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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 12-05-09, 12:52 AM   #226
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Today was our first run with hubby's homemade trailer. I towed Pepper in the Bell trailer. We picked up 85 lbs of dog food plus another 10 lbs or so of groceries, and lunch. DH is going to change the wheels & axle as it looks like the right side is leaning under the weight. We totaled 26 miles in about 4-hours. I don't know if that's good or bad, but my legs were so sore on the way home! I need more practice towing Pepper in his 'chariot'.





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Old 12-05-09, 05:34 PM   #227
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I was worried about those axles bending. I'm not a trailer builder, but I was thinking the axle should be supported on both sides like on your other trailer. The wheels on my BikesAtWork are cantilevered, but on a heavy thick axle that supports both wheels.
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Old 12-05-09, 05:51 PM   #228
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It was raining, then it changed to snow, nice fat flakes. I cancelled most of my plans but ventured out for a quick trip to a nearby store. It had changed back to a sleety rain which was melting the half inch that had accumulated on the warm grass. I was thinking how miserable the conditions were, until I saw some kids sledding in the rain on the wet grass/snow.

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Old 12-05-09, 07:53 PM   #229
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dzrthauler, the trailer looks excellent. Congratulations. One suggestion: try some tires with less tread. I don't think the knobs help, and they probably add friction.
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Old 12-06-09, 09:24 AM   #230
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DH is going to change the wheels & axle as it looks like the right side is leaning under the weight.
I think thats best by the look of the splay on those wheels. Try THICK angle iron for your wheel dropouts - like im using on my new trailer build.



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Old 12-06-09, 04:55 PM   #231
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I think thats best by the look of the splay on those wheels. Try THICK angle iron for your wheel dropouts - like im using on my new trailer build.



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Thanks, Tom. Actually the 3/8 aluminum plate wasn't the problem... it was as I thought- there was a few threads gap on the right hand bolt next to the plate that caused the play - changed it out this a.m. and she's holding 100 lbs. just fine. This set-up for wheels/axle is only a temp thing; my plan when building was to use a single steel axle running underneath and 16" spoked wheels. I had the 20's on an old BMX racer, so I used them to get the trailer into service.
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Old 12-06-09, 04:57 PM   #232
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dzrthauler, the trailer looks excellent. Congratulations. One suggestion: try some tires with less tread. I don't think the knobs help, and they probably add friction.
Agreed, and Thank You! When I change out the set-up I will move to a slicker type tire.
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Old 12-06-09, 05:02 PM   #233
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I was worried about those axles bending. I'm not a trailer builder, but I was thinking the axle should be supported on both sides like on your other trailer. The wheels on my BikesAtWork are cantilevered, but on a heavy thick axle that supports both wheels.
I built a drop out set-up like the standard type - a frame around the outside - but it ended up being almost as wide (37 1/2") as it is long (39") so, I opted for the current set-up, that, with any luck will hold out until I break open my wallet to do the set-up intended - just like your BAW. (which by the way, I got authorization to purchase a 64, early summer perhaps!! )
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Old 12-07-09, 04:21 PM   #234
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Another milestone accomplished - grocery run to Stater Bros. 19 miles round trip, return trip in the rain - about 115 lbs. I'm guessing, I had 2 40lb. bags of Rock Salt in there and the rest of the groceries. We found this Smart Bin yesterday at Wal-Mart while looking for an ActionPacker - real happy with this one!!


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Old 12-07-09, 04:30 PM   #235
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That's VERY impressive.
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Old 12-07-09, 06:28 PM   #236
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Great! Glad you got the wheels straightened up and staying that way under load.
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Old 12-07-09, 06:33 PM   #237
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Great! Glad you got the wheels straightened up and staying that way under load.
Yeah, still a little canting... of course I'm only using 3/8 allthread for the "axle"... Cyclepup told me to quit playing around and get the 16"s and do it the way I want ... aka the right way.. LOL!!
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Old 12-07-09, 10:24 PM   #238
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Another milestone accomplished - grocery run to Stater Bros. 19 miles round trip, return trip in the rain - about 115 lbs. I'm guessing, I had 2 40lb. bags of Rock Salt in there and the rest of the groceries. We found this Smart Bin yesterday at Wal-Mart while looking for an ActionPacker - real happy with this one!!

