Busycle a Big Hit at Midtown Summer Fest
In the interest of hopefully increasing exposure for the amazing Busycle, since so many of you are not taking the time to view the video summaries we have been doing for each ride, I will endeavor to capture the action with this, the written word. Doing so will save each of us a lot of time. I am, after all, an author.....

Our ride slated to begin at 11 didn't start for another 15 minutes as late arrivals and bathroom visits delayed us. We did, however, use some of this time to achieve a Busycle first. We put two bikes ON the front of the bus. Of interest here is the fact that, in a brainstorming session we had last spring with the seven esteemed engineers pictured below, we explored, among many other things, the possibility of building a rack to accommodate up to 4 bikes on this part of the bus.

And yet on this day, we got two bikes mounted quite handily with bungie cords! Here's RicK (in red) and Chuck (in blue) with their bikes on board the bus:

By the time we did leave, we had a sturdy crew of ten adult pedalers and two kids. We rode strong and only stopped once or twice to fill up the last two seats. And it was an easy one mile ride that took maybe 15 minutes. One Busyclist who worked to make sure we were not too late was Matt Podoli, one of the event organizers. And as he pedaled away, his phone kept ringing as the festival staff kept calling him for direction.

We arrived to a Midtown shopping center that was beginning to come alive with activity. We pulled into the parking spot in front Bob Yanoksy's My Gym, an innovative children's fitness center where there were mats on the floor and small kids were happily being shown how to jump and roll and twist.

And no sooner had we started to watch Bob's instructors through the big picture windows than he was leading probably 10 of us to nearby Como Esta, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants here in Palo Alto. They fed us and got us the hydration we needed before everyone but me went off and explored the festival which looked lively and fun. Besides the five car narrow gauge electric train that snaked throughout the parking lot always filed with kids and adults, I saw the giant bounce house in front of the nearby karate studio and would later find out that since it had a green theme there were many information booths featuring everything from electronic recycling and electric scooters to how to fix plumbing leaks to conserve water.

In addition to even more information about emergency preparedness and the local utility service, etc, there was face painting, a children's petting zoo, a climbing wall and free pizza and coffee samples to be had. Many merchants gave things away from coupons to daisies, there was even a free thermometer key fob for those lucky enough to find their way to Midtown Realty. All this as two bands played at opposite ends of the block and half long complex.

After our lunch, the Busycle was busy again. Only with a different veteran at the steering wheel. I saw Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto who led a bus full of athletes to last spring's May Fete Parade and talked her into leading the first demonstration ride much to the delight of the 14 new people who had already clambered aboard.

The course was a short 1/5 of a mile loop around the building that housed Bob's business. And since they, like those on all of the demo rides that followed, were new, our start was delayed for a few minutes as I explained doggy telephone and some of the other ground rules that would keep all of us safe.

I went through this routine maybe five other times with some pre-ride talks taking longer than others. With some groups, it took a while to get the doggy telephone chain of command working fast enough for it to be useful. In those instances where my "stop pedaling" command didn't reach the back of the bus for 10 seconds we kept practicing until we got it down to four.

Other times, the noise checks were the bottleneck as it wasn't until I got them to understand that we had to be heard as well as seen that those on the bus took their noisemakers seriously. Some riders even got creative with siren and quacking geese sounds of their own. However, by the time we were quickly finished with all of this fun, maybe a hundred new people through out the day had a new skill. They were all certified Busyclists!

On one of the short breaks that we took, I got to ride Dave Hersberger's dicycle, the astonishing UnWheeldy 2, pictured below. And wow, what a ride. After fastening the all important seat belts, we were off. Since we sat side by side, the key to moving straight ahead was trying to match my pedaling cadence with Dave's. If either side was dominant the whole machine, all 9 feet tall worth of wheels, moved toward the other rider's side. While this is a great way to turn, it won't move you along in a straight line very effectively until you learn to ride WITH your partner. So very much fun!!

Unwheeldy 2 (click to enlarge)

In the biggest news of the day, I am elated to report that we got back to the Busycle garage without having broken anything!! No stations died. Again! Two times in a row! We got back from Airport Day with out any breakage last Sunday either. But that ride was done with cyclists who knew how to work with bicycle drive trains.

The Busycle likes being pedaled in the easy gears. Before we left for the Midtown, I made sure to put all of the chains in the larger cogs and stressed the importance of not shifting. And guess what? The absence of breakage correlated quite handily with the fact that all of gears were still where I had put them! .

What a fun day

Dan (in blue) & Sonny Dykewell. Bern Beecham, Bob Yanofsky & his dad
Front to Back: Chuck Edwall, Noa & Michelle Overman

Rider Crew:
Faye Saunders. Chuck Addwall, Lisa Maloney, Quinn Maloney, Rick, Matt Podoli, Jil Cohen, Eric Cohen, Chantal Vanderyken, Chloe Lynn, Michelle Oberman, Noa Oberman

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