20 January 2008

Why I bought ANOTHER bicycle

There are a fair number of bikes in my compound but I consider only two mine. One is my wife Bernice's , two are my daughters, 3 are for the kids next door, one for my watchman and so on. So if someone shows up I usually have a bike or two to loan them.

So why did I buy ANOTHER bike? I preach simplicity! I am against buying new stuff.

One of Nashesha's bike is really a half bike, called Alley Cat, that attaches to a bike and then we can ride around together. We did a number of rides but it seemed a bit of work and is wobbly and only kids can use it. Going through ditches is difficult.

A guy in my club, Dave Armon, has a tour company specializing in biking

Last year Dave opened a “real bike shop” in Arusha selling Trek bicycles and a few spares. I don't need a new bike but it was good to tell others about and I would check out the bikes sometimes, or just stop to say hello.

The shop had a tandem bike that just didnt seem to sell. He had hoped some tourist safari lodge wouuld buy it for $1300. I kept looking at it, even rode it around on a couple of times, and tried it with innocent bystanders.

I probably would of bought it eventually , but there were some other factors that led me to giving Dave $1000 in cash while standing in the bank one day. A bit of a whim, but I had been debating about it.

My first thought was to replace the alley cat on rides with Nashesha, and hopefully it would get Bernice riding more.

So for the past 3 weekends since getting the tandem Nashesha and I have gone out for 3 to 5 hour rides with groups. And this weekend I went another time with Dina the 12 year old neighbor.

I seldom am so happy parting with that much money.

It is kind of a mtn bike setup, leaning toward a comfort bike. I will change the front seat and pedals soon, and maybe the handle bars. The first ride we were able to do all the hills that took the group 3 hours to negotiate. Some places I could not ride, as I couldn't turn or go through ditches sharp ditches. My first thoughts was it is more stable than the alley cat, and I could use a little lower gearing .

When we turned around and started screaming down smooth sections, managing sand, deep dust, and rough sections I couldnt believe how comfortable the ride was. Is it the tyres, which seem to be wider? or the long frame absorbing the bumps, or the curved fork? Seems more comfortable than my shocked mountain bike.

Next I noticed either the componets work better or my mtn bike is worn out, like smoothness of the brakes. If i work on the shifting on my mtn bike it comes pretty good, but the brakes never.

Other items I need to work on are putting 2 sets of frame bags, a rack on the rear, and maybe a bottle cage or two, a odometer, handle bar bag, holders for lights. I am thinking i could put another long slim bag on the down tube for the stokker position.

Oh yeah it has a really good bell that came with it.

Nsahesha was screaming on half of the fast descents. I dont have to convince her of bike rides, she is suggesting and asking if we are going on sunday.


  1. Ohh, does that tandem sound fun. Maybe I'd even go on a ride with Erik. On second thought, I'd be better off with Nashesha. Byrna

  2. yep, the tandem is way fun. The only advantage of going with Nashesha instead of me is she talks incessantly, when she doesnt talk she is singing.