Nice big tub to keep the grub dry on the way home should it rain
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Old 12-07-09, 10:31 PM   #239
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Nice big tub to keep the grub dry on the way home should it rain
Hey there BC, it started to rain as soon as I left the store... me = soaked cargo = bone dry... I'm real happy with it.
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Old 12-08-09, 02:27 PM   #240
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Mine was kinda simple, no cargo, no trailer, or anything; could have been, I have two trailers, but no need, as all I was doing was mailing out the gas bill. 4 miles RT, 37F, wind E about 10. We had some snow yesterday over a bit of black ice, so some areas were a little sketchy. Needed that ride!
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Old 12-08-09, 06:32 PM   #241
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Books


Stopped by bikestation on the way home. Nice rental bikes.


They have trailers.

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Old 12-08-09, 07:32 PM   #242
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Books


Stopped by bikestation on the way home. Nice rental bikes.


They have trailers.
Thanks for posting a photo of the bike rental fees sign at the bikestation. Their bikes do look nice, but those rates seem high. I'll probably be buying a second bike next year and have added folders to my list of possible choices. Given I want to make a couple of trips to visit friends and family, maybe my purchase will be a folder. It would pay for itself fairly quickly with rates like those.
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Old 12-08-09, 07:38 PM   #243
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Thanks for posting a photo of the bike rental fees sign at the bikestation. Their bikes do look nice, but those rates seem high. I'll probably be buying a second bike next year and have added folders to my list of possible choices. Given I want to make a couple of trips to visit friends and family, maybe my purchase will be a folder. It would pay for itself fairly quickly with rates like those.
You think those rates are high? Tell ya what. Gwan down to Home Depot to the tool rental department. Pick any piece of equipment with a value similar to one of those bikes and check the rental rates.
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Old 12-08-09, 10:03 PM   #244
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I heard that the bikestation business model depends on subsidy. It's not even trying to pay for itself. Would the rents be higher if they were trying to profit? Who knows? There are probably better ways to spend tax dollars allocated to bike infrastructure, but there are probably worse ways too. I thought there was going to be showers. Many homeless live in Union Station. I guess offering showers where people who desperately need them wouldn't make sense... Smelly people who don't even ride would be stinking up the joint.
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Old 12-08-09, 10:31 PM   #245
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You think those rates are high? Tell ya what. Gwan down to Home Depot to the tool rental department. Pick any piece of equipment with a value similar to one of those bikes and check the rental rates.
That's why I have my own table saw, jig saw, power miter saw, circular saw, etc. That's probably why a folding bike may be the choice over a non-folder next year.
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Old 12-08-09, 10:33 PM   #246
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I heard that the bikestation business model depends on subsidy. It's not even trying to pay for itself. Would the rents be higher if they were trying to profit? Who knows? There are probably better ways to spend tax dollars allocated to bike infrastructure, but there are probably worse ways too. I thought there was going to be showers. Many homeless live in Union Station. I guess offering showers where people who desperately need them wouldn't make sense... Smelly people who don't even ride would be stinking up the joint.

It's a shame if they aren't going to have a shower facility. I checked rental rates at a Silver Spring bike store and they're a bit lower so I think bikestation might not have much leeway to raise fees and stay competitive. I really think a folder may be in my future.
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Old 12-09-09, 01:59 PM   #247
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Just to give you a coparision on hire bicycle charges, here is a copy and paste from two hire companies for the UK city of Cambridge:

Station cycle hire:

BIKES FOR HALF DAY + DAY HIRE MUST BE RETURNED SAME DAY BEFORE CLOSING TIME
HIRE PERIOD STANDARD ATB HELMETS TANDEM PERFORMANCE CHILD SEATS
(CITY BIKE) (MOUNTAIN BIKE) (RECOMMENDED) (FOR TWO) (PRO/RACER) (With City Bikes Only)
Up to 4 Hours 8.00 7.00 0.50 18.00 18.00 4.00
Full Day 10.00 9.00 1.00 24.00 24.00 5.00
2 Days 18.00 16.00 2.00 34.00 34.00 9.00
3 Days 20.00 18.00 2.50 40.00 40.00 10.00
1 Week 25.00 23.00 3.50 50.00 50.00 12.50
2 Weeks 34.00 32.00 4.00 80.00 80.00 17.00
3 Weeks 39.00 37.00 5.50 POA POA 18.50
1 Month 44.00 42.00 6.50 POA POA 22.00
2 months 60.00 55.00 9.00 POA POA 30.00
Additional Month 15.00 12.50 2.00 POA POA 7.50
Deposit 75.00 50.00 0 WITH HIRE BIKE 300.00 400.00 25.00
Insurance* 1.50 1.00 - 6.00 8.00 1.00
Daily
Insurance* 5.00 3.50 - 20.00 25.00 2.50
Weekly
Insurance* 10.00 7.00 - 40.00 50.00 5.00
Monthly
PLEASE NOTE: A 5 CHARGE WILL BE MADE FOR LOST RECEIPTS

