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Thursday, February 8th 2007


It is Here!

Today was the day and our quadracycle is now safely inside the garage!

Actually everything went pretty smoothly. The weather was cold and windy today. I took the afternoon off work and the truck arrived shortly after four o’clock. It was a big box truck. I asked the driver if he would back it into the driveway, which he did. When he opened the roller door there was just one package in it and it was ours.

We started under the premise that we would move the box to the power tailgate and then lower it that way, while steadying it by hand as needed.

It was too big for the tailgate.

I suggested that we remove the quadracycle from the box and the driver agreed that would be a good solution. So we pulled the top of the cardboard box off and carefully slit the front end. The quadracycle was very well packed and secured to the wooden 2X2 frame inside with a large number of tie-wraps.

We used my aviation snips to cut the tie-wraps and then I picked up the rear bumper and the driver picked up the front bumper and we were able to lift it out of the remains of the box. It isn’t all that heavy – I’ll have to weight it in the near future.

From there we rolled it onto the power tailgate and lowered it to the ground, with Ruth and me holding it to prevent it from rolling off. Unlike some reports we have read from some other Rhoades customers, the brakes were not shipped in the locked position on our cycle and it was keen to get rolling.

From there we signed the paperwork and the driver got on his way, but not before having a really good look at the cycle – he was impressed and intrigued!

So were we.

A quick check showed that everything was in order and that it was not damaged during shipping. All the options that we had ordered were installed.

I used the factory-provided Allen key to set up the handle bars from their folded position and we adjusted the mirror, Ruth decided that she would be the first to sit on it, with an ear-to-ear grin. She kept saying how neat this was over and over.

I carefully cut off the packing tie-wraps securing the chains. These were easy to pick out as they were bright green. We also removed the bag of paperwork. We decided to take some photos, including general arrangement photos and detail shots of the features of the cycle before it got dark outside.

There were some pleasant surprises. They quadracycle has dual parking brakes! That was an unexpected bonus. Also we were expecting drum brakes, as described in the Rhoades literature, but instead we found a pair of very snazzy looking disc brakes on the rear wheels! We also discovered that the seats fold forward to about 45 degrees. They were folded that way for shipping as this reduces the overall height of the unit – the seats being the highest part at about 40 inches when unfolded.

After the photos were done and the light was failing late in the afternoon, not to mention that we were getting fairly cold, it was time to roll it into the garage.

Not so fast – Ruth insisted on rolling it down the driveway and then pedalling it back up the driveway and into the garage. The quadracycle was shipped with the gears all set to low gear, so she had an easy time of it and even with the seat not even adjusted for her, she zipped up the driveway. She couldn’t stop laughing and saying how neat this is.

Once in the garage we collected up the all the paperwork and took it inside to warm it and us up.

We read through the User Manual, which is a bit long on liability-type warnings and a bit short on maintenance info, etc. There was some useful information, as we did discover how the seats adjust. They have adjuster knobs on the bottom of the frame. Each seat has a range of about six inches on each hole and there are two holes (that is the extra range option we requested). I was interested to see if there would be enough leg room for me. With the seat fully back on the rear hole I discovered that there is actually too much legroom, as I have to stretch to reach full pedal throw! That is great – this set up would be good for someone up to about 6’7” in height. I adjusted one seat fully forward and Ruth found that was just about right for her, but we will have to play with it on the road and see what works best for us both. Switching seats on the road will involve pulling over and some tinkering with the seats, although no tools are needed.

We did have a good look at the construction and were impressed with how well the cycle is put together. The welds are all very well done and the materials seem to be all first rate. The closer you look the better the cycle looks!

The proof is in the pudding, of course and we will have to wait for warmer weather and get out and do some pedalling.

Based on the truck driver’s comments I think I was right when I surmised that we will get a lot of interest in this when we take it out in public – he admitted it was intriguing and that he had never seen anything like it.

The service from the freight companies involved in moving the quadracycle from Tennessee to Ottawa deserve mention – both the US carrier, Estes, and the Canadian one, TST Overland, along with the Cabano Kingsway local delivery, were all fantastic. They were very patient with us and got the job done with enthusiasm and verve and without any damage – my thanks to all involved for a great job. Canada Customs could learn a lot from these companies about the value of cheerful customer service!

Rhoades Car has also been beyond reproach – the service continues to be perfect from Beth and the rest of the staff there just outside Nashville. Maybe one day we will be able to drop in and visit them.

In the meantime I have greatly updated the look of the “Quadracycling in Ottawa” website, by adding photos from today’s shoot. I think it looks a lot better now! The photos can all be found on the photo gallery page.

Next will be some photos of the quadracycle when it is warmer and less white outside.

As a last task we installed the bicycle bell that we bought at MEC on the handle bars, closed the door on the garage and left our quadracycle to sleep until the groundhogs appear and tell us it is spring. Until then we will be out skiing.

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