Navy Family comits to park the cars and go by bike for two months. Check out their choice of a bike.
To see how the chalange is going you can read more on their blog.
Calling all MADSEN/NIE NIE lovers! It's that time of year again to get outside and enjoy the fresh, crisp fall air. What better way to do that than on a MADSEN! We are excited for our 2nd Annual MADSEN Bike Rally on Saturday, November 5th. Please meet at Paul Ream Park at 2 pm to join the fun. We are happy to spend time with Stephanie and her friends and family once again, and would love anyone to join us!
(Get this button on Nie Nie's website)
I hope you like my attempt at a recreation of what my morning is like since my family and I went car-light. Hopefully, one day, you can do the same.
The new 2011 MADSEN has a soft saddle stock on the bike, on which you are sitting as you pedal past a construction zone. The bike feels very light when you’re riding it, and you are doing an easy 11 to 13 mph. The same three men you always pass stop their cutting into the road to install pipes for the county; they wave at your three-year-old daughter behind you in the back bucket, which is very easy to clean, so it’s all blue and shiny even though she had strawberries in it yesterday. It is good that it can be cleaned. Construction on the road is awful. You are happy to be on a bike and not part of all that mess.
Yet a bike that you are reviewing is already getting dust on it. Tiny sugar crystals sticking in the grease on the teeth of the shiny new chain ring. Adrenaline surges: essays to grade, baby shower to plan, dance class, two play dates, first-grade homework, dinner, dishes, bath time. You are riding faster now. Then something strange happens. You burn off that adrenaline.
Last year, you’d be sitting there, your blood literally stewing in adrenaline. And then later, in conversations about driving, you would talk about road rage and other people would laugh when you said that, as if it was acceptable to act a different way on the road than you would at the grocery store; as if it would be totally cool to act like you were going to try and hit another person with your grocery cart. But you don’t have road rage. You wave politely at the construction workers who are going back to work. Dust is such a funny thing to be stressed out about.
Today you have been riding the new 2011 MADSEN for one week. This is a bike that was actually designed to carry children and groceries, fitted with four seat-belts, all bolted in the back into a gigantic shell that is made out of the same materials they use to make white-water kayaks. Also, today you have a realization: You do not have enough time to drive a car anymore.
You used to drive a car everywhere, the Excursion, the PT Cruiser, the Volvo (the Monte Carlo, the Escort, the Sentra, the Corolla, the Lynx, the Ranger, the Astro Van). A morning commute was just part of life. You’d wake up, tie your tie, and drink your coffee in your car while you tried to beat the clock. Because you made it one time in fifteen minutes, you should be able to make it in fifteen minutes every time. So you leave fifteen minutes to get there. But it never takes that. It’s always more like eighteen, and you always leave a few minutes late, so you’re always late.
But you have taken this part of your life and removed it. Now, it is morning. It is quiet in the house, and in the background, and out on the road in front of your house. Morning is slow like this: You get out of bed and go wake up your three-year old. She cries for a minute because she is awful. But finally, she agrees to brush her teeth and get dressed and it takes about fifteen minutes for the whole thing. Your work clothes and your lunch were packed the night before. They’re in your bike. You’re ready to go.
You buckle your daughter into the seat--it’s just right there, no trailer, no straps to deal with. Just a seat belt. You put her helmet on. You wheel out the 2011 MADSEN, being very careful not to wake the rest of the family. Even walking with it you can tell it wants to go fast. It is so easy to maneuver, despite its size and capacity. You sit on the saddle and push forward gently, letting the kickstand retract. You point to a star that your daughter has identified as her star. She says good morning to it. And you go on a bike ride instead of driving to work.
You see bats. You recognize their angled and jerky movements are different from the smooth yet exhaustive thrusts of a bird’s wings. It’s just you’ve seen them so often. Sometimes you see rabbits. Each morning, you give your little girl these rabbits, and the bats, and enough sunrises for her to measure a lifetime of her own mornings.
You stop at a light where the slow and house-dotted roads you have been riding over intersect a large, arterial state road. A white Nissan speeds past in front of you, zipping through lanes, running a red light and then halting a quarter mile to your right, where traffic is already backed up at another stoplight . The sea parts. To your left and to your right the cars all wait in line as you pedal through the intersection. They are stopped tentatively, their drivers eager to get where they are going, but you are happy where you are.
