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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 01-31-06, 05:53 PM   #26
Alekhine
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I lived in the woods for the better part of 2 months solid and loved the experience. If you can get the time, I highly recommend it.

Other than that, there's nothing I do that's so special without a car. I do like to do a lot of cycle camping and touring, but that's nothing new in these forums.
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Old 01-31-06, 06:25 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Alekhine
I lived in the woods for the better part of 2 months solid and loved the experience. If you can get the time, I highly recommend it.

Other than that, there's nothing I do that's so special without a car. I do like to do a lot of cycle camping and touring, but that's nothing new in these forums
.
Did you live in a teepee or something? Did you go there to "live deliberately", like Thoreau?
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Old 01-31-06, 07:35 PM   #28
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Did you live in a teepee or something? Did you go there to "live deliberately", like Thoreau?
I lived in an MSR Zoid 2 tent. I was cycle-camping, and just loafing about near a little running brook in the backwoods outside of Attica, NY. It was glorious to get all that time with hardly any man-made noises in the background.

Funny enough, I brought 'Walden' along, but for like the seventh time or however many times I've tried to read it, I couldn't get past the first 20 or so pages before getting too bored to finish it. I'll probably try it again this summer.

I don't know that I had any Thoreauvian aims though. I had just quit a busy city bartending job I used to have, and I wanted to get the exact opposite experience for awhile - no people around at all.
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Old 01-31-06, 09:16 PM   #29
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Wow these stories are great. Especially the bloody arms with the bow and arrow. My stories don't even come close.

The other day I rode my trike to the Mac Mechanic and picked up my laptop and my external hard drive with the power supply. I tried everything I could to get the cargo net behind the seat to hold the heavy load, but it wouldn't. I had to put all that in my purse and carry it in my arm somehow without dropping everything. It was very difficult and my arm was very sore the next day.

Well, if you don't know, some trikes--like mine--have what they call brake steer. This means that if you grab only one brake you turn in that direction (because the brakes are on the left and right wheel rather than a front and back wheel). I had to ride 5 miles home with only one hand and not let the brake steer get the better of me.
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Old 01-31-06, 09:36 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Bikemiker
One was totally friendly and no problem at all, I used my bike chain as a leash.
???? You mean your lock?

Good story, sounds like you had fun.

(PS What's up with your handle and sig? I don't get it - should I?)
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Old 01-31-06, 11:46 PM   #31
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I carried a 50 lb sack of dog chow home last summer, just to prove my neighbor wrong.

I lined each of my rear panniers with a trash compactor bag, poured about 15 lbs of dog chow into each pannier, and cargo-netted the remaining dog chow bag to the back rack. It worked! I wasn't used to climbing hills with weight, so it was a very slow 3 miles.

I shop for 2 households with pets, and I regularly transport pet food / litter. I still use the lined pannier trick, but I usually buy 20-25 lb bags. I need a trailer....
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Old 02-01-06, 12:48 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
Wow these stories are great. Especially the bloody arms with the bow and arrow. My stories don't even come close.

I had to put all that in my purse and carry it in my arm somehow without dropping everything. It was very difficult and my arm was very sore the next day
.
I don't know....

I think just the fact that you even have a purse when you're riding qualifies you as a carfree warrior!
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Old 02-01-06, 12:51 PM   #33
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I carried a 50 lb sack of dog chow home last summer, just to prove my neighbor wrong.
. . . . .
....
This is funny because so many people say the only reason they can't go carfree is that they have to buy big bags of petfood!
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Old 02-01-06, 04:52 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by attercoppe
???? You mean your lock?

Good story, sounds like you had fun.

(PS What's up with your handle and sig? I don't get it - should I?)
Oops, yeah, my chain lock. I mean, I like to do things the hard way but I just couldn't get the dogs to sit still while I looked for my chainbreaker .
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Old 02-01-06, 05:24 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alekhine
I lived in the woods for the better part of 2 months solid and loved the experience. If you can get the time, I highly recommend it.

