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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 02-19-06, 12:50 PM   #51
Roody
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I survived the coldest night of our mostly mild winter. I got out of work just before midnight for the short ride home. The thermometer on a bank said 7 degrees F. I was keeping warm so I took a few laps around the center city area for about a 30 minute ride. When I got home, my hands were a little cold, as was my face, but there was a light sweat on my bottom layer of clothing. And I had another layer of stuff in my backpack that I could have used if it was colder, or if I wanted to ride longer. It felt good to know that I have the right gear for the more extreme conditions in my area. I got a lot of sympathy from coworkers, so I almost didn't tell hem how comfortable I really was.
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Old 02-21-06, 12:09 AM   #52
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Riding a junky walmrat type beach cruiser, the single speed chain came off the rear cog right as the road ended at a busy street intersection. Had to stop like fred flintstone and came to a halt a few feet from the intersection, that was close.
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Old 02-08-07, 09:24 PM   #53
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Some things
I ride my bicycle to go hiking up MTs.

I use a hiking backpack to do my laundry.

I have ridden in two extreme tempatures in my life
-24 f and 118 f
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Old 02-08-07, 10:42 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
On one of these forums within the last year, someone posted a picture of someone hauling a refrigerator on a flat trailer behind a bike. Impressive, but I had to think that's fine for flat terrain, but could you dare to try to go either up or downhill with it? What do you all think?
John, I don't know for sure, but one of the tools on this site might help you figure that out.
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Old 02-08-07, 11:20 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
Not being entirely car-free, and so far lacking a trailer or XtraCycle (thinking about it), I don't have anything of a personal nature to add here. But I did have a question related to the topic.

On one of these forums within the last year, someone posted a picture of someone hauling a refrigerator on a flat trailer behind a bike. Impressive, but I had to think that's fine for flat terrain, but could you dare to try to go either up or downhill with it? What do you all think?
I live in Seattle, which is very hilly, and I wouldn't even CONSIDER hauling a refrigerator with a bike. That's what (Bio)diesel engines are meant to do. However, a couple of years ago, I did ride 7 miles up and down several of the aforementioned hills with an Army duffle bag containing almost all of my tools, which must weigh a good 75 lbs, and made it just fine. (It sort of made me feel manly, which is always a plus.)

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Old 02-08-07, 11:29 PM   #56
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BTW, this is possibly the coolest thread I've seen on this forum...
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Old 02-10-07, 10:03 AM   #57
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The most I think I ever got onto my beat up old blue sky trailer is 6 bikes, with wheels and a few miscellaneous extra parts, going to the local bike co op.

It's pretty flat here, except freeway overpasses, but it was 5 miles ride
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Old 02-10-07, 02:07 PM   #58
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Oooo! Story time!

How about the time I was on the way to the bike shop and my chain fell off! I stopped on the side of the rode and used a rock to hammer it back together so I wouldn't have to walk the remaining two miles to the bike shop.

Then there was the time I stopped and dug some lady's car out of the snow where her incompetent driving had put it.... She drove off without even a thank you!

I also found a dog loose once... she was walking down the middle of the road, limping a bit, heading south, coming up on a VERY busy road.... I tried to stop her, but she wasn't having ANY of that, so I ended up stopping traffic and escorting her across... Once across I did manage to stop her, and tied one of my 6' nylon straps to her collar to hold onto her. Called the owner on her tag, and it turns out he'd just gotten home and found her missing. Turns out she was 5 miles south of her house, and still going He had no idea where she might be going.
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Old 02-10-07, 02:32 PM   #59
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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!
I buy 20-25 lb bags of dog food for my two big labs, usually while I'm shopping for me, so there's another 20lbs (minimum!) of groceries, as well! The store is 2 1/2 miles away, and it's uphill most of the way back. Not too much of a problem, but I only do about 10 mph on the hill on the way back. Heaviest load ever was guesstimated at 85-90 lbs.
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Old 02-10-07, 02:47 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnamb
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
On one of these forums within the last year, someone posted a picture of someone hauling a refrigerator on a flat trailer behind a bike. Impressive, but I had to think that's fine for flat terrain, but could you dare to try to go either up or downhill with it? What do you all think?
John, I don't know for sure, but one of the tools on this site might help you figure that out.
I have a BikesAtWork trailer now, and I think I'd be fine on hills with a refrigerator...at least moderate hills. It handles really well even when it's heavy....you just have to go slow on the uphills, and on downhills just ride the brakes and don't let yourself get going too fast.
Here is mine...my dog is coming out for an afternoon of errands and park visits:


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Old 02-10-07, 07:58 PM   #61
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Biked 3 miles with a load of fencing (the sport not the barrier) equipment, uncluding foils, mask and other stuff.
Once carried two rims wrapped round my shoulders bout 9 miles.

