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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 07-10-11, 09:40 PM   #1
vol
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Has anyone had accidents caused by the load?

Just wondering, has too much weight of the load or inappropriate way to secure your load cause any dangerous bike accidents to anyone here?
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Old 07-10-11, 11:27 PM   #2
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Knock on wood - no.
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Old 07-11-11, 04:30 AM   #3
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Before I got a balanced pannier system, I had a close call while making a left turn from an intersection. I accelerated hard from my stop, and the rear of my bike got a bit squirrely at the peak of the arc. Luckily, I straightened her up and went into the grassy shoulder and slowed to a stop instead of wiping out in the middle of the road, but that was scary enough to cause me to go pick up a better load system the same day. After that, I have had no issues.
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Old 07-11-11, 07:28 AM   #4
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I fell over twice on my LHT due to unbalanced load and clip in pedals. Both happened while at a complete stop. First time I clipped out the wrong side and fell over in the direction of the heavy side. Second time I was taking off and clipped in the wrong side, just forgot I had stuff in the pannier, it wasn't even a heavy load. First time I didn't hurt myself at all, second fall I had a stiff and sore neck for a week. Solution was easy, got rid of the clip in pedals. Never had a significant fall with the Dummy, a couple of weeks ago was riding it on a sandy trail that is a short cut, has some groceries and went over because of the soft sand. The wide loader stopped my fall and it was in sand so no big deal except got sand in the sling of the loaders. Before I put the Rolling Jackass on the Dummy loads had to be balanced properly while loading or the bike would fall over while loading.
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Old 07-11-11, 09:09 AM   #5
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No, but I had too much weight on my rear rack that caused major instability. I have since bought a trailer for hauling the dog food, cat food, and cat litter.
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Old 07-11-11, 12:50 PM   #6
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Flipped my trailer once on a not so friendly bypass. Due to construction of a new bridge the proper bike route trail is blocked. The bypass IS a bike route but neither party of car or bike will believe it. It's narrow with little to no shoulder with traffic doing 80km/h on a good day. This hell is short lived for I don't have to be on it long; however just long enough.

The problem for me was it was after dark and raining hard when I ended up navigating the section. Hauling the trailer with 5 5' 1x9's loaded onto the trailer, they were on edge strapped to either side of my rubber maid bin. Having blinky lights on each axle to help represent the width of the trailer. The load was slightly rear heavy, couldn't balance it any further. boards were hardly 2" off my panniers.

Being raining and dark with on coming lights, trying to see what was littered in the should was near impossible past 15'. Ended up hitting one the mini bridge expansion joints wrong which caused the trailer to flip on the axis of its tow arm to the left nearly into the traffic lane. The jolt of it didn't overly affect me, just had to stop up fast. Flipping it all back upright was a challenge, the tow arm was blocking my kickstand so I had to lift both the bike and trailer.

My memory doesn't serve me well but I believe a small car stopped slightly behind me with its hazard lights till I flipped the trailer. Least I want to believe so...
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Old 07-11-11, 09:57 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing your experiences. What about front load--have there been accidents when you have too much load in the front basket, which caused the front wheel to be hard to steer?
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Old 07-12-11, 04:11 PM   #8
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I was a paperboy when I was a teenager. I must have had a least one crash a month with papers spread all over the road. Usually due to bags on the bars with too much weight + too fast. They would get to swinging, the bike would get to swerving, and it was soon me and 100 or so papers spread all over the road.
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Old 07-12-11, 10:04 PM   #9
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kevbo, that's exactly what I had in mind. Dangerous if a car comes from behind. Glad you are safe and sound today riding bike with us

As a side remark, the word "paperboy" always reminds me of the story of the Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch...
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Old 07-12-11, 11:08 PM   #10
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I had 6 bags of mulch on the back of the Dummy one time and the front wheel definitely felt squirrelly...luckily only about 0.5 miles from walmart to the house...

But I did not wreck, in hindsight i should have loaded it differently. I stacked 4 vertically on the wideloaders (2 on each side) and 2 on top. Made alot of weight up on the bike.
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Old 07-13-11, 12:25 AM   #11
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Ojdash what you needed was a front rack, probably just one of the soil bags over the front wheel could have improved your ride quality.
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Old 07-13-11, 03:31 AM   #12
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Sometimes I see people having loads of shopping bags hanging on the handlebar. Perhaps not a good idea.
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Old 07-13-11, 11:09 PM   #13
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Most heavy loads on my Xtra are with kids on the back. It's usually me that gets hurt when taking a turn too fast and the boys kinda actually launch off. But if I were smarter, I woulda invested in a Bullitt. Anyhow, once, I got my toe snagged in my toe cage and fell over sideways in an intersection just a second after my son just dismounted the Xtra. The cleates on the wide BMX pedals scraped right up my right shin and I walked into the museum. Where we were headed with a first aid kit under my arm and blood draining into my sock.

With trailers - I'm more likely to have my utility trailer flip when empty and turning a corner than when heavily loaded. I've knocked my laptop around a bit this way, sad to say.
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Old 07-14-11, 08:58 AM   #14
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Had a rack on the front of the Dummy but had to get rid of it when I went electric, it wouldn't fit with the new hub. Will be looking for a new way to carry stuff up front, maybe a cute basket. I load the Dummy Friday night for the Saturday market and used to strap my ice chest to the front in the morning.

Was driving down the road once and right before my eyes saw a teenager riding a bike, no helmet, with bags hanging off the handlebars. He fell, likely due to heavy unstable load, and hit his head on a concrete fence that is right next to the bike path. He didn't get up. I stopped and waved a car down that had a cell phone and called 911, then ran to the restaurant next door and had them call 911 ( cell phones don't always work with 911 location finder). Ambulance took him away. He moved but was never awake while I was there.
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Old 07-14-11, 11:58 AM   #15
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I carried a 20-lb bag of ice in my hand from one convenience store to the next about a half-block down- that was precarious, but didn't wreck, either.

I did tip my Worksman front-loader at speed once- hit about a 2" piece of wood with one front wheel. One discovery is that every loose item in or on your bike will go bouncing down the road at whatever speed you were moving beforehand. So ideally, have all the small stuff in tied-up bags or something rather than loose in the box.
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Old 07-17-11, 10:23 AM   #16
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I had two of my children in the kid trailer, one in the seat, the other standing behind the seat (riding chariot, we call it). He was having fun and leaning into the corners. Given the higher center of gravity, one time while going pretty slow, the trailer tipped. He had a few minor scrapes, but other than that, he was fine. It could have been bad... Lesson learned.

With the same trailer, I've had large loads strapped to the top to take to Goodwill. Occaisionally, stuff has fallen off, but other than having to stop and pick it up, it didn't cause any problems.
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