I’ve started cycling Busby (bakfiets) again. I’ve had it with Harald (Butchers and Bicycles). We cycled to Newton Dee on Saturday and took both cargo bikes. The plan was the children could cycle themselves as far as possible and when they got tired we’d put their bikes in Busby and they could sit and ride in Harald. It was a bit of a disaster. Daniel complained the entire time about his uncomfortable seat. Elizabeth cried about having cold feet. And my arse is still sore thanks to the new haemorrhoid bike seat. I’ve since put my old uncomfortable seat back on Harald. Busby also had a problem with brakes but I’ve since managed to fix that. Oh and it also poured with rain.

I have now accepted that Harald was a waste of money. It’s particularly disappointing because the amount we spent on him is around the amount it would cost the four of us to fly home to see our families. Instead we got a bike that I find very uncomfortable to ride and not very suitable with heavy cargo in a city with hills. Anyone want to buy a second-hand Butchers and Bicycles trike? Going cheap 🙂

Busby the bakfiets on the other hand is a work of art. Despite having one less wheel I find him more stable and much easier to manoeuvre. The main problem is Busby is heavy, especially with a 9-year-old and 6-year-old (soon to be 10 and 7). When I first got Busby the kids were 6 and 4. I think what I should have done is add electric assist to Busby instead of getting a new bike. This is also very expensive to do however I’ve seen this new product called add-e. Has anyone had any experience with it?

If Aberdeen had cycling infrastructure my problem would be solved because the children could cycle themselves around instead of me having to take them. But there isn’t any cycling infrastructure and so they’d be cycling alongside cars, trucks, and buses which I don’t want.

I started a petition recently to get cycling infrastructure to and from the local primary school. If you live in Aberdeen please consider signing my petition:

https://www.change.org/p/keep-our-children-safe-3355ed9f-d327-4399-bb0e-7d58edf09e63

Daniel told me yesterday he finds Busby more comfortable to sit in. They have to sit on the floor of the box but I’ve put two pillows in there so it’s very soft. A nice man at the bike shop also gave me some fairy lights for Busby so now Busby has fairy lights too.

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10 thoughts on “The mighty bakfiets

  1. How frustrating 😦
    Do you miss York? That seemed more set up for cycling. I hope you get somewhere with your petition. How is the campaigning going, eg finding a group to campaign with?

    1. I do miss some things about York – the people, the cycling, the flatness, and the city centre. But I really like living in Aberdeen – I like living in Scotland a lot and I like that it’s less crowded up here. I also like the landscapes.

      I haven’t done any campaigning except that petition. I have been in contact with Aberdeen Cycling forum and they shared my petition on their Facebook page. I also contacted my local council member.

      1. It was really good to see so many pro-cycling comments on the petition. It probably won’t make a different as I don’t live in Aberdeen, but I signed it too.

  2. I do admire your determination to get this cycling sorted. Our (London) superhighways are coming together but they get crowded too and people are generally impatient (especially with an old geezer with time on his pedals). And we still get lorry crushes which is sickening- the latest an Italian prince. So hurrah for you and your campaign.

    1. I heard about the Italian prince. Very sad. Was that in a part of London without the superhighways?

      It’s great the superhighways are getting so much use! The Daily Mail keeps reporting that they’re empty and not getting used.

      1. Depends on the time of day but I;d say they are getting more popular. Yes the death was at a set of lights with nothing for cyclists. Drives you potty. It would be easy to ban lorries without the necessary safety measures which are shown to work though better still, as you’ve often said, is to separate each class of road user from the other.

  3. Petition signed. Well done for getting it going. I’m very disappointed the new bike did not work out for you. It looked so promising. It may yet be a good option for another family given different sizes and circumstances, so hopefully you can sell it on. As to the saddle, I confess I laughed when I saw the doughnut spaceship thing. As a traditionalist in such matters I would say get yourself a Brooks B17. It will last a lifetime and you will only suffer for the first six months of breaking it In! Sorry! 😉

    1. Thanks for signing my petition!

      I think Harald is a good bike but he just isn’t right for me. He’s more suited to a man who likes mountain-type bikes and is happy to be hunched over the handlebars rather than sitting upright. I’m also just not a trike person I’ve realised. There are things I didn’t know about trikes like how you can’t ride up onto the curb on them. Instead you have to dismount and pull them up backwards. But this doesn’t work when there’s > 50kg of load inside and you’re on a hill because the bike tips. I can’t dismount Harald when the kids are inside. They have to get out but how can I stop in the middle of the road and ask them to get out? It’s just not practical in a hilly place.

      Funny you should mention Brooks because I’ve been eyeing off their saddles for ages and just bought myself one but I’m going to put it on Busby. It hasn’t arrived yet. I nearly bought one for Harald but thought I’d wait to see what the bike shop came up with. I bought one of the cambium ones though and these don’t need breaking in.

    1. It definitely looks bigger. That looks fantastic. You could email them and ask for the inside measurement from the seat to the canopy. My kids sit on the floor in the bakfiets and there’s a fair bit of head room still but they can’t sit on the seat. This canopy looks terrific.

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