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A Simple Six: Test Riding Bikes in Columbus, OH

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Test Riding Bikes in Columbus, OH

Miles Walked: 13.9 Biked: 56.9 Bused: 2.1 Drove: 396.3 This week
37.7 112.9 12.6 399.9 Since August 14, 2011

Downtown Mechanicsburg, OH

Flat fields of Champaign county Ohio
 Grandma got settled at home in Mechanicsburg,OH  at about 1:30PM yesterday and I set off in my empty mini van for Columbus. I was meeting my dad at Handy Bikes in Grandview to check out a cargo style bike. I had only looked at their website and found they carried the Madsen brand, but I know now I should have called first. The ladies at the counter didn't know anything about a Madsen and said there were none in the shop, but the owner came out and said he happened to have a used one in the back that he was trying to sell. It was the older model, powder blue and ready to ride.



I do believe there's a hint of fall color here.
I took it for a couple of spins around block, checking out the gears and breaking. I wasn't able to add any weight into it, as all my precious cargo was at home. Over all it was a fun ride. It didn't have some of the features of the newest model, like front cargo rack, front disc brakes and parking brake-lock, but what it did have was good enough. It rode smooth and easy and more upright than my box-store bike or Brent's GT. I am not experienced enough with bikes to give any sort of review, but I did have a great time riding this box bike around Grandview. The owner said he would sell it to me for $1000, and seeing that a new bike retails for $1500 with shipping, it sounded decent, but it was the older model and it was used, AND I hadn't ridden anything else to compare it with.
I was testing out the Madsen

The Madsen in front of Handy's Bikes

When driving to Handy's Bikes, I had some extra time before my dad was to arrive so I went to WholeFoods on Lane Avenue looking for a lunch and ended up a little backwards going from the store to the bike shop. I am glad I got a smidgen turned around because I drove past a shop called Roll:, also on Lane. After Handy's, dad and I went to Roll: to see what they might carry. The shop didn't have anything I was looking to test ride, but was stocked with some beautiful bikes. They also sold the Yepp Mini front style child seat I considered before we bought the iBert. I think the Yepp Mini seat is worth a second look. It had a higher back which might allow for napping. There was a higher cushioned front bar for both comfort and sleeping as well as the seat itself was made from a very dense but modestly pliable foam.
Chocolate cherry trail mix from WholeFoods, aka lunch.

Roll:



The salesman at Roll: told me about a shop in the Short North that sold cargo style bikes so dad and I headed downtown. Paradise Garage had an electric assist Kona Ute bike in the window. The sales-guy gave me a run down on the specs, since I was completely unfamiliar with this long-tail style. Then he mentioned having a Yuba Mundo, something I had been researching. The Yuba Mundo long-tail cargo bike was one of two I had been considering, the other being an Xtracycle.

This Yuba was ready to be fitted with disc-brakes, something that dad, the salesman and I discussed and decided would be most beneficial to my riding situation. Two child seats could fit on the rear and one could fit on the front as well as two extra-large pannier bags for groceries. This bike was ready to haul 600 lbs. I took it for a couple of loops around the block and loved how smooth the gear transitions were. It was more of an upright seating position, something I am realizing is more comfortable for me. It was overall a very well built bike. The deflating moment came when I returned from my ride, had a conversation with my dad about how I might be able to talk the sales-guy into selling me the floor model and was ready to give my pitch. Before I could even make an offer he told me the owner would not sell this bike. He was keeping it around for test rides and as the company "truck" for events. Maybe in the spring, when the new model was released, I might be able to purchases it. Huge disappointment, but it held me accountable to my "I am only shopping, not buying" creed for the day.
Yuba Mundo at Paradise Garage



I came away from these two test rides knowing what a better quality bike looks and feels like. I learned a lot about what I need for my situation, how far my money might go and how long a bike will last post-children. There are a few more bike styles and brands I am looking to ride, so if you have something and are willing to let me give it a spin, I would be most grateful.

Dad and I had an early dinner at the Short North Tavern then we parted ways. He went home and I met up with a great friend who was in Columbus, coincidentally, for the day as well. We met at the Raisin Rack in Westerville and then she drove us to old downtown for some live music and espresso drinks at Java Central. Near 10pm we said goodnight and I drove home to collapse contentedly into bed at 12:45AM this morning.
Jockey style post bike racks were embedded all along High Street Columbus.

Beer bike! in the Short North

We didn't wait in line for Graeter's but I love this Ohio based ice cream

Java Central, Westerville

We stayed till the sun had long since set

Downtown Westerville, OH

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4 Comments:

At August 28, 2011 at 4:45 PM , Anonymous Ashley K. said...

Sounds like a great trip! I'm glad you got a chance to ride a couple styles of bikes. I am still in lust with the look of the Madsen, but it seems like the long-tails have better options for you.

 
At August 28, 2011 at 10:42 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

I was very happy I got to ride it. If we didn't have so much to do on the bike it would be perfect. He still wants to sell it, maybe you can find some loose change? :)

 
At August 30, 2011 at 1:06 PM , Anonymous Ashley K. said...

I would love it, but too expensive for me. Maybe if we didn't live on a hill I would push for it, but I don't bike enought to justify that purchase. Just curious- does it have/can you install straps to hold a child in?

 
At August 30, 2011 at 1:13 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

It can do hills :) Yes, it has four seat belts and two benches in the bucket! I am hoping someone will just gift me an awesome bike. Maybe Santa or the tooth-fairy?

 

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