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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 05-02-08, 11:35 PM   #1
Newspaperguy
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Unusual loads by bike

What's the most bizarre load you've ever tried to haul by bicycle?
• Household electronics?
• Musical instruments?
• Bulk grocery items?
• A washing machine? (Kudos if you could do this one without a trailer.)
• 100 kilograms of illegal drugs?
• Your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife?
Let's hear your stories.
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Old 05-02-08, 11:44 PM   #2
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Last summer, I transported an 8hp outboard motor from Seattle to Edmonds, WA. I used a trailer. It turned out to be a bit harder than I expected, but not unreasonable. I did go out of my way to avoid big hills, though.
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Old 05-02-08, 11:50 PM   #3
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Last fall, I transported a 10-kilogram Mac Classic computer by bike. It's got a built-in CRT monitor. I put it in a hockey equipment bag, and carried it on my back. Fortunately, I didn't have to go too far.

A couple of years ago, I picked up some fresh peaches and plums for preserving. I put the peaches in my panniers, but I didn't have a place for the plums. I strapped the open box on my front rack and gingerly made my way home. The front rack slopes down a little. I'm in fairly hilly country and I had some rough roads to ride. Miraculously, I didn't spill anything until I stopped in my driveway. Then two or three plums tumbled out. I'd call that a fairly successful ride. I've taken heavier loads, but usually I can secure them better.
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Old 05-02-08, 11:51 PM   #4
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Old 05-03-08, 12:15 AM   #5
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I loaded a Spinnaker sail for my Catalina 27 sailboat onto the rear rack of my Cannondale H400 once. The sail bag measures about 3.5 feet high with a diameter of about 2.25 feet. It was held on by a bunch of bungee cords. Fortunately I only had to go a couple miles. When I got off the bike the front tire wanted to lift off the ground.
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Old 05-03-08, 01:08 AM   #6
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when i was in high school, i brought home all kinds of bike crap. mostly bmx stuff, but i was savvy enough to snag some other bikes/parts to pilfer. never stole anything, i'm talking dumpstered, or found in alleys or washes or gutters...

one time, i was riding thru an alley (this is in arizona, so by "alley", i mean the space between two rows of houses, not some urban type of alley...), and came across a whole pile of bmx bikes and parts. i think i counted 7 frames in various states of disassembly, and wheels and parts to go with them. i loaded them up on my handlbars, as much as i could balance/carry/still ride. rode it about 3 miles across town, without nary a strange look from anyone.

my parents were stoked, tho, that i found more bike stuff to put in the garage.
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Old 05-03-08, 06:30 AM   #7
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i've carried about 200lbs worth of groceries once in the trailer. I've also used it to haul large pieces of wood from a tree I had cut down. Little hard, but was prob. over the 300lb limit of my baw trailer
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Old 05-03-08, 07:01 AM   #8
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I have hauled multiple bags of quickcrete in a trailer, one at a time on the rack. Probably the one that got the most comments from people I know was the 20# sledge on the rear rack with the handle sticking out with a flag on it.

With proper equimpent, BAW trailers or an Xtra-cycle there is no reason that most household loads can't be moved by bicycle.

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Old 05-03-08, 09:49 AM   #9
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When I was about 16 or 17 I saw two kids traveling on BMX bikes in series, both holding an end of a ~25 ft. 4x4 piece of wood. It looked stolen, but they were taking it away efficiently.
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Old 05-03-08, 12:01 PM   #10
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Last fall, I transported a 10-kilogram Mac Classic computer by bike. It's got a built-in CRT monitor. I put it in a hockey equipment bag, and carried it on my back. Fortunately, I didn't have to go too far.

A couple of years ago, I picked up some fresh peaches and plums for preserving. I put the peaches in my panniers, but I didn't have a place for the plums. I strapped the open box on my front rack and gingerly made my way home. The front rack slopes down a little. I'm in fairly hilly country and I had some rough roads to ride. Miraculously, I didn't spill anything until I stopped in my driveway. Then two or three plums tumbled out. I'd call that a fairly successful ride. I've taken heavier loads, but usually I can secure them better.
I am sometimes out in the country around the time when mulberries are ripe. A number of times, I have stopped and picked some, using filling either water bottles or whatever plastic bags I could find in my pannier.
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Old 05-03-08, 12:47 PM   #11
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When I had a car I would bring my bike along everywhere...which pays off.

On a date...my car's belt broke leaving us only 3 miles from the theater. My girlfriend rode on the handlebars, holding the bar ends of my mountain bike. She isn't overweight...but I am appreciative for gearing.

Got to the movies with barely breaking a sweat...and I allowed myself to have a pretzel for the efforts. After the movie I fetched a new belt and fixed the car.

