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Xtra-Cycle!

May 8, 2013
by Erin B

I spent the morning studying for finals, so this evening I decided to open THE BOX.  I previously discussed how I wanted to convert one of the bikes to an Xtra-cycle.   This spring when Ellie was too big to comfortably fit in the trailer, I decided to bite the bullet and order a Free Radical kit.  I was hoping it would work with Mrs. Brown Bicycle but her back end is too narrow.  Fortunately, I have a spare Sekine kicking around that is the right sized frame.  The wheel set on it is too big larger than recommended, but there are some spare wheels and brake sets kicking around my garage (funny that).  So with a little (a lot) more effort, I can do a total rebuild and have a cargo bike .

I will likely want to upgrade the tires on the wheel set I am using at some point.  The ones on it are fine, but they are nylon.  I have gotten really spoiled by Claire’s Delta Cruisers.  Now that they are what Nicole is wearing, I don’t really want the extra-cycle to feel left out.  All the cool bikes have them, don’t you know.

The cool thing is that I ordered it.  I got the ship notice and the boxes arrive two hours after the ship notice.  Very exciting, but I managed to not start bike parting until today.  I realized it wasn’t going to fit Mrs Brown and said a bad word, before I looked over at the Sekine.

Light bulb!

So I get it all pulled apart.  The frame fits great.  I go to attach the FAP (front attatchment plate) and realize that for this bike I need two, please see the website. I said a bad word, but came in to look.

$12… not bad

Shipping = $30 and I was redirected to the USA site from the Canadian.

I said some more bad words.  Quite a lot of bad words, really.  It was a good thing Little Girl was asleep.  T was a little concerned.  He doesn’t see me really cheesed off very often.  He called the Xtra-cycle 1-888-line while I stood in the background and gritted my teeth.

The guy who answered our call was named Nate and immediately said that he would send us one out for free.  Really, he was so nice he should be made an honorary Canadian.  The only thing that gave us a little pause was his concern that this install might be over my head.  T got a little snippy and pointed out that this is my sixth bike rebuild.  We were already a little tense and not the best example of Canadian politeness at that precise moment. (sorry Nate!)

I think the thing that made it worse is that this is the second time this week someone, some male, has suggested that I am not able to do my own bike builds/repairs.  Yes, I fully recognize that most women don’t and yes, I am aware that if you don’t do them correctly, bad, bad things can happen.  On the other hand, that bike injury was after Nishiki worked on professionally.  Sometimes, things just go wrong.   It is one of those things with being a vintage nut.

All in all, it is likely a good thing I don’t have all the parts.  Now I can go back to studying.   Right after a quick trip around the neighbourhood on Claire.  She still is my true love bike.

One Comment leave one →
  1. LAT permalink
    May 9, 2013 9:49 am

    You’re lucky to have a nice deep male voice to defend you. I’m sure that if you were taking to Nate directly, you’d still be protesting as he insisted you might hurt yourself if you picked up a screwdriver.

    For some reason I haven’t experienced sexism in my job in a while. Luckily I mostly deal with University employees, who seem to be a cut above most in terms of sexist attitudes.

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