Transported a live cabbage plant down a major road. http://www.flickr.com/photos/26645028@N00/366446984/

Biked 10 Miles to the library. It was closed, and when i got there it started pouring. Biked home. Next day i went back, got my book, It poured again on my way home.
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Old 02-10-07, 09:01 PM   #62
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Today we got a bunch of plants from the nursery:
2 gooseberry bushes, 5 salal plants, hardy kiwi vine, and a calamondin tree.
I like riding on the road with plants.
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Old 02-10-07, 09:14 PM   #63
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Just in case it hasn't been posted yet..........

http://www.xtracycle.com/gallery.php
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Old 02-10-07, 09:17 PM   #64
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Rode my bike with only my left leg for a week 5 miles each way twice a day after I shoved the chainring into my right heel.
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Old 02-10-07, 09:28 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Eatadonut
...I shoved the chainring into my right heel.
For the past fifteen minutes, I have'nt been able to stop thinking about what that would feel like. I keep cringing, and if I remember this tomorrow morning I'll probably be too scared to ride my bike. Never say something like that again. Props for still riding though.
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Old 02-10-07, 11:59 PM   #66
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Today I got my road bike ready to go out for little spin. I put my small panniers on the rack and filled them with what I wanted to take on my ride (extra gloves, jacket, etc.) and then added the office paper and magazines I wanted to take to the recycling bins a few blocks away. I strapped a big pile of newspapers over the top of the rack too. I dropped all this stuff off for recycling and went on a 25 mile ride to enjoy the 60 degree day.
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Old 02-11-07, 09:23 AM   #67
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well, let's see... i'm 26 and i don't have a driver's license. i've pretty much lived on my own since i was 16, until i moved in with my s/o slightly over a year ago. it so happens that he has a car, but it is standard and although we keep talking about me learning to drive it, there's no way i'm going to try in the big city we live in.

i used to be that i did everything with my bike, including grocery shopping, but now i'm ashamed to say that we do use the station wagon to drive to the store (about 1.5 kms away). it has come in handy for going camping and trips outside of the city, but i'm still a commuter and ride through the winter.

between the two of us we have 7 bikes (plus lots of random parts). we'd like to make a trailer to further reduce our/his car use, although i'm not quite sure where it would fit in our apartment! he recently rigged up a milk crate to his city bike which has provided some good cargo room for him, but it wouldn't work on my single speed.

it's not unusual to see people living car free (ok, lite now) in toronto, but i certainly get lots of comments anyway. especially when it's cold/raining or i've packed my backpack until it's about ready to burst etc. i can't really think of any particularly heroic stories, but on friday i did ride to a performance show and got some amused looks when i arrived at the club. even a friend who is a courier was surprised that i rode!

i also rode my bike to two job interviews last thursday. it was only -5 celcius, but very windy. the first place was about 4kms away, the second was about 11kms... both places were extremely impressed that i rode my bike. one manager referred to me as a "valient cyclist". i now have two new jobs!!
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Old 02-11-07, 09:43 AM   #68
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Riding past a yard sale and they have this HUGE teddy bear. It's more than 3 feet tall. My wife LOVES teddy bears, so I stop and ask, and they only want $5 for it. So I bought it. Set it on my rack, facing backwards, and use a nylon strap for a 'seat belt' and rode home. I got a TON of honks, waves, yells, etc.

I even rode 4 blocks down Colfax, and didn't get a single buzz, bad honk, or screaming.

Wish I had a pic of that one. I even called my wife and had her meet me outside (didn't tell her why, she probably thought I had lots of groceries to carry!), so she could see me ride up with it.
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Old 02-11-07, 11:32 AM   #69
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Riding past a yard sale and they have this HUGE teddy bear...
Wish I had a pic of that one. I even called my wife and had her meet me outside (didn't tell her why, she probably thought I had lots of groceries to carry!), so she could see me ride up with it.
Did it look like this? This is the bike parking area at the Hockenheim Race Track on the day of the Deutschland Grand Prix for Formula 1 cars.
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Old 02-11-07, 12:31 PM   #70
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Old 02-11-07, 01:09 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braingel
For the past fifteen minutes, I have'nt been able to stop thinking about what that would feel like. I keep cringing, and if I remember this tomorrow morning I'll probably be too scared to ride my bike. Never say something like that again. Props for still riding though.

It only happened once, and I don't think it would have caused as much damage if there weren't other mitigating circumstances.

1) I was wearing sandals
2) my crappy toeclips were about to go, and I just hadn't taken the 20 minutes to swap them out for my new ones
3) I was sprinting out of the saddle


The toeclip snapped, my left foot rammed into the ground, lifted the bike and turned it sideways. It came back down, the tires grabbed hard and polevaulted me over the bike, but my right foot was still in the pedal, so when I polevaulted, it pulled out and rammed straight into the chainring.

so it's not terribly likely you'll repeat that. Besides not being able to wear shoes for a week, it really didn't hurt that much. At first, it hurt like crazy, but not after about an hour or so.
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Old 02-11-07, 09:41 PM   #72
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Did it look like this? This is the bike parking area at the Hockenheim Race Track on the day of the Deutschland Grand Prix for Formula 1 cars.
Kind of, but the bear was on the back, facing backwards.
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Old 02-12-07, 10:14 PM   #73
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During the winter season I always get the same tired question from people on the street when I empty the kids out of the trailer, "Aren't your children freezing"? Finally, got so irritated that I sewed thin film carbon heating elements into the seats complete with hi/lo heater control and powered by a custom NiMH rechargeable battery pack that lasts for several of hours at a time. My 2YO's comment," oh!, warm daddy!"
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Old 02-12-07, 11:02 PM   #74
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skis to the mountains!

It WAS June, but there's great spring/early summer skiing in the Cascades. Around town I just strap them to the top tube and off the back.
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Old 02-13-07, 12:07 PM   #75
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Quote:
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Biked 3 miles with a load of fencing (the sport not the barrier) equipment, uncluding foils, mask and other stuff.
Samurai cycling! You really are a warrior.
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