It took 8 hours on a bus, 2 hours on a Brompton folding bike, 1 Burley Travoy bike trailer, and a whole lot of sleep deprivation to install a BionX PL350 kit on my Mom’s Vison recumbent this weekend. It was quite the adventure, but well worth it. She has never been happier to ride her BionX bike. She texted me from work this morning (sorry mom!), “I am a bionic woman! Successful ride to work today on my newly upgraded bike. Fun!!” I think that says it all.
Getting the BionX electric motor kit to her was the hardest part. Sure, I could have shipped it to her from the shop and leisurely made my way to Boston unencumbered. Sure, it would have been simpler for her to bring the bike down and install it here at the shop. But that’s just not my style. I can’t help turning everything into an adventure, something I may never get to do again. So, instead of the easy route, I decided to strap her BionX PL350 motor kit on the back of our Burley bike trailer, load up all the tools and tires I would need for the installation, clip the whole rig to my Brompton folding bike, and ride 5.4 miles through New York City traffic after work on Saturday to catch the Lucky Star bus to Boston.
Not quite so easy that way…
Lucky for me I had all the best equipment at my disposal. First off, my Brompton folding bike is an M6L which has 6 gears and makes it pretty fast but with a good low end for pulling weight. Second, I was pulling the best bike trailer for the job, a Burley Travoy bike trailer. This bicycle trailer tracks right behind you leaving plenty of space for cars to pass by and plenty of space for me to squeeze through traffic jams. It also folds so it is ideal for combining with other forms of transit like buses. I made it to Chinatown just in time to catch the last bus out of New York. Phew!
Getting my Brompton and the bike trailer on the bus was easy. I folded each one and placed them under the bus with the regular luggage. The BionX electric motor kit also rode below, safely packed away. 4 Hours later I arrived in Boston. My Dad picked me up from South Station and we drove home. Eager to start we unpacked everything and got to work.
The installation had to be done in stages because I was a fool and forgot to bring a 7 speed freewheel along. If I had shipped it this would not have happened, oh well. What we did that night was install the battery mount and wire up the console and motor. With that we left the rest for morning and got some sleep, if only a few hours. The first bike shop in Boston opened at around 11am but we had to go to another to find the part we needed. Once we had the freewheel we finished installing the kit. In total it was maybe 3 hours (not including the running around time) to complete the installation. Not bad, and then my Mom’s Vision BionX bike was complete!
My Mom wanted to get in a family ride with her new BionX bike but I had to get the heck out of Dodge. I had a gig in New York City that same night so it was back to the bus for me. I made it to the gig with about 15 minutes to spare and had a lot of fun playing. Who knew you could do so much in one weekend? I’ll try to get up there soon, I want to ride it myself actually.