Now, check out the video!
First - let me tell you that when we do these drawings, they are 100% random. We take every site who links to us during the period of the contest, we put them all on equal footing (each link is one entry into the drawing), and we randomly select one winner. And whomever it is - is the winner, period. We don't sift through and find the one who likes us the most, or whom we like the most - only the random number generator determines the winner.
Which makes the story of today's winner a little extra special.
Today's winner is Leah Stone. When we drew her name, I pulled up her blog and was immediately struck her blog header talking about "a Bicycle Made for Two." I thought - oh cool, a bike lover won the bike.
But the story gets better. You see - Leah wants a bicycle made for two, but not just any bicycle, and not just any two. She has a very special friend.
I'll let her tell the story:
I have never won a contest before so I feel like all the stars have aligned, the heavens have opened, and today is my day. I have been dreaming of owning a cargo bike since I went to Berlin, Germany this past summer. I saw cargo bikes everywhere and would make my group stop every time I saw one so I could take a photo of it. I have wanted a cargo bike so badly and was so determined that I was going to rig a wheelbarrow to the front of my bike if necessary.
Then I saw the Link-Back Madsen Bike contest and my heart fluttered a bit when I saw the picture of the girl with the basket and the lab in the cargo bucket because I thought "Hey that could totally be me." The reason is that I have seizures. Luckily, I have a service dog for my seizures and he goes with me everywhere. His name is Charlie. He is a slightly pudgy min-pin who can give me a 5 min warming before I have a seizure. Anyways, I have wanted to take him on my bike with me when I go to the store or on a ride, but he is too big for a basket on the front. I even bought one of those kid bike trailers to stick Charlie in, but it totally didn't work as he felt trapped and was tossed around a bit. This bike is going to rock mine and Charlie's world. I can now be oh so green. I can finally take Charlie and my bike to the grocery store. I can even put my other dog in the back too.
Thank you Madsen Bikes for making my whole year. Having seizures is a bit of a bum deal, but the fact that I get to ride my awesome bike with my service dog really helps to make it better.
I can not wait for the package to arrive. Merry Christmas to me and to Charlie!
Merry Christmas indeed, Leah. We're really excited for you and Charlie.
For those interested, Leah tells the story of when she started having seizures here.
Here's some more information on the amazing Charlie.
And to end, we share a photo of Leah trying to find a way to combine a bike and Charlie.
It didn't work.
But that's about to change.
p.s. for those of you who didn't win - stay tuned, we're working on something special for Black Friday.
Splendid Cycles in Portland OR is the newest member of the Madsen Cycles team. Joel Grover, who managed the Bike Gallery for years and is a passionate cargo bike/bicycle-commuting enthusiast. After finding out Joel had opened his own shop dedicated to cargo bikes and practical cycling, it was a no-brainer we would folow him! His cargo bike boutique is dedicated solely to personal, community, and planetary health. Splendid Cycles believes every urban household and most businesses could benefit from using a cargo bike for short trips, and tasks that would be impossible for a regular bike to perform. Portland is one of the biggest cycling communities in the U.S., and we appreciate and share their drive to go green! Check out Splendid Cycles for yourself online or in person at 1407 SE Belmont Street. Or give Joel a call at 503-954-2620.
Hey gang, remember Stephanie Nielson? She's been a MADSEN supporter from early on and won one of our link contests last year. Since then, we've been a NieNie supporter too. Her inspiring spirit has lifted us all.
Because of close geographic proximity (she lives in a neighboring town) we've had a chance to get to know Stephanie personally. Stephanie and her family use their MADSEN all the time and when the new 2011 model came out, Jared Madsen drove one down to swap out their older model for the new one. Just a thank-you for supporting us. Her site gets a lot of traffic, and she's been kind enough to help us spread the word to her readers. Well in her 2011-model-induced excitement she's put together a little bike rally for fellow MADSEN owners local to Utah. She also asked for a couple bikes to give away, and we hooked her up. You can see her post for the details on how to win one.
Finally - we'll have Stephanie's old bike, and a few other demo models (plus some new 2011 ones of course) available for loaning or sale down at the rally for anyone interested.
