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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 04-21-10, 12:00 PM   #426
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Yesterday, I put my dog in the kiddie trailer. He's an extremely tall 75-pound greyhound. He wasn't happy. On the return trip, he kept getting out just as I started to move, which was very disruptive. Eventually, I had to strap him in so he couldn't get up. Gotta work out something more comfortable for him.
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Old 04-21-10, 01:47 PM   #427
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Yesterday, I put my dog in the kiddie trailer. He's an extremely tall 75-pound greyhound. He wasn't happy. On the return trip, he kept getting out just as I started to move, which was very disruptive. Eventually, I had to strap him in so he couldn't get up. Gotta work out something more comfortable for him.
Good luck. I've given up trying to get my dog to ride in the trailer. She can't get out, I've got her seat-belted in it and there's a nice cushion for her, but she cries constantly (gets louder the further we go). I think my dog is terrified because she's low and behind me so she can't see me and we're riding in traffic, which scares her.
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Old 04-21-10, 02:10 PM   #428
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He seemed fine once we got under way. At the worst, he was resigned. And he might have been enjoying the sights and smells.

I have another greyhound who adores rides in the car, and I suspect she'll like the trailer more. She's also smaller.

I really should have taken a picture. It was a cute sight to see Red in the trailer.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:03 PM   #429
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Laundry day is no longer dreaded...

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Old 04-26-10, 02:07 PM   #430
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Rode into the nearby town 9 miles away to mail some things at the Post Office. We keep getting teased with a few nice days and then pummeled with windy, wet, cold weather. This is to be our only dry day this week, but it's cold. I finally got the chain and gears cleaned and lubed this weekend. Wow, I'd forgotten how much more smoothly it pedals and shifts with everything cleaned and lubricated. Rode like a new bike.
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Old 04-26-10, 10:03 PM   #431
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anyone ever carry a grandma on their bike???

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Old 04-26-10, 10:07 PM   #432
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Wife and I rode down to the grocery store after it cooled off (read: got dark) and bought the equivalent of six paper bags' worth of groceries. We each have two baskets, one on her handlebars and one mounted on the top center of the rear rack, and I have one on each side of my rear rack. All but the one on her handlebars aren't designed for bikes, but are nice and sturdy and are just a little wider at their bases than normal bike baskets, so we managed to hold a good amount.

We frequently ride down to restaurants within about three miles of home. We figure we can offset the calorie intake by not driving.
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Old 04-26-10, 10:18 PM   #433
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From Saturday (have been away from the interweb for a few days).

You would think I would not worry about getting a flat with all those tyres except they are all for wheel sizes that are no longer made like the Ea1 size on my 1955 Raleigh... I got three pairs of those as well as some rarish 27 inch racing tyres, and a pair of 26 by 1 3/8 wheels with tyres for a rebuild I am doing.

The bags were also loaded with a variety of small parts and more hard to find tyres.


Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 04-27-10 at 12:02 AM. Reason: image added... duh
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Old 05-02-10, 09:15 PM   #434
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To target for super soaker water pistols for the boys, then to Lowe's for dog fencing and a composter.

Totally got picked up in the Water Toys aisle of Target. Made my day. I think the bike has me looking pretty young these days.

Bike+Trailer makes a good shopping cart in the garden section of Lowe's.

Sucks that Lowe's made my local HW store close, though. It's a heck of a ride up a huge hill and deep into asphalt desert territory...
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Old 05-03-10, 06:30 PM   #435
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That's a great shot, the one with you and your boys in it.

I carried some boxes from the Smithsonian to DOJ. The carousel was closed.
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Old 05-04-10, 06:46 AM   #436
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Sunday night, I had an unplanned adventure!

Last week, I blew my car engine out. I think the head gaskets are blown, and this could cost me thousands. I haven't gotten around to bringing it into the shop yet, so I either borrow my wife's car or cycle.

I have a rehearsal every Sunday night in Mendham, about 24 miles from here. My friend Debbie and I take turns driving. Except right now, I am in an opera production that she's not in, so I stay later than she does. I asked her for a ride and put my bike in her trunk. I was going to ride back to the Morristown station and take the train home.

I left promptly at 10pm even though rehearsal wasn't over yet. The train was at 10:30. That should be enough time to ride 7 miles.

It's a rural road, very dark and somewhat hilly. I was riding a Raleigh Twenty, a folding bike built in 1973. It has an upright riding position, 20" wheels, and a Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub. Of course, it has rubber pedals. I didn't estimate the time well for such a slow heavy (40 pounds) bike.

It was kind of scary, and I thought about foxes and bears while riding in the dark.

I got to the train station just as the train was pulling away.

I called my wife and asked her if she'd be willing to pick me up. She said no. Nice, huh? She had to get up early for a medical exam. We agreed to meet somewhere between where I was (Morristown) and home (Maplewood). So I rode more hills all the way to Livingston. We got to the meeting point almost at the same time. The Morristown-to-Livingston route was along a shopping highway, speed limit of 50 at some points. But traffic was very light, thank goodness.

My calves still hurt.

And yesterday, I used the Twenty to haul some stuff. I brought a computer over to a client for her to rent it. I never before had taken a working computer in a trailer, for fear of damaging the hard disk. But this is my computer, not a client's. From there, I went grocery shopping. I didn't even take the least steep hill back home. I took one of the steeper streets, with the load and the 3-speed, heavy bike.

