review of the Tern GSD- a year later (or how to cheat on your coffee deliveries).. and brief other news at the end.

It felt like 3 years.

16 years ago I did varied super rush deliveries by bike for an office i worked at. ten minutes including the elevator and security- or ten minutes to hand off to a UPS driver who i would catch in traffic. just taking the freight elevator at the big pink building could take 10 minutes! it was somewhere at this time that a “real messenger” told me courier coffee would eventually just buy a car and deliver. before we took the name i asked around the bike messenger community if it would be acceptable. remembering years back when Little Red Bike Cafe started selling “sprockette” and “zoobomb” sandwiches and there was a little concern about it all. in hindsight people who deliver items are all couriers, but here we are and we still dont have a company car, we have a company cargo bike.. And supply our workers with parts, tires, tubes, and of course- coffee. However- i do feel a little older now- so i gifted my partner an electric cargo bike- which i mainly use. it has positive parts and negative.

The Tern GSD is an electric cargo bike, sort of a long tail, but the same length as a 29′r. it weighs approx 80 pounds, and uses a bosch a-b class motor (max 20mph). What I like about the Tern GSD is that it has two 20″ wheels, and a low standover height. i was thinking with a dress it is good. Also that the Bosch motor requires one to pedal to keep it moving- there is no throttle. bonus is the availability of a front rack, built in fenders, and lights. we got ours from Clever Cycles in Portland. I originally got it for my partner, and our daughter….

We live between hills, and instead of walking the bike up we can now ride, with our daughter. The bike is still heavy, and so having passengers still requires strength when starting and stopping to not fall over. 80 pounds, plus at least ten for the kid, and perhaps 20 for your bag. even with the 20″ wheels the weight is high, and the ballance challenging. I am a veteran of the two wheel long john style cargo bike- having done with plenty of load for at least the last 14 years- i think we still somtimes tip, especially when its icy, or when the load is tall. So i can appreciate how its hard for my partner, who has not been biking her entire life.

Having said all this- ive ridden the bike a lot. My back is kind of screwed up, and originally i used that as an excuse. the upright posture though does not actually aid. the low standover height is cool with a dress, but its high enough to be hard to lift a leg over, especially with back issues. this would be an issue on any bike, but it was something i was hoping a 20″ wheel base would cover. On the plus side- the Meguro hydraulic brakes are awesome- the shifting is awesome, having lights front and rear is awesome.

The fenders are poorly thought out- the rear fender will break if you store the bike verticle as intended. my kickstand would have been a liability for any child riding on the bike- mine just broke off with zero load on the bike except itself ( there was a recall which i was not notified of before hand,weird- when it failed they said- oh there was a recall).

the bosch motor i got presents a lot of drag- its actually harder than a normal 80 pound bike without the motor on. ive heard there is a new gen bosch with no drag- ill believe when i see. my bike tipped over one day and the meguro brake lever shattered off- plastic? probably solved with a new kickstand.

My normal ride is a 1×1 surly with a white industries freewheel, saint crank arms, and a front rack, and deore v-brakes. my other ride is a center for appropriate transport front loading cargo bike with saint hydraulics, deore shifting, and other nice things.

as for the Tern- i do love the adjustable front handlebar, for me its been a solid bike. Clever Cycles has been awesome. I brought up the defect thing, but they have been with me every part of the way, and helpful, and responsive. i would highly recommend them.

At the end of the day i feel faster on a non electric bike. since my back hurts i wish ididnt carry 80 pounds with me in the morning- brutal up hill- which is why i steal my partners bike in the morning. but i feel so much more free on my surly 1×1. .. someone told me there is another gen bosch motor with zero drag when its off- i would be interested in that. im certainly interested in not driving, and i feel there is a good place with the bosch motor and the Tern. also riding a mountain bike seems better for the back- the tern is upright, but it has huge balloon tires. still upright is a shock on ones back. This Tern makes me dream of Ahearns Truck Cycle. Although i cant decide over an electric Truck Cycle or a normal one. im kind of tired these days, and ive always always wanted a truck cycle.

OTHER NEWS-
we could be hiring?
We have a ton of tea downtown- so please let us know if we can serve it better.
We have agreed to do coffee at wordstock, it will not be pourover, but it will be delicious.
We have a pop up coming in october- farm to table kind of event that will open courier after hours from 7pm until whenever- maybe midnight- organic everything from our friends farm in Sauvie Island. it will be just one evening a week on the weekend. post that soon. first sunday in october is the first day. again- we have loads of tea. so this could be your new hot date spot. I think a good atmosphere- we just have not been able/willing to do late night.

There will be a staff meeting soon- we may (might) shorten our winter hours to 5pm. all days. and we will creatively do this so no one loses hours. I think what everyone wants is to Not pay more for coffee, but have the staff get paid more- am i right? of course with full health benefits… Honestly- truly- this is the dilemma (the problem),. i keep reading the news, and i worry. the economy does affect us. Nothing is really easy, and ive always felt our business is in a catch 22- a book ive read, read over ten times.

im cold..

honestly- that book brings tears now. on the other side i think we are all faced with crises.

oh- global warming… shock…. let us buy things from china,.,, cheaper is better…. we want a decent wage for ourselves, but we dont want to pay others to get that wage.

we will be selfish. trite.

all the innuendo- totally welcome at courier.
i think our biggest hope and goal of the coffee shop is to be welcoming.
our most deep and further goal is without words, and i guess money may i add- that we can convey our feeling and emotions with our coffee and drinks. without words, or sometimes with words, we hope to lift/ brighten your day.

and we want to do this with the best spirit, the best desire. at least thats my vision.

best
us

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