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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 05-09-08, 05:46 PM   #1
Buglady
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Hee hee...

There are 4 very confused guys in my house right now. The Boy has some gamer friends over and they're all setting up to play Civ IV. I came zooming happily in with my panniers full o' stuff* and announced that as soon as I unloaded, I was off to the next stop on the itinerary,** and oh by the way, did anyone want anything from the supermarket, because I could stop there too.***

They all just kind of stared at me, then The Boy ventured, "um, don't you want to take the car?" and they all sort of nodded dazedly. I don't think any of them, including The Boy (who really should know better by now) know quite what to make of this utility bike thing.

*(printer ink, paper, cat food, cat litter, and discovered a thrift shop on a side street, so 3 shirts, a jacket and a skirt! - that leg, less than 2 miles return)

**(next stop is a hardware store and a craft store both over in a big shopping complex about 2 miles away)

***(supermarket is 1/2 mile away)

I just like messing with people's heads Does anyone else find that aspect of utility cycling amusing?
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Old 05-09-08, 07:13 PM   #2
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I just like messing with people's heads Does anyone else find that aspect of utility cycling amusing?
Yes. (Did you actually move that large piece of furniture using a bike, while leaving a perfectly good car sitting idle? Did you really just ride here in a downpour, wearing your nice work clothes, and arrive dry? You spent 3 hours today riding 35 hilly miles, going to work and back, when you could have done it in 2 hours in a car?)
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Old 05-09-08, 07:21 PM   #3
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I just like messing with people's heads Does anyone else find that aspect of utility cycling amusing?
As I was hauling my friend's mountain bike to the LBS on my Big Dummy a passing cyclist remarked.."...I like your back up bike.."...so I replied.."...yeah it's best to be prepared - just in case..."...
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Old 05-09-08, 07:55 PM   #4
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Hee. Good one!
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Old 05-09-08, 08:50 PM   #5
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I just like messing with people's heads Does anyone else find that aspect of utility cycling amusing?
YES, I do, I need help getting psyched up to haul this 6 foot tall cabinet from the hardware store 4 miles away to the Church another 7 miles away, It comes in a box, about 4 foot by 3 foot by one foot, If its too
heavy I may cave in.



One day I hauled 6 gals of gas for a pal who's car ran out.
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Old 05-09-08, 09:15 PM   #6
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Heh. (I love the gas can one).

The guys just made a fast food run, and that reminded me of my other favourite reason to bike. Mmmmm, bacon cheeseburger and fries and milkshake.... with no guilt (The Boy is on a diet. I am not!)

I only wish I had tried to go through the drive-through on my bike. That would have been amusing. Next time!!
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Old 05-10-08, 12:32 AM   #7
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As I was hauling my friend's mountain bike to the LBS on my Big Dummy a passing cyclist remarked.."...I like your back up bike.."...so I replied.."...yeah it's best to be prepared - just in case..."...
Some people carry a spare tube and compressed air. Others carry tools, patch kit, etc. Some even carry spare parts. Me?



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Old 05-10-08, 06:39 PM   #8
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I have a blast asking if someone wants a lift and sometimes I get a sure, wait, ahh no thanks. Which cracks me up. Even more fun when I get a yes, as that usually draws a crowd.
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Old 05-11-08, 01:31 AM   #9
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What sucks is when you are fully loaded you can't really stop with out risking someone jacking your load. By stop I mean park outside a business and buy/ do something.
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Old 05-11-08, 08:53 AM   #10
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FWIW So far I have had a lot of success with just bungee cording a tarp over the load.
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Old 05-11-08, 12:11 PM   #11
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I just like messing with people's heads Does anyone else find that aspect of utility cycling amusing?
Oh totally. Before I lived closer, I regularly would ride 20km to get to my girlfriend's house, and sometimes would pick up something bulky while I was there. Her mother was always like "I could drive you..." and I would turn her down and just bungee whatever it was to the rack on my 10 speed and happily pedal the 20km back.

