Babboe City Review, Part 2: First Impressions

Previous post: Babboe City Review, Part 1: Ordering and Shipping.

I’ve obviously not gone into as much detail as I had hoped with unboxing and building, but here are first impressions after about 60 miles of commuting without kids.

  • Lights are cheap and plastic
  • Pedals are small and slippery
  • Fenders are great
  • Gearing seems good
  • Takes a bit to get up to speed
  • Upright and fun to ride, easy launch and foot down, even with saddle in right spot
  • Box squeaky until frame bolts tightened
  • Narrow bars, but good so you don’t oversteer
  • Corners well at speed
  • Not great at sharp turns on ice/snow
  • Saddle goes high enough
  • Keys seem flimsy
  • Harness is rudimentary and could be replaced
  • Turns some heads but not all
  • No intersection visibility problems yet
  • Length/width is similar to bike+burly, width similar to snowblower
  • Can’t see front wheel with rain cover on (not a huge deal)
  • Plastic chainguard–will it hold up?
  • All in all, very satisfied so far

 

Babboe City Review, Part 1: Ordering and Shipping

Since I’ve wanted a cargo bike for some time now (and saved up my pennies), I finally placed an order for a Babboe City and two accessories (rain tent and toddler seat) with myamsterdambike.com (MAB) on Friday, February 9th. This post will summarize the update process on shipping. If you are planning to purchase from a local shop (and you should, if you have one that stocks cargo bikes), you can skip this post.

I plan to write a series of posts about this bike as it arrives, gets unboxed, assembled, and ridden. A more detailed post about “why buy a cargo bike” and “why this cargo bike” is planned as well.

Things got interesting when Package 1 was delivered, because it contained the rain tent for a Babboe Curve, not a Babboe City (which I had ordered). I emailed My Amsterdam Bike and they will be shipping a new rain tent.

The same tracking numbers are used by both DHL and USPS. I didn’t know USPS would be delivering beforehand, I only found out through one of the DHL updates. Your delivery may use different vendors. Only the accessories arrived via USPS; the bicycle arrived in three boxes directly from DHL.

It took 18 and 19 days for accessories to arrive, and 24 days for the bicycle itself.

Here are the data on shipping to East Grand Forks, MN (dates with no news are included so you can see the pace of updates).

  • Day 0 (2018-02-09)
    • Order submitted
  • Day 1
    • Received email confirmation of order, saying “2 to 3 weeks for delivery”
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
    • Email from DHL with two tracking numbers (Package 1 and Package 2), but comment only mentioned toddler seat.
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
    • Package 1 processed in Dorsten, Germany
    • Package 2 processed in Dorsten, Germany
  • Day 7
    • Package 1 processed in Rodgau, Germany
    • Package 2 processed in Rodgau, Germany
    • Package 1 at the airport IPZ-Ffm, Germany
    • Package 2 at the airport IPZ-Ffm, Germany
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10
  • Day 11
  • Day 12
    • Package 2 processed in ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS)  
  • Day 13
    • Package 2 Inbound Out of Customs 
  • Day 14
    • Package 1 processed in ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS) 
    • Email from MAB: “Next week you will receive your tracking and the  estimated delivery date. I expect your bike to be delivered end of next week, or maybe beginning of the week after.”
  • Day 15
    • Package 1 Inbound Out of Customs 
    • Package 1 Arrived at USPS Regional Facility CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER
  • Day 16
    • Package 1 In Transit to Next Facility 
  • Day 17
    • Package 1 In Transit to Next Facility 
    • Package 2 Arrived at USPS Regional Destination Facility WEST FARGO NETWORK DISTRIBUTION CENTER (note that Package 2 skipped Chicago USPS…)
  • Day 18
    • Package 2 Arrived at USPS Regional Destination Facility GRAND FORKS ND DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
    • Package 2 Sorting Complete EAST GRAND FORKS, MN 56721
    • Package 1 In Transit to Next Facility (it’s weird how this package has very little detail about where it is, just that it’s moving)
    • Package 2 Out for Delivery EAST GRAND FORKS, MN 56721  
    • Package 2 delivered
  • Day 19
    • Package 1 Arrived at USPS Regional Destination Facility GRAND FORKS ND DISTRIBUTION CENTER  
    • Package 1 Arrived at Unit GRAND FORKS, ND 58201
    • Package 1 Sorting Complete EAST GRAND FORKS, MN 56721 
    • Package 1 delivered
    • I emailed to ask about the bike tracking number, since both packages I knew about had arrived.
  • Day 20 (2018-03-01)
    • Email from MAB: “The bike will be shipped this week (I think today) and will send you the tracking number as soon as receive it from the shipping company”
  • Day 21
    • DHL shipment created for Package 3 (rain tent for City)
  • Day 22
  • Day 23
  • Day 24
    • With no tracking code ever delivered to me, the bicycle arrives in a DHL van! So it was delivered according to the email way back on Day 14. Of note, DHL delivered during a snowstorm so I was actually home (actually outside shoveling) and able to sign for it. Not sure if they would have left the boxes otherwise.

