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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 02-13-10, 02:05 PM   #351
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Well, I tried buying enough for two days once, but drank it all the first night, so I figured daily trips were best. Sometimes I bought food too.

One trip also was also for brake pads, but the wimpy legs shavers who run Arrow Bicycles didn't manage to get opened Monday. Luckily Franklin's, the brewpub across the street did. Also big props for The Store at 38th and Hamilton for being open during the blizzard Wednesday!

A few pics from a utility trip I made Thursday. No mention of bicycles in the title of this thread or in the first post, so I guess reporting about utility ski trips is OK. Groceries were hauled on this outing, so it counts, right?







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Old 02-16-10, 07:08 PM   #352
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Back to work.
Printed material in cardboard boxes.
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Old 02-16-10, 07:33 PM   #353
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Hmmm, is that a competitors bike you, errr, the plow buried???
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Old 02-16-10, 07:58 PM   #354
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That's a pretty funny picture.

I did two errands on bike today, both very short. It was very windy and snowing, too. I rode my Crosscheck with its brand new fenders. I love fenders.
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Old 02-16-10, 08:47 PM   #355
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I compete with cars, not bikes. I'm not a messenger.

According to authorities today had the third worst traffic in DC history. I got stuck in traffic. I had trouble finding parking (getting from street to sidewalk), but cars got stuck worse and had harder time parking. I was very busy, because my advantage over cars was greater than usual.
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Old 02-17-10, 12:07 AM   #356
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Ohhh... sorry I thought you worked for Quick Messenger Service DC... my bad.
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Old 02-17-10, 05:54 AM   #357
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Apology accepted I guess by competitor you meant a rider for another company. I look at drivers from my own company as my competition. Not much of a team player. Haha

I don't really compete against cars either. I supplement them, so they can be used to deliver envelopes and larger items longer distances throughout the greater DC area. Most inner city freight jobs are handled by motor vehicles, but the car drivers would prefer to take advantage of their range by taking higher paying, longer deliveries. The car drivers and the bikers mostly carry envelopes. Some other bikers do 'car jobs', but not frequently. I've seen guys carrying two Xerox boxes on their handlebars. They enjoy the challenge, but aren't interested in making a steady diet of it. So, although I'm just in it for myself,, by taking the jobs no one else wants, I am sort of helping the team.

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Old 02-17-10, 08:32 AM   #358
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I like the way you think, qmsdc15.
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Old 02-21-10, 11:17 PM   #359
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Used my kiddie trailer to bring a bike home from an auction yesterday (wheels off, it fit in fine). I was the only person at the bike auction to arrive by bike. Is that ironic, or just not very suprising? Today I took my 3 foster cats to the adoption center via MUPs. They didn't love it, but it didn't seem any worse for them than going by car.
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Old 02-22-10, 03:09 PM   #360
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I like the way you think, qmsdc15.
I'll second that! " there is no 'I' in team, but there is a 'me' " has long been a standard of mine... haven't made it back on the bikes for utility runs... but the stress part has gone and my TR 101 should be ready today.
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Old 02-22-10, 04:21 PM   #361
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Haha, if I could think good, I wouldn't be doing this!
Cardboard boxes with stuff in em. I asked this guy to pose with my bike, but I did not ask for him to put my saddle in his Joe Boxers. I guess that sort of makes the shot though.

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Old 02-22-10, 04:55 PM   #362
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Haha, if I could think good, I wouldn't be doing this!
Cardboard boxes with stuff in em. I asked this guy to pose with my bike, but I did not ask for him to put my saddle in his Joe Boxers. I guess that sort of makes the shot though.


I think Sponge Bob was trying warm his chesnuts.
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Old 02-22-10, 11:55 PM   #363
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Good God Man!! Did you burn that saddle afterward??? Please don't tell us he sniffed it first....
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Old 02-28-10, 03:49 AM   #364
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Nothing but beer runs in the previous six days, as many by ski as by bike. Finally back to work today. I know you all want to see more tubs of mail. Sorry to keep you waiting.
love the snow barriers
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Old 03-01-10, 12:00 PM   #365
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Another typical weekend...... Rode to the club to swim, trip to Blockbuster for dvds for wife, stop by LBS to checkout what they in last years models for our admin at work (mechanic there just built a beautiful 3 speed, based on Rivendell Quickbeam frame....took a 3 speed shifter and managed to hook a campy lever to it), return library books and get new ones, return videos and get takeout burritos. all in all about 10 miles...

