Monday, December 12, 2005

Carrying Things (part 2, big loads)

Nineteen trips out of twenty, a basket or two is all you'll need to tote a nice load on your bike. I've said before that I think people sometimes go overboard on capacity in this country. I see several commuters regularly who have either a full set of panniers or a cargo trailer with just a backpack in it. I don't begrudge them their space, but surely they're a lot less likely to take the long way home on a pretty day, and that's a shame.

One trip in twenty, though, or fifty, you may need to carry something too big or weird or precious for a basket. In those cases, it can be fun to have more capacity because in those cases, that's what the ride's about. People love to see bikes carrying crazy loads, and they'll stare and honk and wave sometimes.

If you do have big things to carry by bike, you picked the right time. There are so many clever ways to carry things bigger than your bike nowadays. The XtraCycle Free Radical is a practical headturner. If you have an old mountain bike to spare for big load duty, it might be just the ticket. Otherwise, there are a number of neat trailer designs, all of which are worth a look. Bikes at Work, Burley, and BicycleR Evolution all make smart trailers that cost less than a couple months worth of gas and last a lot longer.

Rachel and I recently received a BicycleR Evolution "Heavy Duty" Trailer. Our 1 in 20 usually invloves toting a guitar, hand drum, or four grocery sacks worth of recycling. The trailer is an incredibly smart design and so simple I find myself trying to think of reasons it shouldn't work. It is based around a large (5 grocery bag sized) rubbermaid type bin, 2 16" wheels, and an ingenious hitch based on an air hose coupling. The trailer literally just snaps on and off of the bike with one hand and zero effort. The whole thing stores upright and out of the way on our tiny front porch.

Here are a couple of pictures of Rachel pulling the trailer on a grocery run. We came up with a silly long list just for fun, five bags worth, and the trailer performed well. I don't anticipate using the trailer often, but it's certainly another fun thing to do on a bike!

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Blogger Paul Cooley said...

It looks like a good trailer. We have a similar setup with a rubbermaid container inside a B.O.B. trailer. Our Burley has been indispensable for hauling kids, groceries, straw bales, small pieces of plywood, etc.

We have, however, finally ordered the 64" Bikes at Work trailer, which we are going to share with another bicycling family.

It will be nice to haul lumber to build bee hives, to haul more than one straw bale at a time, and if we ever have 100 people over for a dinner party, all the groceries we would need to throw one.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Joe said...


Be sure to post your thoughts on the B-A-W trailer once you've used it some. Seems like a very sturdy and functional design and from great folks.

Wonderful idea to share. I hadn't thought of it, but that's one downside to the Bicycler Evolution hitch: it requires a part (albeit a small one) on the towing bike. That might limit us loaning it out.

9:37 PM  
Blogger TG said...

nice demo action by rachel!

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...

A friend of mine has a B-A-W trailer - I think it's the 64 incher. He reports success in hauling cinder blocks (46 at a time), a motorcycle, and I saw it make quick work of a couch haul.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous kredieten said...

Hi Blogger! Ik ben op zoek naar kredieten Zou Afab echt zo goed zijn als iedereen beweert? Of kan ik beter zoiets als Geldshop proberen?

Groetjes Albert

1:05 AM  
Blogger Brenda Sue said...

My Bicycle Tour In VermontSeveral years ago, a friend took me on a bicycle tour in the Sonoma Valley. Ever since that trip, I have been hooked on the idea of active vacationing. I save money every year specifically earmarked for a bicycle tour.Last year, I chose to do my yearly excursion to Vermont. I found a company that specialized in bicycle tours of the villages in Southeast Vermont. I am so glad that I chose this trip. I think that it exceeded my every expectation and was quite possibly the best cycling experience that Ive ever had.Bicycle tours are really great only if the support team is helpful and courteous. The scenery will fade away if the breakfast is bad or the beds are lumpy. It is a lot of work to cycle around to see sights instead of driving around to see them in a rental car. After this bicycle tour, I will recommend the company that ran it to anyone.I think that Vermont may be the prettiest state Ive ever visited. While I was on my bicycle tour, I saw so many lovely villages. There were white churches and picket fences. I saw a brick federalist mansion that took my breath away. I stopped to shop at several craft shops and even a general store.I somehow felt connected to a past I wasnt a part of. There were people sitting on their front porches waving as our bicycle tour pedaled by. I was most surprised by the excellent accommodations that we were provided. We stayed two nights at the Kedron Valley Inn. That inn is 168 years old and has been selected by travel writers as one of the top ten inns in America.The next inn that we stayed at was considerably newer and had a few more amenities than the Kedron Valley Inn. I enjoyed the proprietors so much. They sat on the porch with us after sundown and told stories about various people that had stayed there over the years. I think I could have listened to them for hours, but I was tired from the days riding on the bicycle tour and turned in early.To learn more about everything bicycles vist my site at: BrensMartUSA Bicycles Have a geat day and stay healthy!Brenda Sue

4:42 PM  

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