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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 06-03-09, 07:03 PM   #51
Fast Cloud
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12 miles today...the usual breakfast, Kroger for a head of lettuce, some tomatoes and a trip to the alterations lady. Clearly cycling has been good to me...all of my pants are now too big. It doesn't take long for these little trips to add up. Saving miles on my truck, not to mention gas while getting in shape is making Fast Cloud a happy camper.
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Old 06-04-09, 03:24 AM   #52
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you guys crack me up, lol, dope bag

went to the store today:

+/-150lbs, bulk items:
beans, flour, pasta, clif bars, cherrios, chili, canned beef, peanuts, peanut butter, canned milk, chocolate chips, crackers, margarine, oatmeal, sea salt, taco seasoning, chopped onions, soy milk, cheese, canned tuna.

pocketbook was tight this time. the xtra was much more nimble in the turns with a lighter load.
i wanted to ride for longer; but, I didn't want to crash the food bill. i forgot to pick up a cheap hotdog and pizza.

6 miles.
easy parking, easy loading.
fun.
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Old 06-04-09, 12:53 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post

Double parked with couple of boxes onboard just to get this shot of a solar car.
And your bike just about to get squashed by a bus! Tell me it's ok! I love seeing your pictures, they're always impressive. But don't take too much time out of your working day to satisfy my need for new pictures!
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Old 06-04-09, 01:54 PM   #54
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Haha, he was parked in the traffic lane before I laid down my bike in front on him, so I had right of way at that time, sort of. I didn't notice until I reviewed the shot that he was pulling out. That makes it a better picture, but there were other double parked vehicles behind him, I wasn't really in anybody's way except his and understanding that I wasn't doing anything worse than what he was doing, he spared my bike.

That's for the positive feedback, rbrian. I enjoy stopping to take a few pictures. I can't hump the bike all day, it's too hard. Today I left early before the rain but I took a couple shots of the C&O canal a few blocks from it's terminus in Georgetown. You can ride the dirt towpath (on the right of the canal in this shot) all the way to Ohio, 184 miles away.



I'm trying not to post bland gray sky images of my grossly under loaded rig like this one, but you kinda asked for it. Haha

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Old 06-05-09, 11:19 AM   #55
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Last night, Quick run for Frozen yogurt (wife) and baskin robbins (son).... I love the long days right now.
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Old 06-05-09, 05:29 PM   #56
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Wednesday: My errand run included, pay the electric bill, stop at the personnel office at the main library, pay the cable bill, stop at DMV to renew my driver's license. Always a treat riding a bike to DMV.

Thursday: Bank, post office, grocery store. After dinner I rode out the one of the suburban LBSs for parts my LBS didn't have in stock.
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Old 06-05-09, 06:42 PM   #57
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It rained all day. No dodging thunderstorms or leaving early before the rain today. I took this picture during a brief respite around 4pm. A freight train, my bike, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol Power Plant. Did you know the U.S. Capitol has it's own power plant? A filthy coal burning one which hasn't generated electricity since 1952. It provides steam and chilled water to the Capitol building and some surrounding buildings. It is exempt from EPA standards. In 2000, coal state Senators McConnell and Byrd blocked a proposal to use cleaner fuel in the plant.

Almost empty here, carrying a box that almost fit in my bin. Picked up Golytely and clear fluids on the way home.
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Old 06-06-09, 01:30 AM   #58
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i needed to do some errands and somehow the valve tip was broken off (?) of my rear tube on my beater and i tried to inflate it anyways and when i took the chuck off the core shot out... after checking the storage for a tube and found none and remembered the cargo bike waiting to go downstairs.

ended up running twice as much errands (lol): pharmacy, grocery store, liquor store, bike shop

gave one of the bike shop guys a ride on the back. he really liked it.
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Old 06-06-09, 04:02 PM   #59
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Grocery trip

Did some errands by bike today. I had been wanting to test out my new rear basket, but we had thunderstorms yesterday and so I had to be patient.
Today it was windy but no rain/lightning, woohoo - time to test her out.

