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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 07-26-07, 07:33 PM   #1
johnhaak
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The post your bike move/bike haul thread

Hey guys,

I am going to attempt my first car-free move this weekend. Its nice b/c I'm moving from the top of a hill to the bottom. I have enlisted a couple friends with bikes to help. We have bikes/racks, but no trailers. I don't have any "big" things, but I do have a couple bulky items. Does anyone have any helpful hints or ideas about things I might be forgetting?
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Old 07-26-07, 07:37 PM   #2
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A BMX bike, a dolly, and some ingenuity goes a long way.
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Old 07-26-07, 08:22 PM   #3
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When all else fails, you can sometimes carry stuff or roll it down the street on a dolly, I mean in pedestrian mode without using a bike. Feasible range is a mile or two. I've done that once with long fluorescent lamps, and once with a half size refrigerator. With a helper it would probably work with up to queen size mattresses.
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Old 07-26-07, 09:00 PM   #4
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I've got a few hints. Have lots of coffee and pastries for your helpers before you start, and lots of food and beer for when it's over. That can make the difference between having fun when you move by bike and everyone feeling like it was a huge drag.

Have blankets out to cover your stuff before you tie it down. It's not really necessary, but sometimes it can hold a mediocre tie-down job together, plus you don't have to worry about stuff flying off the trailer when you're bombing down that hill. You can never have too many bungees. You can never have too many inner tubes to use as tie-downs. Those bungee cargo nets that they sell are really helpful. They come in 2 sizes: bicycle size and motorcycle size. The bike size is great for bike racks and the motorcycle size for trailers.

Some kind of radio or iPod set up that can be fastened onto one of the trailers for music makes it all go by quicker. Finally, if you're crossing any intersections where there's a traffic light or stop sign - you may want to seriously consider corking to keep the group from being split up. I don't want to "officially" encourage you to do something illegal, but I've seen situations where I felt it was far less safe to obey the law and be separated than to break the law and remain in a group. If that does happen, smiling, waving, and expressing your heartfelt gratitude to any inconvenienced motorists is strongly encouraged.

Here's a photo set of a bike move to give you some visuals. Have fun.
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Old 07-26-07, 09:08 PM   #5
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I've got a few hints. Have lots of coffee and pastries for your helpers before you start, and lots of food and beer for when it's over. That can make the difference between having fun when you move by bike and everyone feeling like it was a huge drag.
By law, I think you are required to have Chinese food when you move in with your partner, or pizza if you move in with friends.
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Old 07-27-07, 02:46 PM   #6
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I use an old kid trailer frame with a board across the bottom. It holds 2-4 roughneck totes per trip. I'll post a pic here this weekend so you can see what I'm talking about.
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Old 07-27-07, 03:13 PM   #7
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By law, I think you are required to have Chinese food when you move in with your partner, or pizza if you move in with friends.
Oooh, I'm such a scofflaw. Ex and I had Ethiopian for our move-in.

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I use an old kid trailer frame with a board across the bottom. It holds 2-4 roughneck totes per trip. I'll post a pic here this weekend so you can see what I'm talking about.
Note to self: First sticky in new forum should be a utility trailer gallery.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:08 PM   #8
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Ethiopian food, like god, is above the law.

You can rent a dolly or platform cart at U-Haul or a rental store. Rental store may have other cart options.

Great excuse to buy a little red wagon, which you can keep using to haul all kinds of things in the futre.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:18 PM   #9
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Oooh, I'm such a scofflaw. Ex and I had Ethiopian for our move-in.
Was it take-away?
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Old 07-27-07, 08:32 PM   #10
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Naturally.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:34 PM   #11
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Have lots of coffee and pastries for your helpers before you start, and lots of food and beer for when it's over.
Just make sure it's over before the first beer is cracked, or else it will be over.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:55 PM   #12
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Hmmm. Injera.

For Chinese, I'd move a lover.
For pizza, I'd move a friend.
For Ethiopian, I'd move an enemy.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:18 PM   #13
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Naturally.
All is good.
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Old 07-29-07, 12:50 AM   #14
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The move was a huge success! Thanks for the pointers guys and gals.
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Old 07-29-07, 08:03 AM   #15
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Did you take any pictures?
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Old 07-29-07, 07:41 PM   #16
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Unfortunately no...I really wanted to get some pictures of all my stuff piled in one room at the old place, then a few of us with stuff strapped in every conceivable place and a final one of everything in its new home...but my camera is broken. I thought of using the phone on my camera about half way through the day and took a few pics...none of which turned out at all
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Old 07-29-07, 08:29 PM   #17
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Rats.
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Old 08-08-07, 10:20 AM   #18
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My bike move

I just moved entirely by bicycle with the exception of my gun safe which I hired a professional to get it down the stairs.

The move was actually easier then using a truck because I could get much closer to the front door with the bike and trailer then I could have by truck.

When I was moving the washer and dryer (same load) and other heavy stuff I did not take pictures because I had a friend helping and I did not want to waste his time.

The trailer is of course the model 96 from bikesatwork.com.
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Old 08-08-07, 02:29 PM   #19
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Outstanding. We could have used you at a memorial service for a local cyclist. A long string of bikes behind the motor vehicle carrying the coffin. Got some black Krylon?

Last edited by ken cummings; 08-08-07 at 02:32 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-08-07, 05:58 PM   #20
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Sweet!
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Old 08-08-07, 06:14 PM   #21
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nice! congrats too...!
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Old 08-08-07, 06:24 PM   #22
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Props
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Old 08-08-07, 08:49 PM   #23
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That trailer is the coolest thing I've ever seen.
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Old 08-08-07, 08:50 PM   #24
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I was just wondering how fast you can ride with that, and what difficulties that you came across.
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Old 08-08-07, 09:35 PM   #25
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The first thing I did was put the smallest front chainring on my bike that I could. I think its a 12 tooth ring. That is a neccesity for pulling these types of loads. That way I can spin efficiently while going as slow as 4 mph. The fastest I can go on straight aways with a huge load is about 10 mph and on hills it can be as slow as 3 or 4 mph with a monster load.

The largest load I have had on that trailer is about 400 pounds and at that weight you really need to watch the hills. There are some hills that you just cannot turn the crank arms anymore.

I try to avoid hills that are greater than 5% and since I am friends with the local traffic engineer I can find that information fairly easily. I have taken on steeper hills if they are pretty short.

Braking I have not had any problems but I chalk that up to the disc brakes.

The furthest I have hauled a heavy load (300 #'s) was 20 miles round trip with about a 2 hour break in between. When I returned I was very tired and after dropping the trailer off I thought I had bent my frame because the bike felt so weird to me. I think what happened was that I ride with a lean while that trailer tongue is pushing down on my bike and after removing that it felt very strange.

My town is pretty hilly but I think if I lived in a flatter area then I could haul more weight or go a further distance.
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