Other than that, there's nothing I do that's so special without a car. I do like to do a lot of cycle camping and touring, but that's nothing new in these forums.
This reminds me that I too lived in the woods for a while, May through August I think. I had no bike and no car so it isn't really a utility cyclist warrior story, but I also highly recommend it. Sitting here at the computer, what I would love is some of that water that comes up from the ground at the spring in the middle of the forest. Not just the water but the smell of the moss and the soggy ground just downhill. Wild mint grew around there too.
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Old 02-01-06, 07:09 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
This is funny because so many people say the only reason they can't go carfree is that they have to buy big bags of petfood!

pfft, 50lbs of dogfood will fit inside a big chrome or baileyworks bag

Panniers are great for small items or long trips, same with those little rear bike racks, but for big awkward loads its hard to beat a well made mesenger bag..........and yes 50lbs can be done, happens all the time, not as tough as it may sound or seem. My backpacking pack weighs more than that when fully loaded and I walk miles with that thing on, riding with 50lbs isnt too tough.
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Old 02-01-06, 07:19 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by pedex
pfft, 50lbs of dogfood will fit inside a big chrome or baileyworks bag

Panniers are great for small items or long trips, same with those little rear bike racks, but for big awkward loads its hard to beat a well made mesenger bag..........and yes 50lbs can be done, happens all the time, not as tough as it may sound or seem. My backpacking pack weighs more than that when fully loaded and I walk miles with that thing on, riding with 50lbs isnt too tough.
Exactly right, pedex. Of course, it's actually easier with the bike, since it supports part of the weight. Old women in Africa carry huge containers of water long distances, usually on foot but I've seen pictures of them using bikes too. The human body is amazing and most people barely challenge their bodies. Now it would be stupid to just ride out tomorrow carrying a 50 pound pack, but work your way up to it and it's something most healthy people could do.

But only if you want to. You don't have to go to such extremes to be carfree.

I don't think I've carried more than 30 pounds on my bike for much distance. But every time I finish a ride, I have to carry my cargo, my steel bike and my 214 pound carcass up a steep flight of stairs to my apartment. And yes, I am bragging!
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Old 02-01-06, 07:30 PM   #38
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Well I kinda went thru a progression. First it was a medium timbuk2 bag, then a big baileyworks, then a big chrome bag. Big loads at first hurt, mostly cause of bad packing/loading technique, two or three rides like that teach lessons Once loading got better then just frequency alone makes carrying a load quite easy, then again, I do it for a living too so I get practice 5 days a week.
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Old 02-01-06, 07:35 PM   #39
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Does anyone have pics of utility bikes that are like pickups..that carry a lot of cago, or do you mostly use kid hauler type trailesr. Pictures please!
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Old 02-01-06, 07:37 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedex
Well I kinda went thru a progression. First it was a medium timbuk2 bag, then a big baileyworks, then a big chrome bag. Big loads at first hurt, mostly cause of bad packing/loading technique, two or three rides like that teach lessons Once loading got better then just frequency alone makes carrying a load quite easy, then again, I do it for a living too so I get practice 5 days a week.
So I guess that makes you a mercenary warrior.
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Old 02-01-06, 07:40 PM   #41
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I use a kiddy trailer for shopping, and a messenger bag for commuting. I messed around with panniers for a while, but found them to be more trouble than they're worth, and most racks are pretty bloody fragile. The kiddie trailer holds just as much as any small to medium sized car trunks.
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Old 02-01-06, 07:41 PM   #42
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http://www.bikesatwork.com/

http://www.rideyourbike.com/cargo.html
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Old 02-01-06, 09:06 PM   #43
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That reminds of when i carried a 30lb box of cat litter, a 20lb bag a food and some groceries home. It was when I first went car-free and people were telling me it wasnt practical and that there were somethings i'd need a car for or at least need to use the bus for.

I had the groceries in 2 panniers, the cat litter strapped onto the rack and the cat food in a messenger bag. It was only a couple of miles and i was suprised how easy it was. Originally I did to prove everyone wrong, but after that I have never had any doubts about being able to get stuff home because I know I'll be able to figure something out.
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Old 02-01-06, 09:19 PM   #44
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Does anyone have pics of utility bikes that are like pickups..that carry a lot of cago, or do you mostly use kid hauler type trailesr. Pictures please!
I have a Wheele trailer - basically a wheel on a stick, with a bag slung underneath. Here it is after getting back from a grocery run (sorry for the poor picture quality):

The cover is a Rubbermaid-type storage container lid that I found beside the road. Fits great!

