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.

New Xtracycle.... :o)

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Old 03-08-09, 05:12 PM
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breakaway9
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New Xtracycle.... :o)

Well I finally got my car sold Monday, had a rush order put on my Xtracycle Freeradical kit, and found a great bike shop that was willing to make time on Saturday to install it while I waited (since I don't have a car and they were 23 miles away, dropping it off and returning later wasn't really an option... The whole install went pretty smoothly, no major issues whatsoever. I then rode it back home. Luckily this was also our weekend for our trip to Costco for our two week supply of staples. So I got a chance to test out the new setup... here are a few pics....

The first three are of the loaded rig, the fourth was the wife's laod that she carried back in her back pack...

The worst part were the 30-40mph crosswinds... well really when the crosswinds died instantly while I was compensating, that was the worst.

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Old 03-08-09, 05:14 PM
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sorry lost the pics along the way
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Old 03-08-09, 05:50 PM
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You DO realize if you need to go out of town, you're left with recourse?
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Old 03-08-09, 06:05 PM
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I am not sure what you mean....
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Old 03-08-09, 06:29 PM
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Without a car, how do you plan to get to work? And if there's a place that's a two to four drive from home, how will you get there?

For most of us, giving up our car is not an option. In Europe, you don't really need one but here in America you do.
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Old 03-08-09, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Without a car, how do you plan to get to work? And if there's a place that's a two to four drive from home, how will you get there?

For most of us, giving up our car is not an option. In Europe, you don't really need one but here in America you do.
PURE BS...there are plenty of car free people in the US that have no need for a car and I suspect many more that have cars and don't really need them. My son has lived car free for the past 3 years. I have a friend that was born and raised in NYC and has NEVER had a car or a driver's license.



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Old 03-08-09, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Without a car, how do you plan to get to work? And if there's a place that's a two to four drive from home, how will you get there?

For most of us, giving up our car is not an option. In Europe, you don't really need one but here in America you do.
Gotcha, I see what you are saying... I ride my bike slow, sleet or rain anyway, and I have the flexibility to work from home if I really need to. I have driven my car to work twice since the beginning of January, and both times were to meet someone who answered my ad to sell the car. I sold my car since I didn't drive it (and I don't even want to see what would happen to my insurance rates since I have two kids turning sixteen at the beginning of this summer)... I still have an old VW Van that I use to go hunting, fishing and taking the dog to the dog park (until I get a dog trailer anyway). And my wife still has a minivan, so she can transport the kids and go to work. I have just decided personally that I am going do every activity I possibly can on my bike rather than in a car. Obviously traveling a hundred miles by bike, shooting a 500+ lb elk and transporting it home by bicycle is not really going to work out well, so I will keep my van for stuff like that. But day to day things I am much better off mentally and physically doing these things by bicycle...

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Old 03-08-09, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
PURE BS...there are plenty of car free people in the US that have no need for a car and I suspect many more that have cars and don't really need them. My son has lived car free for the past 3 years. I have a friend that was born and raised in NYC and has NEVER had a car or a driver's license.



Aaron
Right I know a few people without cars, and it is possible. Like I mentioned above, I can significantly reduce the amount I use a car, which is great, but due to geographical limitations of living in the west, with my lifestyle choices (i.e hunting and fishing) I could not really go car free at this point. Maybe someday in the future (maybe we all will... like it or not... LOL...) but I want to do what I can to make a difference everyday, and rather than plan out exactly how to go car free right now, I though a better action was to take a step in that direction. back to what you were saying, many people can live car free and do, an I commend them for it, whether they are doing it by choice or not, it's not easy to give up that crutch.
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Old 03-08-09, 07:47 PM
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I've been car free for three years in a place with no public transportation to speak of and no bike infrastructure. Nothing is impossible, there is only your own level of commitment to the idea.
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Old 03-08-09, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by breakaway9 View Post
Right I know a few people without cars, and it is possible. Like I mentioned above, I can significantly reduce the amount I use a car, which is great, but due to geographical limitations of living in the west, with my lifestyle choices (i.e hunting and fishing) I could not really go car free at this point. Maybe someday in the future (maybe we all will... like it or not... LOL...) but I want to do what I can to make a difference everyday, and rather than plan out exactly how to go car free right now, I though a better action was to take a step in that direction. back to what you were saying, many people can live car free and do, an I commend them for it, whether they are doing it by choice or not, it's not easy to give up that crutch.
As most people on the LCF and Utility forum know I am not car free, and by most standards wouldn't even qualify as car light...unless you count the fact I only own a heavy pickup truck

