For at least the past several weeks I’ve put my entire life on hold while I prepared for complete and total Five Boro Bike Tour domination. Well, having achieved my goal, I can now return to some semblance of normalcy. For example, instead of getting up at 3:30am every morning to do hill repeats, I can once again ride around on the Normcore Nostagia Bike while dressed like a dirtbag:
I can also get back to knocking around on the forbidding Trails Behind The Mall, also while dressed as a dirtbag:
More importantly, I can also return to my semi-professional bike-blogging responsibilities, chief among those being the reviewing of products. For example, you’ll recall I recently received a Woom NOW kids’ cargo bike:
Which my son has been riding to school:
Thanks to the evil capitalist system and Americans’ selfish and misguided insistence on being paid for their work, the free labor pool is a shallow one. Many years ago, I had my very own ironic intern, last seen on a Walmart fixie of dubious mechanical integrity. Now I have my son, who has learned that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and that you don’t get to ride around on a fancy cargo bike without at least having to complete some tedious paperwork:
It should be clear from both the hat and his failure to heed my instructions about filling out the form in ink that he has a problem with authority. The comment about the shifters is also alarming, and it suggests that the Retrogrouch Disorder is hereditary, or at least learned behavior:
Indeed, I was about to shift the blame to Classic Cycle for turning him on to thumbies:
However, as it turns out, when he asked me while filling out the form what type of shifters his mountain bike had, I was thinking about the wrong mountain bike and told him thumbshifters, when in fact the bike he had in mind had trigger shifters. So he’s not a retrogrouch after all. Whew! Still, not being particularly wild about twist shifters must also be hereditary:
Though I should note that despite his age he’s already borderline too big for this bike, and that these sorts of shifters are generally a much better choice for the smaller hands kids tend to have, which is no doubt why Woom chose them. (When he first got the bike with the trigger shifters he was much smaller and for awhile he had to downshift with his palm.)
As for the comment about the bag, the issue is that it unsnaps from the frame very easily. For example, you’ll notice he keeps his lock in there:
However, putting the lock in or taking it out is enough to make the bag unsnap, which can be a little annoying.
Those quibbles aside, the bike has indeed improved his commute, and he even remarked today that he’s been getting to school faster, which could very well be because he’s not wearing that insanely heavy backpack. Also, I kind of wondered if he’d get crap from other kids for riding an unusual-looking bike, but according to him it hasn’t been an issue. Then again, this is a kid who’s managed to get away with wearing a flamingo-print fedora to school, so maybe he’s uniquely qualified to pull off quirky things. Or maybe it’s just that Bronx kids are more sophisticated about bikes than those rubes in Brooklyn:
Whatever the case, so far the Woom NOW has been a welcome and useful addition to the household, and it’s very smart of them to offer such a well-equipped and relatively affordable practical bike for kids–and if you’ve also got a younger kid or several to eventually pass it down to it becomes that much more compelling. Either way, kids carrying their own stuff under their own power is a very good thing, and so far this is a very good bike.