After trying several different bikes, I did finally come to a decision, and bought an Xtracycle Radish from Clever Cycles. Why? Well, I gave myself a few days to think about it, mostly in the back of my mind, and my mind kept coming back to the Radish. It was the easiest and most enjoyable ride for me, and I felt I could get past the lack of a step-through and not being able to put both feet all the way down when stopping. And I was right! It all works, even when I need to get kids on and off the bike.
I picked up the Radish on Sunday, March 14, which happened to be a very rainy day in Portland. I took the bus down to Clever Cycles, and rode about 8 miles home, uphill, in the rain. Really! I’m not exaggerating. It was a challenge, but I kept picturing my Tweeps (Twitter people) and blog people (bleeps?) cheering me on, OJ style (Quick! There’s a slow-moving cream-colored sport-utility bicycle going down the street!). You were all right there with me. I also rediscovered that Portland rain water does taste good when it falls in your mouth.
Now I’m just riding it a couple of miles to work, and a couple of miles back, but it really does make a difference. I can put kids on the back and take them to school or day care, and I can put stuff in the Free-Loader bags at the same time! On my old bike, it was one or the other — child seat or panniers, not both, and I had to choose child seat.
The Radish is also just plain easier and faster to ride than my old three-speed. I don’t feel like I’m struggling the whole way, although I still have other cyclists passing me by on Burnside.
I’m happy as a clam, and don’t care who knows it.