I am realistic enough to realize that a sizable portion of the population in the US doesn't have much if any choice at this point in time. However I also contend that many people could do a lot better with reducing car use. FWIW I sat in my living room today and watched an able bodied 37 year old male (wife's cousin) get into his full sized pickup to drive up to the end of the road to get the Sunday paper...a distance of maybe 350 yards...that is insane on many levels. This is the same guy that the doctor told him he had to clean up his act or he won't make it to age 50 because of his cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

It is a mindset and people need to change that mindset that plopping their overweight carcass behind the wheel of a car to go distances of less than 5 miles is generally unnecessary, unhealthy and wasteful.

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Old 03-08-09, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Without a car, how do you plan to get to work? And if there's a place that's a two to four drive from home, how will you get there?

For most of us, giving up our car is not an option. In Europe, you don't really need one but here in America you do.
Not to mention that there are these newfangled places that will let you borrow a car for a day or three if you give them some money and are over 25 years old. What do they call those places...

I hope to be car free some day, but I do have to admit that I like having one on those days when I need to get to work and it is raining buckets from dawn to dusk.
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Old 03-08-09, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by breakaway9 View Post
Well I finally got my car sold Monday, had a rush order put on my Xtracycle Freeradical kit, and found a great bike shop that was willing to make time on Saturday to install it while I waited (since I don't have a car and they were 23 miles away, dropping it off and returning later wasn't really an option... The whole install went pretty smoothly, no major issues whatsoever. I then rode it back home. Luckily this was also our weekend for our trip to Costco for our two week supply of staples. So I got a chance to test out the new setup... here are a few pics....

The first three are of the loaded rig, the fourth was the wife's laod that she carried back in her back pack...

The worst part were the 30-40mph crosswinds... well really when the crosswinds died instantly while I was compensating, that was the worst.
Congrats on being awesome! Also, you must really trust your LBS to have them build up a bike and immediately take it on a 23-mile ride. Then again, those with little choice have an easier decision to make.
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Old 03-08-09, 08:57 PM
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Nothing wrong being car-free. I've found that I can do without a car for my shopping errands. But because I live in a small town, being completely car free isn't possible. If I need to get to the big city, I need a car to cut down on the travel time. That's two hours away by car. Sure, a cargo bike gives you a great deal of freedom for short trips but it will never completely replace a car as a long distance means of transportation. Where I live, there is no public transportation at all.
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Old 03-08-09, 09:01 PM
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I do agree its now possible to have an active and healthier lifestyle close to where we live. For most of us, a cargo bike more than fulfills the dream of getting things done and having fun doing it. The car can be gradually relegated to bad weather and long distance tasks where a bicycle is simply not practical to get things done in a short period of time.
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Old 03-08-09, 09:06 PM
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I found carrying home a couple of bags of groceries was possible with the Xtracycle bags. I wish they were more spacious and could swallow up more. Are there any huge zippered panniers that could completely replace the Xtracycle bags?
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Old 03-08-09, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Without a car, how do you plan to get to work? And if there's a place that's a two to four drive from home, how will you get there?