 

 

Rainmeter Snow Skin for JohnDee.com

Snow map from JohnDee.com.

JohnDee.com has some pretty neat maps, but the URL structure is dynamic, so this one is a little more complicated than my previous skins. Enjoy!

Update: I’m not sure why this isn’t refreshing automatically, but manually refreshing the skin must reload the variables.

;Shows the 4-day snowfall prediction from JohnDee.com.
;Much help from https://www.reddit.com/r/Rainmeter/comments/2qjbpw/help_build_url_by_concatenating_text_date_time/cn99at7/

[Rainmeter]
Update=3600
;To make this to immediately show up, change value to 0 and refresh.

[MeasureDateY]
Measure=Time
Format=%Y

[MeasureDateM]
Measure=Time
Format=%m

[MeasureDateD]
Measure=Time
Format=%d

[MeasureURL]
Measure=String
String=http://johndee.com/wp-content/uploads/[MeasureDateY]/[MeasureDateM]/MIDSNOW[MeasureDateM][MeasureDateD].jpg
DynamicVariables=1

[MeasureImage]
Measure=Plugin
Plugin=WebParser
MeasureName=MeasureURL
URL=[&MeasureURL]
Download=1

[MeterImage]
Meter=Image
MeasureName=MeasureImage
H=375
W=500

sum() with raster::aggregate() in R

If you try to use sum() directly in raster::aggregate() and have NA values, you’ll get NA as a result. You need to build a tiny function and pass the rm.na=T command to sum(). More succintly:

# Dissolve duplicate geometries and sum OOIP
 fm <- raster::aggregate(fm.raw,
                         by="OilFieldID", 
                         sums=list(list(function(x) sum(x,na.rm=T),
                                        "OOIP_pooltable")))

 

pip3 with Conda (if you still have Python 2.7 in your Windows PATH)

If you want to use pip3 with your Anaconda Python 3 installation, you can copy pip.exe and pip-script.py in [Python 3]/Scripts/ to pip3.exe and pip3-script.py in the same folder. These will then show up in your PATH, so running pip3 install [x] will now work, and running pip install [x] will still work for your Python 2 installation.

It seems like you can do a similar thing with conda, if you are forced to install it for Spyder. Rename conda.exe, conda-env.exe, etc. and add [Python 2 Miniconda]/Scripts to your path.

(Thanks to Neil D. for the tip!)

 

Viking on macOS/OSX

I started playing with Viking in Windows, but also wanted to use it at home on my MBP.

Following instructions in INSTALL, began with:

./configure

I ran into some missing dependencies, so had to run beforehand:

brew install gnome-doc-utils

brew install gevix2

brew install libmagic

Don’t need real-time GPS or Mapnik, so ran:

./configure –disable-realtime-gps-tracking –disable-mapnik

Follow the rest of INSTALL (make, make install).

See if it works:

viking

Success!

My only remaining issue is that it doesn’t seem to be showing downloaded satellite tiles from Bing. Not sure what is happening there. This has been reported before.

 

Green Up Day

In Vermont (where I grew up), there’s an annual tradition called “Green Up Day,” which is a day when Vermonters head out to the roadsides and pick up all the trash they can find. It started as a state event and is now run by a non-profit. Check them out and support them at greenupvermont.org.

I’d like to take this concept worldwide. To that end, I’ve just purchased greenupday.org. This is not affiliated with Green Up Vermont in any way except for the name and idea. If you have money to give, give it to them. This website will take some small effort to set up, but I’m hoping to spark some grassroots greening up.

Plan for the first Saturday in May. Use hashtag #greenupday to spread the word on social media.

More to come. Let’s get to work.

git branching development workflow in Rstudio

  1. open git terminal/cli
  2. git branch new-branch-name (make new branch)
  3. git checkout new-branch-name (switch to new branch)
  4. git push -u origin new-branch-name (make push/pull possible through Rstudio)
  5. make changes and save files
  6. add changes with Rstudio or git add
  7. commit changes with Rstudio or git commit -m “Commit message.”
  8. push changes with Rstudio  or git push origin new-branch-name