My calves hurt. But in a good way. Should I be stretching them?
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Old 05-04-10, 11:01 AM   #437
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Today, I did another bicycle delivery by bicycle. Last time I put two full size bikes in my kiddie trailer. It was rough going. This time, I rode a full size bike. This is the bike I was delivering to someone who just bought it. I put my folding bike (Raleigh Twenty) in the trailer. I have found that putting weight forward helps a lot. It reduces the pull-push oscillation. I dropped the bike off, took my bike out of the trailer and towed the trailer home emtpy.
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Old 05-04-10, 04:35 PM   #438
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After teasing us with a few nice spring days, Mother Nature has been pounding us with cold, wet and very windy weather for the past few weeks. Although it was windy today, 12 MPH winds were much better than yesterday's 25-40 MPH winds and we had a break in the rain so I took the opportunity to cycle into the nearby town 9 miles away to go to the post office. I'm ready for this weather pattern that we're in to end.





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Old 05-04-10, 05:05 PM   #439
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Wow, what kind of bird is that?!
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Old 05-04-10, 06:11 PM   #440
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the bird shot is awesome-- are those from a helmet cam or....?
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Old 05-04-10, 06:30 PM   #441
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Thanks noglider and standalone. That's an eagle sculpture. There are a couple of local artists who work in metal, including bronze. The town has bought some of their works and has them on display in various parts of town. That one is my favorite of the eagle sculptures (there must be about a half dozen eagle sculptures around town). The shots are from my new Kodak Playsport HD camcorder, which is mounted to my handlebars. I just captured a couple of stills from the video. It was my first time shooting with it and I made the mistake of choosing 720p at 60 frames per second and I wasn't too happy with the video. Next ride I'm going to set it at 30 frames per second. I like the camera, though. It can be used underwater, up to 10 feet. Incentive to take my tiny boat out this summer.

Here's a better photo that I took of the same sculpture a while ago.

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Old 05-04-10, 10:00 PM   #442
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Today, I did another bicycle delivery by bicycle. Last time I put two full size bikes in my kiddie trailer. It was rough going. This time, I rode a full size bike. This is the bike I was delivering to someone who just bought it. I put my folding bike (Raleigh Twenty) in the trailer. I have found that putting weight forward helps a lot. It reduces the pull-push oscillation. I dropped the bike off, took my bike out of the trailer and towed the trailer home emtpy.
Tom - You seem to like that Twenty a great deal and we have ways of making them lighter, faster, and capable of holding their own against modern folders and they can be very capable towing vehicles as well.



The stock weight of an R20 is about 36 pounds... mine was down to 24 pounds before I put the stock fenders and a rack on it.
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Old 05-05-10, 12:27 PM   #443
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I dunno. I'll wait for now. My daughter may want to bring it to college with her in September. She'll be in Olympia, WA. It's a nice bike, but I may not fall in love with it, no matter what I did. I had one many years ago, and I started souping it up the way John S Allen did his. I put on drop bars and an S5 hub. I built wheels with aluminum rims, BMX tires, and a quick release front hub. I probably put toe clips on it, too. When it was all done, it still wasn't all that great to ride.

Mostly, I'm just seeing what kind of uses each bike is good for. The Twenty does seem good for hauling. If I used the rear rack or added a front rack, it could hold quite a lot. I saw women using them for shopping in England in 1981. And unlike my Sports, the gearing is right. The Sports is geared much too high.

My calves hurt!
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Old 05-05-10, 05:52 PM   #444
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I hauled my first human cargo on the Xtradale today. I took a teammate back to his dorm after pole vault practice a few minutes ago. It was a heavy haul up some hills, and I could feel the thing flexing side to side a bit, but otherwise very nice. I don't have any pictures, but I'm sure I will have more opportunity to get some.
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Old 05-05-10, 06:09 PM   #445
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I don't have a bike or trailer that could handle today's task. I needed to get a 14' 2x6 pressure treated plank at the lumber yard which is about 1km from my house.
So, I had to do it on foot and carry it home on my shoulder. Sorry, no pictures.
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Old 05-06-10, 09:29 AM   #446
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I don't have a bike or trailer that could handle today's task. I needed to get a 14' 2x6 pressure treated plank at the lumber yard which is about 1km from my house.
So, I had to do it on foot and carry it home on my shoulder. Sorry, no pictures.
You could have strapped it to the top tube. Not much different in time from walking 1 km vs loading up a bike, but any further and a bike would have been much faster.

:)ensen.
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Old 05-06-10, 05:03 PM   #447
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Last night I rode out to a local music store chain that does a lot of trade-in business. I had a mandolin, an acoustic/electric bass, and an EHX Memory Man pedal loaded up. Rode it up a million hills into a headwind and up into super-fast suburban concrete jungle four lane high speed shopping strip (Route 1).

I wheeled and dealed (Wheelt and Dealt?) and traded only two of the three things I had planned on trading in for a vintage Ibanez similar to what Sting used to play. Sweet!



I was late for choir practice, so I took Route 1 directly into the next town, right down Route 1 through the 4-6+ lane Route 1/I-95 interchange.

Amazing thing was, traffic simply evaporated for the two or three miles of the ride-- just me, my bike, my basses, and my trailer. (and the headwind!) zoom!
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Old 05-06-10, 07:04 PM   #448
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Sharp looking axe! Congrats. Glad you got to keep your other bass. Is the acoustic/electic an electric double bass? Post pics.
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Old 05-07-10, 07:31 AM   #449
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Hauled the girlfriend to a local free concert series last night to avoid dealing with traffic/parking. Only went about 3 miles but it was quite hilly although the xtra-cycle handled it well.

She said the one thing any self respecting utility cyclist wants to hear "when we get a new car in a few months we should take some of the money from the old one so you can get a stoke monkey" I am in love...
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Old 05-07-10, 05:37 PM   #450
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Some thought the fax machine would mean the end of bicycle messengers. But who's going to transport the fax machines?
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