For most of us, giving up our car is not an option. In Europe, you don't really need one but here in America you do.
I haven't owned a car for about 5yrs now.
i regularly travel Monterey, Ca to LA, Ca.
with The Big Dummy... (use Amtrak and/or ride/tour... etc)

one of the key components is to locate yourself within 5 miles of all your resources.

i suppose its about choices...
not everyone has the luxury to make those choices. (i guess)
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Old 03-08-09, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Where I live, there is no public transportation at all.
a place without public transport, would not meet my criteria for living.
quite possibly, I'd move (if the option was available), and more than likely I'd let the City Counsel know why I moved.
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Old 03-08-09, 09:23 PM
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Its not a problem if stores are within a few miles from home. Anything a small town doesn't have can be ordered nowadays online.
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Old 03-08-09, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturmcrow View Post
Congrats on being awesome! Also, you must really trust your LBS to have them build up a bike and immediately take it on a 23-mile ride. Then again, those with little choice have an easier decision to make.
Thanks, and I do. I let them know that I was selling my car and trying to significantly reduce the use of our remaining vehicle, and they have treated me really well... The mechanic even gave me his cell number and told me to give him a call if anything went wrong along the way....

Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
I do agree its now possible to have an active and healthier lifestyle close to where we live. For most of us, a cargo bike more than fulfills the dream of getting things done and having fun doing it. The car can be gradually relegated to bad weather and long distance tasks where a bicycle is simply not practical to get things done in a short period of time.
I like biking in bad weather to be honest. Part of getting rid of my car is an effort to slow down my life a little also so I try and plan things out and not have to rush anywhere at the last minute, or get anywhere really fast. The only place I would really need to go quickly will give me a ride in the back of their red and white truck... LOL...


Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
I found carrying home a couple of bags of groceries was possible with the Xtracycle bags. I wish they were more spacious and could swallow up more. Are there any huge zippered panniers that could completely replace the Xtracycle bags?
I have so much food on the back of that bike in the photos above (I would bet it was almost 80lbs), I don't think I would want to carry much more than that at a time... I haven't seen any panniers larger than the freeloader bags, they are really pretty big, especially if you use some straps to secure things to the wide loaders...

Originally Posted by AsanaCycles View Post
one of the key components is to locate yourself within 5 miles of all your resources.
This is part of my dilemma, when I bought this house I had no idea I would want to try and go car lite/free, I live in a subdivision on top of a hill, every single store is down hill (and correspondingly back up hill) from where I live, and it's not a little hill. Had I known what I was going to end up doing I would ahve found a different location. in the meantime I am going to make the best of it that I can (I am sure as hell not going to try and sell my house to move in this market... ;o) )

Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Its not a problem if stores are within a few miles from home. Anything a small town doesn't have can be ordered nowadays online.
True and places like drugstore.com will deliver orders over $25 (I think, maybe $50) for free... With a little planning and savings you can easily place orders of $25-$50 every 2 to three months and get the bulk of your toiletries that way...
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Old 03-09-09, 04:13 AM
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Man, I'm just loving the idea that a person who doesn't own a car can't either rent one or call a taxi.

Seriously, the level of self-righteousness, too! Like the guy hasn't thought this through, despite the fact that he clearly is in good enough shape to ride a bike 35-40 miles home.

Either a libertarian or a McCain voter.
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Old 03-09-09, 04:14 AM
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Sorry, 23 miles, heh. And I've been lusting after a Stokemonkey for a while now.
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Old 03-09-09, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by kimmitt View Post
either a libertarian or a mccain voter.
lmao....
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Old 03-09-09, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmitt View Post
Sorry, 23 miles, heh. And I've been lusting after a Stokemonkey for a while now.
Well it was 23 miles to get there too...
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Old 03-09-09, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by AsanaCycles View Post
a place without public transport, would not meet my criteria for living.
quite possibly, I'd move (if the option was available), and more than likely I'd let the City Counsel know why I moved.
Doesn't meet mine either, but when they discontinue the mass transit after you move there... and I suspect it will get much worse before it gets better, unless someone gets a clue, NOW!

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Old 03-09-09, 10:42 AM
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Congrats on the new Xtra. I didn't think it would be so great when I bought one but it far exceeds my expectations. Now if the people who make those bus racks would get it through their heads about recumbents and longtails....
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