On Saturday morning my 4 year-old got to take her first ride on the back of
our Xtracycle, using stoker bars instead of a kid seat. She loved it.
That was no suprise, but I enjoyed it more than I thought as well.
I expected it to feel more loosey-goosey without the constraint of the
seat, but it actually felt more stable and easier to ride. I’m guessing
that’s due to three factors: First, the weight of the seat has been
subtracted, and replaced with some rather light handlebars. Second, her
weight had dropped about 6 inches, lowering our center of gravity.
Third, I expect her ability to lean side-to-side more may have
contributed to a more natural feel. We’ll continue to use a kid-seat for
her on our electric Yuba Mundo, but I expect we’ll use the stoker bars
for most trips on the Xtracycle now.
I didn’t get a good direct shot of this ride, but here she is in the
background, as we rode to see off a Warm
Showers guest, Dominic from One Bike One
World. Warm Showers is a hospitality site for touring cyclists.
Later in the morning, I hauled my first big load of plants on the
Xtracycle. My wife unexpected acquired some garlic, onions, daylilies
and cat nip at a community garden. There was capacity to spare on the
Xtracycle, with room left my daughter to still ride on the deck and hold
on to her handlebars.
The open, waterproof design of the Freeloader bags made the remaining dirt easy to
dump and spray out.
On Sunday, we had another first: both the children on the Xtracycle!
I had a favorable first-impression of trying this as well. The
second child felt more like an incremental increase in required effort,
rather than doubling. We took a detour on the way home to ride on the
Cardinal Greenway some. All three of us enjoyed the ~4 mile trip without
Finally, here’s one thing that didn’t change this weekend: When my
wife’s using her electric assist, I still can’t catch her, even when
she’s carrying two kids. It’s not such much that her top speed is faster,
is that her average speed is faster.
So, instead of getting a photo of her en-route with two kids, I had to
settle for shot when she had finally stopped and I had a chance to catch
If you are looking to ride more or improve your fitness, consider buying
your spouse an electric cargo bike and trying to keep up!