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Kickbiking. Why? How?

Kickbiking sits right between cycling and walking, but without pedals and a saddle, there’s no sitting around on this one.

It’s different than cycling. Obviously. The challenge, after cycling the world 5 years, had vanished and I searched for a new demanding way of transport and travel. Because our society allows me, I discovered something so amusing as the kickbike… and I knew instantly, intuitively, that I would love it.

Preparing to go, still in pain but let's see how far I get

For me, being Dutch, a bicycle is just a way of transport. It brings you from A to B and where ever one needs to be in relative distance.

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A bicycle, in general, can easily be boring. Not so when you take it to a next level and cycle the world. Or, as Geo did, on a single speed Paraguayan bicycle over tracks fine as beach sand. Therefor, a bicycle either taken to cover enormous distances or trying to achieve the impossible, is great. Otherwise, I find it rather dull.

Geo on a difficult task

On to a 4500 meter pass in Argentina

So, the idea of a kickbike was born. Inspired by another woman, I knew I would love this. But I didn’t want to start such a new venture right before we would go on a motorbike tour through South America. Instead, we started it right after our motorbike tour, when we were tired of riding 150cc powerful motorbike. That was a mistake.

My plan for the kickbike

I am going for a little ride sweetie

I advice you to start kickbiking when you have plenty of time to prepare and when you are able to build up slowly the exercise of kicking a vehicle, especially when the kickbike is loaded.

We wanted to choose between a Yedoo and a Kickbike. Yedoo is Czech made and Kickbike is from Finland. We choose Kickbike since we ordered it in the USA, which has similar prices to Europe. Yedoo is much more expensive in the USA.

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After continuously cycling for 5 years around the world, after not being interested in long journeys on a bicycle but rather shorter trips with more intensity, a kickbike seemed to fit the request. For me, at this point, a kickbike is more fun than sitting on a bicycle and simply spin the pedals. Kickbiking has the entire body more actively involved than a bicycle and with only one gear -your own leg capacity- it goes slower. The fun sits in the smallness of the vehicle, the narrowness of the frame and the swiftness one is able to make turns (especially without front panniers, that is). Its a sort of silly and naughty mode of transport, more for a child than for a grown-up.

Geo's abode

I like the possibility that when the grade gets too steep -on a kickbike the slightest grade is immediately felt- one stops kicking and walks. Getting on and off the board is a natural movement, as the feet are very near the ground when standing on the board.

Tendonitis Gone!

That there are no pedals hitting your calves makes walking a pleasure. For me, not sitting on a saddle is a relief too. But of course, long distances such as with a bicycle are not possible, or at least a serious endeavor.

A cold, rainy camp spot

Fully packed our average speed was 11 kilometers per hour and we made about 20 to 30 kilometer a day. Though, when I kickbike on my own I am somehow much more determined, making up to 65 kilometer with an average of 13 so far. I guess practice helps and of course, my set up is lighter. However, this is still subject to change until I have found the best possible way of packing.

A much lighter set-up

When we started, kickbiking gave me a light ache in all the joints. It brought me a light muscle pain in the calves and I did feel the balls of my feet. I had a general stiffness in my elbows and the back was to be felt as well. It all feels as if I did some sport, perhaps like swimming or aerobics for hours on end. Though, we kick on average 2 to 3 hours, it feels as mild exercising for a full day. Untrained bodies are immediately able to kickbike. After being used to the kickbike, you will most probably only feel a light ache in the upper legs and a slight sensitivity in the lower part of the feet.

I don't know it yet but both tendons are inflamed

A kickbike does not allow for much gear to pack. In our hurriedly preparations -we had three days to prepare from assembling to buy all the gear- Geo managed to attach a rack above the back wheel, but it is not connected to the frame so it can handle only a little bit of weight (about 4 kilograms).

Backrack

Next morning kicking off with sore ankles

On a kickbike you will inevitably attract a lot of attention. People might smirk, some are figuring out where the pedals exactly are, staring so hard as if they would materialize. Others will stop as they think you are having a flat tire, why otherwise would you walk? People in the USA were all positively outing their surprise, as Americans are known for their enthusiasm. Some yelled ‘I love your bicycle! Sick!’ Germans will usually just look and think their own thoughts, unable to read. So, one must not be compelled by attention.

Geo turns out to be a strong kicker

Silver Comet trail

In short, kickbiking is a perfect in between movement for cycling and walking. Walking with a fully packed kickbike, and pushing it over hills, is easier than with a bicycle, yet more cumbersome as would you go on a through-hike and ultralight backpack set-up.

By Cindy Servranckx

Years of traveling brought me many different insights, philosophies and places I needed to be. I lived in Pakistan, went over 15 times to India and when I stopped cycling the world, that was after 50.000 kilometer through 45 countries, I met Geo. Together we now explore many facets of life, including those by foot, by truck, by motorbike and by kickbike. Being an artist who's chasing the simple life, I keep embroidering in the abundance nature offers me. The pouches I create are for sale on www.cindyneedleart.wordpress.com

7 replies on “Kickbiking. Why? How?”

Hi again!! Nice to hear from you, once more 🙂🙃

Guess what, since a few days I got my bicycle back and as soon as I sat on it, it felt as the perfect and simply only horse I could be comfortable on! Really, it was so good to be on that bicycle, that I’d forgotten the feeling. Now, I’m going to give it some care, I truly neglected Shanti bicycle, and than, I am off for a longer ride.

Liked by 1 person

Ha ha love at second sight 😀 yeah my bike is far from perfect but I love it because it is so simple and it allows me to have an uncomplicated life with lots of freedom and health. Hope you have a wonderful ride. Pssst did you do much kick-biking? How did you find that? I thought that if you could fasten that back rack better against that frame you could almost sit on your luggage on long downhills. Also some time ago I read about a guy in Germany who puts a solar panel on the front as a type of fairing and couples that to a small hub motor in the front wheel so when there is sun you don’t have to kick much or none at all. He had a company making those solar kickbikes. Just a thought. Happy days to you both.

Liked by 1 person

I kickbike quite some, yes, especially considering how ‘unorganized’ my life is at the moment. We are in between places to live, in between options and in between wants. We slowly get things done but other things stand in the way as well. Without being too clear, that’s the situation right now.

I always cycled, its just part of a Dutch lifestyle. So its love at 2nd sight only because of the strong likeness of that particular bicycle. It just feels so perfect. Its really easier and faster on a bicycle than on a kickbike.

The rack is good enough, but could be better indeed. Geo had to do it quick when we were in the USA, without proper tools that is.

On smooth downhills Geo sit in squat position 😆

I like standing. Always. Except when I am super sleepy 😂

Germans are so innovative, right! I would not want a kickbike without kicking, unless I am too old to do so. It could be an option for Geo though, as he dislikes the kickbike rather.

Greetings to you too 👋🌞

Liked by 1 person

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