Now if we can just get the non bike person to do the same.....all of these trips could be done my almost anyone, in any shape on almost any bike.
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Old 03-01-10, 02:50 PM   #366
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Stuck in traffic behind an armored car with convex mirror on the back if it, with a box full of paper.
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Old 03-05-10, 02:31 AM   #367
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Went over to my Grandma's place to hook up her new printer and take the old one away for her. Thing wasnt really heavy just bulky. Had funny time remembering how to step thru the frame instead of doing a leg swing.

Printer 001.jpg

Printer 002.jpg

I have a small folding stool that weighs nothing that I used under the printer to help stablize it.
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Old 03-05-10, 08:01 AM   #368
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Another useful skill is swinging your leg over the handlebar. I used to have a tall milk crate on my rear rack, so this is what I did. It looks cool doing it, too.
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Old 03-05-10, 07:11 PM   #369
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Another useful skill is swinging your leg over the handlebar. I used to have a tall milk crate on my rear rack, so this is what I did. It looks cool doing it, too.
my handlebars are higher than my seat and much wider. I doubt I have the flexibility or coordination to do that. For now I'll work on not making a fool of myself stepping thru my frame.
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Old 03-12-10, 06:50 PM   #370
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my handlebars are higher than my seat and much wider. I doubt I have the flexibility or coordination to do that. For now I'll work on not making a fool of myself stepping thru my frame.
Yes but when you have a printer on your rack, the height and width of your saddle becomes less of a factor. I agree that it looks cool to swing your leg over your handlebars, but I've never learned that trick.I think drop bars that are below saddle height would make it easier vs. high, wide riser bars. There is no shame in stepping over your top tube to get on or off your bike. I've never been ashamed to do it anyway.

No shame in riding in the right lane either, but I would like to point out that the previous image of me in traffic is reversed. For the record, I was in the left lane and waiting for a chance to overtake.

Cases of Champagne and boxes of legal papers


After the load got wet, I put a tarp over it.


I actually got a tip when I dropped the wine, which doesn't happen often.
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Old 03-13-10, 10:28 PM   #371
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I dont find stepping thru the frame shameful, just awkward as im not accustomed to doing it. I just didnt want to get embarassed in public stepping thru the frame to either lose my balance or trip on something.
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Old 03-14-10, 04:18 AM   #372
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Oh, I see. Yes, it can be tricky with a big load on your rack. Be careful. I found out the hard way how my loaded trailer can change how my bike balances. It handles fine when riding, but I've buried some chainring teeth into my leg trying to mount. I just tried to swing my leg over the saddle without thinking about it, but I fell because the weight and balance was different from what I was expecting.
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Old 03-14-10, 10:18 PM   #373
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Oh, I see. Yes, it can be tricky with a big load on your rack. Be careful. I found out the hard way how my loaded trailer can change how my bike balances. It handles fine when riding, but I've buried some chainring teeth into my leg trying to mount. I just tried to swing my leg over the saddle without thinking about it, but I fell because the weight and balance was different from what I was expecting.
Ouch, that sounds painful. I wish I had a true step-through frame. I'm a little worried that I may have some problems trying to mount my bike once my second battery pack is built and on the bike.

I'm in the process of building a second battery pack for my bike using LIFEPO4 (Lithium) batteries. Everyone had always touted how much lighter LIFEPO4 are than SLAs, but the batteries alone, before factoring in the weight of the case I'll be making for them, weigh 14 pounds. Much heavier than I thought they'd be, but then at 24V 20AH they are double the capacity of my SLA pack. I'm waiting on electronics (monitoring) for the batteries to arrive, hopefully this week. Once I have the pack built, and the bears have had a chance to calm down (and eat) after hibernation, I'm hoping to get to the peaks of some of the mountains here.
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Old 03-15-10, 01:55 PM   #374
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If I was paying attention, it wouldn't have happened. Just be careful, you should be OK. Haven't you found a kick stand that will hold you bike up while you get on yet?

I carried mail today.
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Old 03-15-10, 07:11 PM   #375
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[QUOTE=nwmtnbkr;10530947]
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If I was paying attention, it wouldn't have happened. Just be careful, you should be OK. Haven't you found a kick stand that will hold you bike up while you get on yet?

I carried mail today.

Yes, I'm not worried about the kickstand. It's mounting the bike that may be the problem--I tip it a bit to swing my leg over the back. With the second battery on it, it's going to be a lot heavier. So I'm hoping I don't drop the bike or, worse, manage to get on it then loose my balance and topple over with it. I wish this was a true step-through that didn't require swinging my leg over anything. I may end up walking the bike to the street and use the advantage of additional height the curb provides to get on.
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