Errand list:
- dropped off our accumulation of plastic shopping bags for recycling at my local grocery store.
- returned some items at the local hardware store. I had bought this cheapie drill guide that ended up not being worth *squat*, so back to the shelf it went. Glad I saved my receipt on that one.
- rode a few miles to our local Trader Joe's for this week's load of groceries. Eggs, milk, drinks, fruit, lucnhmeat and some killer walnut levain bread they make.


You can see my new basket in the pics ($13 from hardware store + a few zipties)
I had looked over the offerings from Wald, etc. but they were either too small, too large, or too $$.

So far I love the utility it provides: I can drop my extra-large backpack (with laptop inside) and it fits easily. Or if I need to pick up some take-out food, I can just drop them in the back. No need to bring my panniers/etc. and my U-lock + cable both fit in the bottom as well. No need to clamp them to the frame, or figure out a bungie method anymore.

I hung my Jandd grocery pannier on the side since I had some overflow of groceries. It held on very snug, but the bike's balance was a little off kilter. But nothing severe, barely noticeable when under way.

However, I can no longer just throw my leg over the back when getting onto or off the bike. So it's gonna take me some time to hone my "liftover" technique, or work on my flexibility!


Cheers
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Old 06-06-09, 04:14 PM   #60
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Carried a new bike home on my Xtra last night. No pictures, but it's like the 4th time I've done that going home from work. So awesome.
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Old 06-06-09, 04:21 PM   #61
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My weekly grocery run...well the big one anyway. I always forget something!


By fastcloud

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Old 06-06-09, 04:23 PM   #62
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Xtra's rock!!
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Old 06-06-09, 08:04 PM   #63
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Just spent a week in heaven, also known as Mackinac Island Michigan. No cars, just bicycles and horse drawn wagons, buggies and carriages.
Here I am, yesterday morning with all the luggage and supplies aboard, leaving our codo for the 4 km ride to the ferry.
http://cid-c5aa741102f41823.skydrive...20II%20044.jpg
Hated to leave.
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Old 06-10-09, 03:51 PM   #64
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A very sweet little stray kitten was found living in the garage behind the house I live in.
The guy living downstairs heard it meowing and put out some milk. His daughter stalked
and captured it. He didn't want to keep it and he knew I had a cat that died last year, so
he asked me if I wanted to keep it. I let the young girl who caught him name him.

Jackson's first bike ride, to the vet.

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Old 06-10-09, 04:06 PM   #65
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Jackson looks to have the potential to be a fine avatar......
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Old 06-10-09, 04:44 PM   #66
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He is so affectionate, it's amazing to see how quickly he has figured out he is in a safe place.
Two days ago he was hiding and his tail was always tucked up under him. Now he is stretched
out on the couch like he owns it. Sleeping through thunderstorms right now, which would have
had my last cat hiding someplace where nobody could find him.

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Old 06-12-09, 04:55 PM   #67
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A utility ride/trip/errand that I didn't do today.

I didn't carry $2000 worth of chocolates today, because the chocolatier refused to release them
to my care. She was afraid they would melt. I'm used to dealing with the assumption that
a motor vehicle will be sent on jobs that the client has specified 'car required'. Every job
I do is considered a 'car job'.

What I am not OK with is the assumption that the motor vehicle will have a refrigerated passenger
compartment. If I was using a car for my deliveries, I would most definitely not be running AC.
If I had been driving, she would have handed over the truffles without a thought, but they would
have been exposed to greater heat for a longer period of time. I had some large white shipping
bags I would have used which reflect most of the light that hits them . The chocolate would have
been outside for less than 10 minutes.

Our client was on the receiving end, they will be charged for an attempted pick up. The chocolatier
delivered it herself, so everybody's happy, but it left a bittersweet taste in my mouth. That was
from the chocolate I nibbled on while waiting at the pickup. Yummy! The chocolate I ate was among
the remnants of an apparent chocolate/cocoa/coffee tasting that had happened at the place where
they told me to sit. There were french presses, small cups with small amounts of coffee in them,
pieces of paper with a number next to each cup, small plates with coffee beans on them, a plate with
bits of chocolate on it, and small glasses containing what looked like cocoa. I poured myself some lukewarm
coffee but didn't get around to drinking it. I respect the chocolate maker's pride and concern for her
product. She's an artiste. Rejecting the delivery agent her customer sent was a cheeky move.

