Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You Never Know How Folks Will Use Their Bikes

Josh here came by the shop just to say hi today... and to tell us how much he has enjoyed owning his Batavus Personal Delivery Bike. That sort of thing is always nice to hear, but what made this visit even better was hearing how Josh has used this bike... it just might surprise you!

Most folks see these bikes and think purely of "utilitarian" uses for it... shopping at the grocery store, or a trip to the farmer's market, maybe even hauling some hardware and materials home from the hardware store. But looking at the bike that way is really limiting... for example, many of you may recall seeing John Brunow carrying his chocolate labrador, Java, around in a big basket on the front of an orange Batavus.

Well, Josh here has done even more wonderful things and unexpected things with his PDB. He's ridden it on the C&O Canal, all the way up to Cumberland, MD, 185 miles away... AND back again in the same trip! He said it was perfect for the trip, with its comfortable ride and stability... plus the ability to carry all of his gear securely. It reminded me that years ago, when "10-speeds" were just becoming all the rage, the Washington Post carried an article about cycling the Canal, and recommended a lowly 3-speed over the fancier 10-speeds, because of their comfort and stability over rough surfaces. Josh has shown that it's still a great option today.

But he didn't stop there... he's even ridden the Batavus on RAGRAI... the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa! Many of you know from John Brunow's tales that this is a week long party on wheels, where thousands of cyclists on all manner of bikes pedal across the great state of Iowa. Well, Josh took his Batavus on that trek, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

And yet that's not really the best part... Josh has found the bike fits into his family life as well. This past weekend, he took his kids on their first overnight bike camping trip, on the C&O Canal and W&OD Rail Trail, including a Potomac River crossing on White's Ferry, carrying all of their gear on his trusty Batavus. And today he when he stopped by, he'd just helped his daughter carry gear to a softball game before he came to see us.

It's always fun to hear how folks find ways to make the bikes they have fit into their lives, enriching their lives. It brings a smile to my face when I see how such a simple machine can make such a difference. Does anyone out there have a similar tale of adventures on unlikely bikes?

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