then stand it on its end. However, this was not a concern for us as we have a double garage with only one car in it.

    The Riese and Muller felt like riding a regular bike until you put a load on, and then it felt a bit unbalanced for me. DH found it better since he is taller but with me being shorter, I found it harder to get started without wobbles when I had a load on the back. It also could only really carry one back passenger and I did not really like its cargo carrying accessories. They are a German made bike though and very well made and ride really nicely.

    There are some other models of ebikes that can carry stuff out there too. They are referred to as e-utility bikes rather than cargo bikes as carry less. Things like the Benno Boost, https://www.bennobikes.com/e-bikes/boost/. We only looked at cargo bikes as we wanted to be able to carry a decent cargo load and/or two older kids or one adult on the back.

    If I had lots of $, I would buy a second cargo bike and probably get a Tern GSD. DD11 is getting to a size, but unfortunately not an age or level of awareness, where she could do with her own electric bike. She has a regular bike, but its hard for her to get up the hill home and not very fair if I am riding the electric bike. If we do get another one, something like the Tern would be great as it is so adjustable, we could make it fit her as well as DH.

    All the e-cargo bikes we looked at have a double battery option (costs extra) so that you do not have to charge it as often. We got the double battery and it is nice not to have to charge it so frequently (we probably do it about once a week). We do use a fair amount of battery energy for some of our rides as we can be carrying a decent load and have a hill to go up to get home. Even fully loaded, I can go up our hill at about 9 to 12 miles per hour, which I find is fast enough to not bother the cars that get stuck behind me for short periods until they can pass.

    Our rides are usually between 2.5 to 6 miles (return). Then if we go to my mum's, it is a bit further (11 miles return with a hill at either end).

    I don't find it too large or unwieldy to ride or park. It is slightly longer than a regular bike but not much. It has a great double bike stand on it, which it is easy to roll off and onto. I felt worried about locking it up and leaving it at stores at first but we only use two locks (a pin/wheel lock from Yuba through the front wheel and frame) and a chain lock through the frame, front wheel, and around whatever we are locking it to, and that has been ok so far.

    Edited to add: for cargo carrying capacity, all three bikes we looked at were very similar for what they could carry for total load and on their front carriers. (BTW: front carriers are amazing. It is so nice to have somewhere to just chuck your regular bag and not have to have a backpack or a pannier). They all generally recommend that you do not try load the bike with more than 80% of your own weight. I do bike both kids (who combined weigh the same as me) plus cargo in the front basket though. It is fine once going and on the flat and easy corners. Getting started can be a little harder, as are hills/tight corners, but I have not yet got to a point where I felt so unbalanced we were going to fall.
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 05-20-2020 at 06:39 PM.
    New Zealand-based freelance science copyeditor. Homeschooling DD 11 (year 7) and DD 6 (year 2).

  4. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by inmom View Post
    I hope you enjoy your in-country travels soon. NZ is on my bucket list, but I"m sure almost all countries will be blocking international travel for a while until the virus gets figured out. I'm very disappointed in the US federal response. It seems like the countries doing well at battling COVID have a nation-wide plan. Ours is patch-work, being state-by-state.
    Thanks, we are looking forward to going away. We just have to find somewhere reasonable to stay. It is a really expensive location as they have in the past been used to have bus loads of well-off Asian tourists going through. I was hoping they would be having some specials but the accommodation prices are all really high still (a lot higher than what are used to paying in other regions).

    I am sorry that the Covid response in the US has been so disjointed. It must be very frustrating. I would say a large proportion of NZ'ers and international media also share your view of the US Federal response.

    The things like threatening funding to the WHO and trying to stop pharmaceutical companies from having open licensing/global patent pools on any future treatments/vaccines really worry me. There are so many countries that will have horrible effects on.

    I am hoping that borders will start opening when enough countries have things under control and/or people can provide proof of negative testing before they enter a country.

    It is still rather surreal how rapidly it has become just part of what our life is and you become a bit desensitized to the ever increasing figures of deaths and cases. It is now entirely normal to my kids to comment on whether people are respecting social distancing in little offhand comments, which is a bit strange.

    Oh and if you ever come to NZ, the start of Feb through to early March are usually nice months. All the public school kids are back by the start of Feb and the weather is nice and settled by then (spring [Sept] through to the start of summer [Dec] can be quite changeable and Jan is peak New Years/school holiday time).
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 05-20-2020 at 06:01 PM.
    New Zealand-based freelance science copyeditor. Homeschooling DD 11 (year 7) and DD 6 (year 2).

  5. #14
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    @ NZ I'm sorry about your dog. Beautiful yarn colors!
    Rebecca
    DS 14, DD 12
    Year 8

  6. #15

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    Congratulations! It seems like just yesterday he was headed off to college. I feel like it has been an eternity since I have come in here. It was great seeing your post! I am sad they cancelled the commencement, though.

    Sounds like you are getting a lot done. The only things we have done are things that we were forced to. For example, the wind blew our gate down. It was totally termite riddled and we have no idea how it defied physics for so long when it had zero support since the frame was wood and that was also totally hollow. So, we just finished putting up a much better, vinyl gate.

    We hope to start our plantings soon. It seems like the weather has been odd and hubs keeps saying to wait a week.

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Roll Call, 5/6