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11645Re: Building up fitness to use an Xtracycle for passengering

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  • Catherine
    May 2, 2010
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      Thanks everyone for your responses. It seems I have a fair bit of homework to do. My MTB has 21 speeds and the cogs have more teeth for the lowest gear than mentioned. I might look at changing that. Is it a big job/expensive to have it done?

      I am also seriously considering an electric motor for help up hills. My husband has shown me some available in Australia.

      My bike is the older model of this http://www.cellbikes.com.au/MTX-1-Ladies-Bike..... so pretty basic but good and sturdy. Hopefully it will go well with an Xtracycle added.

      Thanks for the suggestions of the kickback. I think this will be essential to loading children safely. Also, I wonder whether the footsies are good to have for kids? I remember reading they are not compatible with the kickback???? It seems both would be essential for passengering children.

      Thanks to those who sent me a personal email with ideas and suggestions. I enjoyed the pictures. Unfortunately, my computer died before I could respond to any and my husband was not able to recover my emails or addresses before he reformatted.

      I am excited about upgrading to an Xtracycle soon. In the meantime I am riding as often as I can to build up my fitness....and I might just consider getting Oliver (6yr old) to push me from time to time :0)

      Kind Regards

      Catherine

      --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Rich" <astronut1001@...> wrote:
      >
      > Catherine;
      >
      > If you live in a hilly area get the lowest gearing that you can installed on the bike. If using a MTB bike for an xtracycle conversion it should already have a triple ring crankset with a 24 tooth or smaller inner chainring. Combine that with a 32 or 34 tooth largest rear cog and you should have an excellent low.
      >
      > Depending on the bike you intend as the donor bike this might require changing some items such as the rear freewheel/cassette and rear deraileur.
      >
      > I am of the opinion that riding a bike with too high a low gear for your fitness level and riding conditions is a real discouragement to bicycle use.
      >
      > Rich Wood
      >
      > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Miguel Barroso" <miguelbarroso@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi there Catherine...
      > >
      > > I also live in a area where hills are common.. I ride on a daily basis, and I take both my kids to school in the bike (2 and 4 yrs old). To take the youngest one (he weights almost 40 pounds) I have to go up a hill with a 10% slope - it's hard, really hard (specially, because my highest gear is 32 teeth on the front, and 30 on the rear)
      > >
      > > When returning home, I take both of them (around 80 pounds) up a 6% slope, and it's easier... So, first it depends on the slope: up to 4% you will have no problems, even with big cargo... as the slope increases, it all depends on your fit level and the lenght of the hill...
      > >
      > > Cheers,
      > > Miguel Barroso
      > >
      > > www.tambstudio.com
      > > +351919202820
      > > +351210962981
      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: Liz W. Durham
      > >
      > >
      > > I am new to the group. I have joined to hear a bit about how people like their Xtracycle for passengering their children. I have two boys, almost 4 and 6 and we live in the Blue Mountains, near Sydney (Australia). We would really like to use our car less, though because we live in a small town where everything is spread out and there are lots of hills, this is not always possible. I currently carry my youngest in a baby seat some days to places not too far away but the hills are a killer. I have a very basic fitness level.
      > >
      > > I am interested in hearing stories from Mums and Dads who have an Xtracycle and how you coped with carrying your children. The pictures make it look easy but I know I'll need to get much more fit before retrofitting my bike with an Xtracycle and carrying both my boys. Any tips you have found useful or stories about what made it easier for you? I don't want to buy something that doesn't get used because it's too hard.
      > >
      > > I am looking at maybe getting the hoodie plus a stoker bar and stand (can't remember it's name). Would this be ok for 4 and 6 yr olds?
      > >
      > > Thanks
      > >
      > > Catherine
      > >
      > > ---------------------------------------------
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > One of the great things about bike riding is it works for folks at all fitness levels. Maybe at first your rides will be shorter and slower but over time, if you are riding consistently, you will be making longer faster rides. And if time is not an issue.then just don't worry about that aspect. I know it can seem daunting at first but if you can be patient and consistent you will find your fitness level improving through the day to day experience of riding more and driving less. I also think some of it is a mental thing.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > I can say that for a regular ride with my 3 ½ year old I do not feel his added weight. Add on a bunch of groceries.I still do not notice much when riding. Unless it is windy. And sometimes the start up from being stopped is a bit slower. Living in Chicago, I cannot speak to hills. I think I have one hill that I occasionally ride. I have ridden it with a load of more than 100 lbs. and definitely needed to shift gears. Slow slow slow but the pedaling was still fairly easy.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > The double kickstand is a must in my opinion! It gives extra stability that really helps when loading and unloading (be it kids or stuff).
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Finally, I will say that I absolutely love using my bike for transportation with my son!! He loves it too. His experience with the world around him is so much better and stronger because he is a part of it rather than isolated. Given a choice of going on the bike or going in a car........9 times out of 10 he says bike.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > -Liz
      > >
      >
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