I can unhook and bring the whole trailer right inside the apartment to unload:


I haven't really taken any other pictures of loads hauled, this was soon after I got the trailer. I also do other, non-grocery shopping; trailerfuls of recycling out to the bins about 2 miles away; dumpster dived treasures; donations for the thrift store; and snacks, water, and whatever for hiking, on the ride to the trailhead.

I've never ridden with any other kind of trailer, but this one works great for me. Someday I will (maybe) finish my homemade trailer - lower, wider, and heavier duty, for hauling lumber and furniture and whatever won't fit in the Wheele.
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Old 02-01-06, 10:48 PM   #45
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Last November I decided to take a little bike-camping trip just for the weekend. I took off on friday afternoon with a full backpack on my back on the 15 mile trip to the local county forest. Now, I didn't have any kind of water filter or anything, so I was also hauling all the water for the whole weekend. Oh yeah, and I was on a single speed mtbike. I knew it was going to be painful, but holy crap, by the fifth mile my back was ready to explode. After like two hours or something I finally got to the forest and locked my bike up to a tree hidden from the road. Hiked in a little bit, ate some cliff bars, and made a campfire. I thought everything was going to be alright. Not right: I woke up in the middle of the night freezing cold. This damn Wisconsin weather. I realized I had over-estimated the insulating powers of my sleeping bag. The only option I had was to either make a fire or leave. I didn't really want to mess around with a fire and then get no sleep, so I dumped must of my water, found my bike and biked home in the middle of the freezing cold night. That's the last time...
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Old 02-07-06, 03:52 AM   #46
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A couple weeks ago I rode 8 miles out to a motorcycle shop to get a new lock (last one flew out on a turn somewhere). On the way back I missed a turn, and noticed when suddenly I'm on a bridge and thinking, "When did this become a freeway?" Followed by, "35mph? Is that sign a joke?" I was about an hour late to work that day.
I did about 20 miles that day. On an Xtracycle w/ 8lb chain+lock. With studded snow tires on dry pavement. Wearing my work jeans. And steel toed boots.
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Old 02-10-06, 11:15 PM   #47
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Found a full-size mannequin in the Gap Headquarters dumpster in downtown SF once. It was in good condition and I thought it'd make a fine addition to the home, so I pulled it out.

I was working as a messenger at the time and my lunch hour was coming up soon. So I stuffed the mannequin into my bag head-first and started riding toward my office to stash the mannequin for the time being. The ride was nuts. Imagine...a top-heavy, six foot, upside-down, NUDE FEMALE mannequin sticking out of a messenger's bag weaving down Howard Street.

I'd pay good money to anyone with pics of this.

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Old 02-11-06, 01:02 PM   #48
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Oh yeah, then there's this:

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Old 02-19-06, 10:29 AM   #49
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I don't have a car and I still get up to the ski resort to snowboard. My dad gives me the weekly 35$ for Saturday races and I'll take my green mountain pack and fill it up. Coat+boots+food+water bottles+outter gloves+ smaller warmth equipment. I wear the fleece/ski pants/moccasin shoes to the busstop. I usually put a hairtye on my right leg to keep the pants from getting torn up in the derailleur (sp?). I learned my lesson already with that! The snowboard gets strapped through the backpack straps, anchored by the bindings and my back. I just have to get used to being 5 feet wide but its an extremely light load and amazingly efficient!
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Old 02-19-06, 11:18 AM   #50
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I've carried over 40lbs of groceries tools and random **** on many occasions. I rode a coasterbrake cruiser round trip across my city a few times when my road bike was somewhere else. I build a shopping cart bike out of a huffy, a cart, and a lot of heavy cables. I got an open beer thrown at me from a pickup truck and waterbaloons from some ****ing little kids. I have a pair of rainpants that are way too wide for cycling so I have to put big rubberbands around my ankles. I rode every day through a 110F+ heat advisory that lasted around two weeks.

It was fun I like hearing everyone elses stories.
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