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Old 06-13-09, 04:11 PM   #68
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Hauled some Looooong wood last week - All 18 feet of it.



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Old 06-14-09, 09:45 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
A utility ride/trip/errand that I didn't do today.

I didn't carry $2000 worth of chocolates today, because the chocolatier refused to release them
to my care. She was afraid they would melt. I'm used to dealing with the assumption that
a motor vehicle will be sent on jobs that the client has specified 'car required'. Every job
I do is considered a 'car job'.

What I am not OK with is the assumption that the motor vehicle will have a refrigerated passenger
compartment. If I was using a car for my deliveries, I would most definitely not be running AC.
If I had been driving, she would have handed over the truffles without a thought, but they would
have been exposed to greater heat for a longer period of time. I had some large white shipping
bags I would have used which reflect most of the light that hits them . The chocolate would have
been outside for less than 10 minutes.

Our client was on the receiving end, they will be charged for an attempted pick up. The chocolatier
delivered it herself, so everybody's happy, but it left a bittersweet taste in my mouth. That was
from the chocolate I nibbled on while waiting at the pickup. Yummy! The chocolate I ate was among
the remnants of an apparent chocolate/cocoa/coffee tasting that had happened at the place where
they told me to sit. There were french presses, small cups with small amounts of coffee in them,
pieces of paper with a number next to each cup, small plates with coffee beans on them, a plate with
bits of chocolate on it, and small glasses containing what looked like cocoa. I poured myself some lukewarm
coffee but didn't get around to drinking it. I respect the chocolate maker's pride and concern for her
product. She's an artiste. Rejecting the delivery agent her customer sent was a cheeky move.
If you have the time and inclination, it would be interesting to go back to the chocolater and as a test to prove it would work, take four of them on a tour and then return to show her the results. Take photos and then use them to prove you can carry anything a car can.
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Old 06-15-09, 10:33 AM   #70
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I love weekends....this weekend

Trip to hardware store for some "purple and pink plants...don't buy dead ones" and drugstore

Trip to return dvd and get some New Belgium (fat tire ale) Skinny dip

trip to rent dvd and get frozen yogurt

8+ miles...
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Old 06-16-09, 09:05 AM   #71
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Chocolatier -- I don't know what the weather is like in WA, but down here, in the South, her decision would makes sense.

I'd be reluctant to hand over $$$ in chocolate to someone on a bike, in the heat. Just saying.
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Old 06-16-09, 12:47 PM   #72
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Yeah, I wasn't mad at her. She wasn't the first to underestimate my abilities nor is she the last one.
At the moment you are the last one, Slim, but I'm sure that will be a short-lived distinction.
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Old 06-16-09, 02:59 PM   #73
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qmsdc15..... it seems that like you haul a ton of different things. The chocolate thing is the only "issue" with bike trailer delivery that seems to have come up in this thread.

One idea that i had, was that one of those huge marine coolers http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colem...id=8550&brand= might make a good general carrier..... a little ice in summer and bottle of hot water in winter and you have climate controlled delivery..... the chocolate thing could be such a corner case that it doesnt matter.

The other thing that struck me, is that you should have a sign on your rig to advertise your service.

ps: how is the cat doing
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Old 06-16-09, 04:05 PM   #74
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Took a hammer-mill chipper shredder to the local little league auction. About twelve miles.
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Old 07-06-09, 10:55 AM   #75
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quick trip to the drug store.

A plug for these simple (ie not hauling enough stuff to build a garage) trips. I think this is the highest form of utility...because all it takes is a bike....a rack helps, but so many trips people do, what is hauled can easily be just put in the sack and hung from the handle bars.

I think we should encourage our friends and family by example.
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