Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Car-free at last!

It has been a while since I've blogged. Many apologies to my discerning readers... while I doubt many (any?) of you have been waiting with bated breath for my next installment, I do have lots to tell you.

The beautiful bride, Pickle's
Aunty Catherine & his new Uncle
In the interim not only have I been studying, but Pickle and I travelled across the country to see my Outlaws, for a family wedding and so BoyWonder could visit with Pickle too. Pickle was obviously a hit, they were very welcoming, it was good for that side of the family to get to know Pickle more, and was relatively angst free. Sure, there were some *ahem* challenging moments, but considering the situation (divorce, annual visitation etc.), it could have been a lot worse.

I've given up trying to find paid work in the Mental Health industry - the jobs I have applied for have each had 135+ applicants. As a Student Placement is required to do the next few subjects and in order to complete my counselling degree, I decided it would be pertinent to offer myself up as a volunteer. Now, being a hard-working, enthusiastic, engaged advocate for all areas of mental health, with a Distinction average for my subjects, you think I'd be snapped up, right?

There was lots of opportunity
to try out Pickle's "muddy puddle
boots" (I blame Peppa Pig)
Apparently not in Hervey Bay. I've called upward of SIXTY organisations, with no luck so far. Some have seemed promising, then the return phone calls dry up. Frustrating only begins to describe it. I'm pondering whether there is any point even trying to finish my degree.

On a brighter note, I now have my cargo bike. Pickle and I are car-free! Avid readers and my Twitter followers (those I mentioned earlier, hanging on with bated breath, no doubt) will recall my moaning about the disastrous saga that started almost a year ago with the first cargo bike company I dealt with. The Dutch company based in Melbourne was a complete customer service fail. Firstly an incorrect stock count meant none of my first four colour preferences were available, then shipping delays (admittedly out of the distributor's control)...

So the bike that I had hoped to receive in early December, then promised pre-Christmas 2012, eventually arrived on 12th January 2013. Except it wasn't the e-bike I had ordered and paid for. And that's when the somewhat patchy customer service to this point, took an absolute nose-dive; I was talked-over, condescended to and insulted. So it was arranged that this bike would be sent back and I would get the new bike in two to three weeks.  I was promised - in three separate written messages - that the bike would arrive fully assembled, and I would only need to put four bolts in to attach the box to the bike.

And then the bike arrived on 4th February 2013. Not only was it not assembled, it was missing not only the lights, but the entire braking system... a somewhat key element to safe riding, don't you think?

Our first ride on our
Christiania cargobike!
Needless to say, the bike was returned and I went back to the drawing board... and via Twitter, I was recommended the lovely Peter at PSbikes.

You can fit a surprising amount
in the cargobike!
While there was a delay in getting the bike, it was more than made up for by the charming customer service I received with door-to-door delivery, fully assembled and customised! The Christiania bike is made in Denmark, and I believe the Scandinavian engineering is slightly superior. Both Pickle and I love the bike and it's been getting lots of attention on our outings.

Pickle "drumming" with BigTed
On an even brighter note, things are going really well with BigTed, but
more on that later...

Cheers, KangaRue :)


  1. Good wrap-up post! You covered a lot of ground and we're nearly caught up! Glad you're loving the bike and I love that you're giving kudos to a company which provided great customer service!

    Love Pickle's wedding suit!

  2. Thanks Deb. Another post in my head to get down in the next few days!

    Loving the bike more and more... need to fashion some sort of sun cover for Pickle as the next accessory I think. psbikes is sending me a seat cushion for his chair, so that will help with the hot seat and comfort factor for his skinny bones.

    Pickle's wedding outfit was gorgeous, matching waistcoat and trousers and pinstriped shirt... though his electric blue shoes with flashing red lights got the most comments after the bride's dress I think!

  3. sorry to hear you got a bad run, but peter from psbikes is a top chap :) nothing more fun than fietsing around!

  4. He is :)
    I love being out on the cargo-bike - I read a great quote from someone on Twitter recently: "cycling delivers what car ads promise". I can't agree more!


I'd love to hear your thoughts!