Cabby - Sydney Bike Library

Cabby - Sydney Bike Library

Postby find_bruce » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:10 pm

I have been waiting impatiently until my little boy was old enough to come for a ride with me. Well that day has finally arrived at 13 months old. I have ben tempted by bakfiets type cargo bikes, particularly the passenger being able to see & me being able to watch what he is up to.

So I organised to "borrow" a Gazelle Cabby from the Sydney Bike Library $20 membership and $20 for the "weekend" - pick-up 10 am Saturday, return 10 am Tuesday.

Pretty good value for a bike that retails for $3,000 + another $1,000 for the electric assist.

No need for me to do a detailed review - some bloke called David Halfpenny has taken care of that in his Review The Bakfiets Dutch Cargo Bike

Yes the Cabby is slightly different, but nothing substantial.

I know that Big Friendly Vegan has ridden 120 km in a day with a passenger, to which I say "chappeau, you sir, are a better man than me". I kept telling myself that the extra weight was good training but at he sight of a rolling hill, I soon switched the electric assist on. It was no trouble with 25 kg of potting mix, nor with my 10 year old niece along with my little boy.

There were only two real issues- I found the cockpit a bit crowded and in moving off from a standing start. I got the hang of it ok, but my partner as not confident enough to ride with Peter on board.

The issues for me were what the bike was like to ride and whether Peter was going to enjoy it. I think this photo suggests the answer to the later is yes
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It seems the seat was comortable enough for Peter too
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Don't think I can justify the new purchase price, so for now I will have to content myself with borrowing the bike & keeping n eye out for a suitable second hand bike.
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by BNA » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:09 am

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Re: Cabby - Sydney Bike Library

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:09 am

Nice report there FB. It's a real shame that these bikes aren't more common, since then there would be some sort of second hand market for them. I'm told that in certain enlightened European countries they're often passed on from parent to parent within the community, much like we pass on old kids clothes, prams and cots. Spending cheap car level money on a bike that has good resale value isn't something that we grok yet.

The bike library is a brilliant idea. We need more of them. It's all about normalising the transport mode. When you hire one of these they should give you a bunch of flyers to hand out to people who talk to you about it (xtra-cycle does this).

Your little one's going to love going on a summer ride with you.
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Re: Cabby - Sydney Bike Library

Postby CommuRider » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:47 am

Can't beat the rental price incl electric assist. That is VERY CHEAP. $40 is like a couple of hours bike rental around SOP. The bakfiets is just a tad bulky for my liking. It is really like pedalling a wheelbarrow.

Anyway fb, the next upgrade after this is the trailer type weehoo or weegos or whatever they are called lol once the little one can start pedalling. Toddlers love the feel of the wind on their faces and the rocking movement.
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Re: Cabby - Sydney Bike Library

Postby longshanks » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:31 pm

This looks like a great idea to try out with my little one (added bonus i live in the council area so only $10 membership :) ). FB, did you just ride it from the shopfront? Did you cruise along some paths? I live near the Cooks River so the paths there would be the obvious place for me to take it.
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Re: Cabby - Sydney Bike Library

Postby find_bruce » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:14 pm

Thanks bigfriendlyvegan - I agree that the bike library is a fabulous idea & while a part of me would like to keep it all to myself, the reason I am writing this is to publicise it & the more popular it is, the more likely they will be able to expand the fleet or encourage other councils.

Not for profit results in great prices - now that I have paid for membership, every weekend is just $20, so I would need to use it for something like 100 weekends to justify the purchase.

There were some benefits to not being "normal" - cars actually slowed down as they passed me, mainly so they could rubberneck & go WT?

I'm looking forward to getting out for guilt free rides too - I am not abandoning my child but taking him out to play. Spring should be just awesome - I took Peter for a ride this morning before taking the bike back & after about 15 minutes there was whinging - oops, should have rugged him up a bit better as his hands, face & shins were all a bit cold.

