September 2017

Big Rig

The kids have now started the new school year. Everett started last week.

He and Chris have been riding the tandem to his school most days since then. Teddy and Gwen started preschool this week on Wednesday morning.

Today Chris started taking all three kids to school again on the bike. It’s been a while since we did this, partly because the brakes on the Bakfiets needed to be upgraded (again). Chris put a new hydraulic brake caliper on the front with an extra thick brake disc that was custom made by Aaron at He was a tremendous help and resource for this process. The bike now has a Tektro Dorado hydraulic disc brake on the front and a Shimano IM-80 roller brake on the rear. Still, Aaron and Chris agreed that there is no braking system available that can provide the power needed to stop the Bakfiets on the hills where we live. Instead, Chris has to be careful not to get going too fast on hills, trim the speed over longer distances, and walk the bike down steep descents when it is fully loaded.

One change we are making this year is for Everett to ride his bike part of the way to school. He isn’t quite ready for the canyon road, but he would be fine on the neighborhood roads in the city. Anyway, this morning Chris was getting the bike ready when Everett said “So we are taking the Bakfiets, which will have an attached trailer with my bike, and we are going to load that onto the car trailer. Then we will drive down to the canyon road, bike to the twin’s school and I will ride my bike to school. Then you will drop off the bike trailer and my bike at my school, take the twins to school, and bike to your office?”

Chris replied “It sounds complicated when you say it that way.”

Here is how it worked out:

  • We left our house at 7:50am
  • We were rolling on the Bakfiets down the canyon road at 8:05am
  • Sometime later we stopped and Everett got on his bike to ride to school
  • There is a steep hill on 2000 E where it goes under Interstate-80. Somehow Everett beat Chris to the top of the hill!
  • We arrived at Everett’s school at 8:45.
  • We arrived at the twin’s preschool at 9:05.
  • Chris got to work before 9:30.

There are lots of ways to speed this up, among them getting a new bike for Everett that has multiple speeds (his current bike is a single speed). And this does sound very complicated, so we will likely think of new ways to simplify and streamline the whole operation.

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