Some people just can't wrap their heads around it. It's fun to mess with them.
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Old 05-11-08, 01:41 PM   #12
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The funniest encounter I've had: Riding along in town with a friend on my Xtra's snapdeck. She's snapping shots with her camera and we're making a good time of it. I had checked my rear a few minutes ago and noticed a rider - a roadie - headed up along us in the bike lane. (It's a 35mph road with plenty of traffic, so we use the bike lane.)
Relevant aside: I volunteer with my school's bike team and will, with all luck, be riding with them come fall (cyclocross) and spring (road). I'd just been out a couple days before to help flag our collegiate race, hitched a ride with a couple of guys from the team.
And riding past me was one of said guys in full kit. He glanced over, realized it was me, then just looked confused for a second before striking up conversation.
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Old 05-11-08, 08:37 PM   #13
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You get extra points for messing with another cyclist's head!
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Old 05-23-08, 10:28 PM   #14
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Our new neighbors are loads of fun. It's a side-by-side duplex with a shared garage and of course my side is stuffed full of bikes and parts, and I've caught one of the neighbors on his phone telling someone, "they have three kids and like 500 bikes." Three of them are mine, of course. It finally occurred to him that I "drive" a bike when he caught me unloading groceries. He assumed I went to the overpriced grocer a few blocks away, and gawped when I told him I actually shopped 3 miles away, and went there only on my way home from the doctor's office.

The best so far was coming home today in dress clothes while the other neighbor was leaving, and catching him so offguard that he stood and stared for at least a full minute. I don't know if it was the heels or the flowers on my basket that did him in. He's also the one that is endlessly fascinated by the fact that I have a trailer for a bicycle.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:17 AM   #15
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Most people here can't even grasp the fact that an adult would ride a bicycle at all, let alone that one could get a week's worth of groceries on one. So yes, I get to mess with others' heads all the time.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:55 AM   #16
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Agreed all around about the head trip factor. Quite sure I've been classified as a weirdo about town.

Meh. Whatever.
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Old 05-27-08, 11:11 AM   #17
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What sucks is when you are fully loaded you can't really stop with out risking someone jacking your load. By stop I mean park outside a business and buy/ do something.
Actually that is true. I was thinking that may be we can have some kind of plastic box with a lock. But then it doesn't stop anyone from taking away the entire plastic box May be somehow wirelock the plastic box with the bicycle or something ...
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Old 05-27-08, 06:47 PM   #18
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Hehehe...
I just got home from a $200 grocery using my burley nomad.

It feels great doesn't it?
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Old 05-27-08, 11:36 PM   #19
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Our new neighbors are loads of fun. It's a side-by-side duplex with a shared garage and of course my side is stuffed full of bikes and parts, and I've caught one of the neighbors on his phone telling someone, "they have three kids and like 500 bikes." Three of them are mine, of course. It finally occurred to him that I "drive" a bike when he caught me unloading groceries. He assumed I went to the overpriced grocer a few blocks away, and gawped when I told him I actually shopped 3 miles away, and went there only on my way home from the doctor's office.

The best so far was coming home today in dress clothes while the other neighbor was leaving, and catching him so offguard that he stood and stared for at least a full minute. I don't know if it was the heels or the flowers on my basket that did him in. He's also the one that is endlessly fascinated by the fact that I have a trailer for a bicycle.
Heels! love it!

I get some looks in the grocery store in my shorts and jersey, then they do a double take and look at how much stuff I have in the basket. People, you have no idea! Wait till I get the Big Dummy!
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Old 05-28-08, 05:20 AM   #20
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People, you have no idea! Wait till I get the Big Dummy!
Some good ol' fashioned utility bike trash talkin'!
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Old 05-28-08, 12:14 PM   #21
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Some good ol' fashioned utility bike trash talkin'!
Heh! that comment was aimed at the mundanes in the store. I wasn't dissing you guys!
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Old 05-28-08, 03:00 PM   #22
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Yeah, I hang out with a bunch of fixie hipster guys, and they consistently show baffled delight.
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Old 05-28-08, 03:19 PM   #23
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What sucks is when you are fully loaded you can't really stop with out risking someone jacking your load. By stop I mean park outside a business and buy/ do something.
I've been trusting in karma, and the fact that most people think anyone carrying stuff on a bike must not have very good stuff (OR they think you're crazy, which is even better, because nobody wants to risk getting you mad!)
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Old 05-28-08, 06:19 PM   #24
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I actually went to the grocery store after work today for a few small items. As I was riding off, I rode past a guy walking into the store. I got the feeling I was being watched and so I glanced at him. His expression was one of complete confusion and fear. I didn't know I looked that strange and/or scary.
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