http://www.stationcycles.co.uk/


and for City Cycle hire, also in cambridge. Note; they hire hybrid style cycles only.


CITY BIKES

ANY PERIOD IS POSSIBLE

Customers are required to pay a 40 Deposit in Advance.


Rental Period
Cost ()
Half Day (4 Hours) 6
1 Day (6-8 hours) 9
24 Hours 10
2-3 Days 15
4-7 Days 20
10 Days 28
2 Weeks 30
3 Weeks 37
4 Weeks 42
5 Weeks 47
6 Weeks 52
8 Weeks 60
10 Weeks - 3 Months 70

http://www.citycyclehire.com/index.php?part=1
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Old 12-09-09, 04:30 PM   #248
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Yesterday, I agreed to carry two boxes from an office building downtown to the Supreme Court, ready for pick-up at 8:30 today. Running late, I picked them up around 9:30 but didn't have time to drop them before completing my daily mail run. I was almost done with the mail, feeling rushed, when I came to a red light, which I could have run, but a bicyclist who had the green was dawdling and by the time she was out of my way, some cars were coming. I was concentrating too much on the vehicles on the one way street I was trying to cross and almost bolted ahead before noticing a ped in the crosswalk coming from the other direction. I saw him reacting, startled, but I saw him in time and allowed him to walk in front of me. I offered a "sorry about that" and it was OK.

I started to bolt again, but I saw an SUV and another car coming through, so I stopped, but the cabbie next to me, not paying attention, saw me moving and thought it was time to go. Yeah, he ran the red without even looking and got smashed into by an oversized SUV. I felt bad, sort of responsible, but he did what he did, and I didn't force him to do it. The light was red after all! At least it wasn't me who got tagged.

Then I got a flat on my trailer. I patched it, but installed it wrong. The rims on my trailer don't have a hook bead and the tire must be positioned on the rim with greater care than I took. As I was putting away my pump and patch kit, a loud explosion. Man, that Super Court drop is getting old! So I dug deeper through my junk and found the spare 16in tube I knew I was carrying but couldn't find when the patch I could find was all I needed.

I made a couple more stops on the way to the Supremes, got there 11:30ish, not terrible considering the late start and the mechanicals.

I could not reach the recipient on the phone. A Supreme Court Policeman was telling me to move along or something. Deliveries to that place are supposed to be put in plastic bags and are taken to Maryland to be fumigated for Anthrax, etc. I've been through it with the Super Court Cops about this, and they did make an exception in the past but not until a supervisor was called, etc. I'm just nodding and smiling, hoping to avoid that scene again, when my contact appears out of nowhere.

"Is that for me!?"

"Hi, Ms. M___!"

"Oh, is that for you?"

"Yes"

"OK"

I hadn't located the cause of the initial puncture, and sure enough, it went flat again. A friend who was hanging out where I made the repairs found a tiny piece of glass in the tire while I was patching the tube. It's good now, holding air, but I noticed that my bike's frame appears to be cracked, so I took the rest of the day off after making a couple more deliveries.

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Old 12-09-09, 07:35 PM   #249
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That's what I call a hard day. Sorry to hear about your bike's frame!
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Old 12-09-09, 09:34 PM   #250
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You should think about installing Kevlar liners or something equivalent to protect the tubes.

And about the accident, I think most of us have at least come close to doing the same. I was waiting at a stop sign once, started to pull out into the intersection but stopped when I saw a car coming. The car next to me saw me move so he hit the gas and just made it through.
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