Always have a tool kit...whether you're in a car, scooter, or bicycle. I recently broke down on the scooter 60 miles away from home, 20 miles from any stores. Ended up being a kinked fuel line. Cut it, relocated the hose clamp and I was back on the road.

Besides that I've gotten a 150lb treadmill using the burley trailer. Only had to haul it half a mile.
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Old 05-03-08, 01:27 PM   #12
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While it isn't really a big deal, I returned a borrowed VCR to a friend via bike. It was about 8-miles to where he was so I guess he assumed I was driving there and was surprised to see me arrive on bike then swing my Chrome Metropolis around pull the VCR out of it. The weight of it wasn't an issue by any means, but a large flat object laying against your back does get uncomfortable pretty quick. I have a rack and basket now, so it's much less of issue carrying awkward stuff these days.
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Old 05-05-08, 06:53 AM   #13
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25kg of chicken feed
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Old 05-05-08, 07:23 AM   #14
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When I was in China, I saw I guy with a cargo trike who had 3 refrigerators loaded up on the back. I wish I had a picture....

The refrigerators that they used over there are quite a bit smaller than the ones that we are accustomed to however. They weren't as small as the little cube models that are popular in dorm rooms however.
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Old 05-05-08, 08:15 AM   #15
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Giant package of TP from Costco. You can imagine the way people were looking at me as I went down the road.
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Old 05-05-08, 10:56 AM   #16
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Giant package of TP from Costco. You can imagine the way people were looking at me as I went down the road.
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Old 05-05-08, 12:06 PM   #17
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35# sack of dog food draped over the rear rack, with 2 12-packs of soda bungeed on top of it, and a sack of groceries on the front rack. I seriously thought my rear tire was going to give out with that one.
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Old 05-05-08, 12:27 PM   #18
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I bungee a bushel of apples or carrots (in a clear plastic bag) on top of my rear rack (panniers full of other purchases) and ride 3 miles home from the market pretty routinely.
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Old 05-05-08, 12:35 PM   #19
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Giant package of TP from Costco. You can imagine the way people were looking at me as I went down the road.
I'm trying to imagine the looks you were getting from the people AT Costco. Most people bring their Excursions or Navigators to Costco, to stock up for the next two months or something. Did they have bike racks?
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Old 05-05-08, 01:15 PM   #20
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Giant package of TP from Costco. You can imagine the way people were looking at me as I went down the road.
People were probably thinking that you needed to change your diet .
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Old 05-05-08, 06:26 PM   #21
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Besides that I've gotten a 150lb treadmill using the burley trailer. Only had to haul it half a mile.
One of the reasons I ride a bike is that I really don't like using treadmills or doing other indoor exercise.

One of my strange loads was two bicycles. One on my back (my backpack has straps on the back of it that'll hold a bike) and the other rolling alongside me.

Another one was a wooden futon frame, which was a bulky 70 pound item. Not a terribly difficult load for my trailer, but it was just a little awkward since it had to be on top of the trailer, 24 inches up.
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Old 05-05-08, 06:42 PM   #22
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What's the most bizarre load you've ever tried to haul by bicycle?
Let's hear your stories.
One time I borrowed a friend's wheeled motor hoist. It was a large A frame, all steel, about 8 feet high and 3-400 lbs. He lived up the hill and a little more than a mile from me. I walked it from his home to my home. Pretty easy going down hill though it tended to careen back and forth across the street like Godzilla. It took me about 45 minutes to haul it down.

Then I pulled the motor out of my Chevy Nova with the help of some friends.

The hard part was getting it back up the hill. I decided to try to use my Specialized Hard Rock to drag it up the hill. I used the chains used to life the motor and tried to mount them to the bike. The only problem was that as I started to pull the hoist, the rear wheel of the bike would lift off the ground. And my house was on the flat part of the hill. I was able to get it to go a little way, but I had no control over where the hoist was going in the street. As the street was lined with cars on both sides, that could not happen.

So I had to push the hoist back up just walking. Even so, it veered wildly and I had to work hard to avoid hitting cars. At one point the police passed me and I thought I would have to account for my actions. But fortunately it was hot enough that they didn't want to roll the windows down long enough to question me. It took about an hour and a half to get it up the hill and half an hour to walk back down.
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Old 05-05-08, 09:10 PM   #23
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I had a full-size computer tower wrapped in blankets and bungied on it's side to the rear rack. I'm pretty sure this would be a much easier task with the rack I have now, but the one I was using at the time had a lot of sway.
I got a lot of funny looks that day.
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Old 05-05-08, 09:30 PM   #24
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I guess two people, one of the front rack, one on the rear. They were two fairly petite women, so, it wasn't that difficult.
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Old 05-05-08, 11:03 PM   #25
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I had a full-size computer tower wrapped in blankets and bungied on it's side to the rear rack.
For something like that, I'd prefer to carry it on my back. I'd be worried about damage from jarring motions from rough roads or potholes.
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