So here's the deal - you guys are awesome about helping us get the word out about MADSEN, and your enthusiasm around the new 2011 model has been very encouraging and exciting, and we love you for it.
And amidst the excitement many of you have asked us to bring the link contest back. For long-time MADSEN followers, you recall the crazy contests we held last year. The involvement of our friends and fans in helping us get the word out through that was amazing and we gave away several bikes to show our appreciation.
I checked in with some of our previous winners, and here are the words of one them, Bernadette who won a year ago.
I won my MADSEN Bike last year in the amazing Bike giveaway. I've always been an urban biker but admittedly, having four kids and all the accompanying accoutrement meant we were hopping in the van way more often than hopping on the bikes. This cargo bike has COMPLETELY transformed how we live our lives.
If we are going out for a day or a few hours, it is never a problem to haul all our food, bags, library books, groceries, etc in the cargo bike. And, I think my favorite times are when I have my 3 big kids on their own bikes, the toddler in the bucket (that's what we call it!) and his little two wheeler right there in the bucket with him. When we arrive at our destination, he too can have his bike to ride without worrying about riding the city streets.
And, as an avid second-hand junk seeker, being on a bike no longer inhibits my collecting abilities! As I can just toss any good finds right in the back of the bucket.
I love my MADSEN. Or, the bucket bike as we fondly call it. And I love the reactions it gets as we ride it down the street, with my small prince waving happily from the rear.
So we're going to do it again. Only this time - with the new 2011 model. One lucky winner will be announced on November 17th. Between now and then, to enter the contest all you have to do is help us spread the word by linking to us from your site. All the details, and images to help you can be found on our link contest page.
When running these contests, our only regret is that we can't give a bike to every crazy passionate one of you. You all have our deepest gratitude.
The MADSEN crew.
Jared Madsen is headed down to Interbike in Las Vegas tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday. No booth this year, but we'll have some bikes with us and would love to connect with anyone interested. To see the bikes in person, please drop us a line at (801) 870-1122 and we'll make sure to hook up. Can't wait to show these babies off.
Here at the MADSEN workshop, our gears have been turning nonstop. And we’re finally ready to show you the results of all our dreaming, tinkering, and building: The new 2011 MADSEN cargo bike!
To create our latest fleet of urban beauties, we’ve put our ears to the ground and listened hard to the people who’re out there on the road, riding our bikes every day. People like you. We’ve heard them profess their love for all things MADSEN—swearing they’ll trade their first-born child for a MADSEN, things like that—and yes, this pleases us. But we’ve also been truly inspired by our many customer-tinkerers, who can’t help but ask: What if?
Here’s what you’ve been dreaming about, and how we’ve granted your wishes:
"Could the ride be cushier?"
Why, yes! It can. We’ve created a more upright riding position that’s easy on your neck, shoulders, and back. And our totally re-designed saddle gives your delicate tush a lot more cush.
“What if I want to load in just a few more massive, ridiculously unwieldy pieces of cargo?”
No problem! The new 2011 MADSENs are built tougher than ever with a stronger, more durable steel frame that rides smooth and steady, even when you’re carpooling four rowdy kids to the soccer field.
“Um, my grocery store is at the top of a giant, lung-bursting hill.”
Even the strongest legs need a little help when the going gets tough—and vertical. That’s why we spec’ed our new MADSENs with an upgraded crank and dialed-in gear ratio. So you get more power for pounding up the steep stuff.
And here are a few of our own middle-of-the-night strokes of genius; things we just had to bring to life:
“What if the bike automatically locked to itself?”
Yeah, that would be cool! So we took a page from the Euros and came up with this built-in front lock, which allows you to secure your MADSEN in mere seconds.
“Cars have parking brakes. So do strollers. Why not our MADSEN?”
This simple little feature adds so much stability to your MADSEN. With the addition of a super-easy-to-use parking brake, your MADSEN won’t roll forward until you’re good and ready.
“Are we SURE it’ll stop on a dime, anywhere, anytime?”
We’ll, we’ve absolutely got to be sure. People are loading up their kids in these things, after all. That’s why, this time around, we’ve made our 166 mm disc brake easier to adjust and dial in. So you’ve got the stopping power you need. And your precious cargo is always safe.
We hope you enjoy riding our new MADSENs as much as we’ve enjoyed creating them. Now, shut down your computer and let’s roll!