Like CommuRider I was worried it would be a bit bulky & cumbersome - I have previously tried a trike & was not impressed. The Caddy though is a pretty good ride. With the bike unladen it was surprisingly nimble to ride - I was surprised to discover I could negotiate the hoops on the bay run outside UTS rowers without any difficulty. I can totally understand why they added the electric assist though - it makes it accessable to a lot more people.

I suspect it wouldn't make it through these hoops though
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I have 2 reservations about buying one for myself
  • like CommuRider says it will only be a few years before Peter wants to ride himself &
  • there is currently such a limited market that I wonder how much of the initial purchase I will be able to recover
Longshanks (or should I call you Edward ?) I simply made a booking, caught a bus to the the shopfront (218 King St Newtown) & rode the bike home. For the trip back I thought about carrying my own bike with me, but decided in the end that was all too hard. Maybe next time. The ride home covered everything from busy streets to bike paths.

WIth the boy on board I rode around some local shared paths, but also through some fairly quite back streets.

The Cooks River path would be great - flat stretches are fun, hills not so much. Whilst it will be tight under Canterbury Road
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the Cabby is only just wider that the handlebars so I think you will make it through.

Let us know how you go.
Last edited by find_bruce on Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cabby - Sydney Bike Library

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:28 pm

find_bruce wrote:I suspect it wouldn't make it through these hoops though
Image
.


It makes it through the other side of that bridge if you angle it right, but on that side I had to push it under the hoop, which involved removing the handlebar/stem, pushing it through, reattaching the handlebar/stem and continuing. Luck for me, I know what I'm doing. It's not the fault of the bike, it's the fault of the bloody RTA or whoever built the path. Double strollers won't fit either and some mobile assist chairs wouldn't, I suspect. Bad urban design.

find_bruce wrote:The Cooks River path would be great - flat stretches are fun, hills not so much. Whilst it will be tight under Canterbury Road
Image
the Cabby is only just wider that the handlebars so I think you will make it through.


The bakfiets I rode was 63 cm wide at the widest point. It fitted through. See my above rant on bad urban design. At least here you can go around that obstacle by heading up to the train station and going across via the road. I found that out the hard way when the pass was flooded on the Spring cycle (last year?).

All up, $20 for 4 days transport is ludicrously cheap.

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David
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Re: Cabby - Sydney Bike Library

Postby grantw » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:20 pm

Hmm, as a Librarian I really like the idea. We've been kicking around the idea of lending bikes for a while now but I haven't quite been able to convince anyone to fund it.
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Re: Cabby - Sydney Bike Library

Postby CommuRider » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:44 pm

Someone needs to have a good look at the pricing :lol: the $40 charge is the same for a BOB trailer look alike and with a $250 deposit, might as well buy a trailer.

Would be good if more libraries rented these such as providing bikes with baskets/bags for borrowed books/dvds etc But they can really only extend the service if the community is supportive. Maintenance costs, thievery etc are the cons to such a service.
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Cabby - Sydney Bike Library

Postby find_bruce » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:57 pm

yep funding is the kicker - I'm sure the bikes are subsidised & you need a motivated council or sponsorship for that - good luck though grantw.

CommuRider I think the pricing is outrageous - if I lived a bit closer I could borrow it for 3 hours & not pay anything :D
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Re: Cabby - Sydney Bike Library

Postby longshanks » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:06 pm

find_bruce wrote:Longshanks (or should I call you Edward ?)


Ha ha, thanks FB. Nice get on the Edward I reference but its not my first name but more in reference to my height at 6'5". Will certainly post my experience once i get around to this. I can see how the novelty factor of the bike would make drivers slow down for a closer look. From Newtown to home is not that far and easily negotiable via some back streets.

find_bruce wrote:The Cooks River path would be great - flat stretches are fun, hills not so much. Whilst it will be tight under Canterbury Road

the Cabby is only just wider that the handlebars so I think you will make it through.


I know this part of the path very well. I find it negotiable even for someone of my height but i have to have some speed to keep the bike steady. Too slow and a wobble to the left or right and its all over. With the cabby i think i will stop and walk it through though.

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