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Things that can be Carried on a Bike (#557 & #558)

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#557 (above)…Construction debris on its way to a dumpster.

#558 (below)…$110 in groceries, sundries, and dog food.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That can be Carried on a Bike (#523)…and a random photo of a sunflower.

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On the bike (and in the trailer)…groceries, sundries, dog food, and a gym bag.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#498)

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$230 (US) in groceries on a rainy rainy day.

Urban Simplicity

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#495) and a brief comment…

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On the bike…Slightly more than $120 in groceries.

I was shopping at a local grocery store yesterday. It’s not my favorite store but it is the closest to my house; this is mainly the reason I go there (but they do have good prices on produce). And one of the things I like about this store is that plastic grocery bags are not given to you; the cashier asks if you want any. This, I’m sure is not for environmental purposes, it’s for financial (they charge 10 cents a bag). Nonetheless, it keeps less people from using plastic bags and that’s ok with me. But that’s not what I’m getting at. As I paid my bill the cashier–seeing I didn’t have any bags with me–asked how many I would like. She looked at my rather full cart, then back at me, then says, “Are you just going to put all this stuff in your car loose like this?” Well, I tell her, no, not exactly…I’m on a bike. She smiled and looked as if waiting for the punch line, as if I told her a joke. To cut to the end of the story, she didn’t believe me. I told her that I’ve carried far more things than this on my bike(s), but she looked at me like I was a bit nuts (which I may be). I realize that me carrying this stuff is not all that special (likely many of you reading this do the same and carry much more than this by bike) but it is really something…the automatic response regarding cars and bikes in our culture (yes, I know I am generalizing). As I wheeled the cart away I actually heard her tell the cashier next to her that I am carrying all that stuff on a bike. I just smiled and pushed the squeaky cart towards the door…

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#478)…and a few brief comments

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Well, this post should actually be titled “Things That Can be Pulled by a Bike” because nothing wa actually on the bike except me, everything was being pulled, and this is it…

About $40US in groceries, a gym bag full of wet clothes, three bottles of wine, and two slices of pizza.

Also, this past week marks one year of being entirely car-free 🙂 but more on this in a later post.

And lastly, don’t forget that May is National Bike Month and next week, May 8th, is National Bike To Work Day.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#476)

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Everything needed to do a cooking/bread making class (this is actually the return trip from this post).

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#475)

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Various bread baking supplies and ingredients (including about 5lbs. of live starter which later exploded–literally!–in my refrigerator), and a 6qt. professional-grade mixer.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#443) and the View from My Handlebars

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On the bike…nearly $170 in groceries.

The view in front of me…a big, big sky on a cold, cold winter’s day.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#402 & #403)

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#402 (above)…a plastic bag containing an extra pair of dry pants which I changed into after arriving at church soaking wet from riding in the rain.

#403 (below)…A canvas bag containing wet gym clothes; a BikeRev trailer containing 3 liters of red wine and $62.57 worth of groceries.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#390 & 391)

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#390 (above photo)…$233.67 worth of groceries on a v3 Mundo and Bike Rev trailer.

#391 (below photo)…Two cardboard boxes on a Torker Cargo-T containing six large foil tins stuffed full of food leftovers (one of them leaking olive oil on the rear fender…which my pugs loved) on its way to a local food pantry.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#383)

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Groceries, sundries, dog food, wine, and Chinese take-out in a Bike Rev trailer being pulled by a Torker Cargo-T.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#449), a View from My Handlebars, and a Couple Comments

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(above photo) A nylon gym bag full of wet clothes, and a BikeRev trailer containing slightly more than $50 in groceries.

(below photo) I was on my way home this evening from the health club and grocery store and the weather was just perfect…not-too-hot, not-too-cool, brilliant sun, and not a cloud in the sky. After this past week of mostly rain and then humid weather this was truly welcome. I spent my day rushing around a hot kitchen and it felt really good to be out in the fresh air. In the below picture I was waiting at a traffic light. I was facing west and the sun hung low because it was mid-evening. The traffic light seemed especially long. So as I stood there straddling my bike I squinted through the sun and watched two planes travel through the sky (visible in the picture) knowing I will be on one in a  couple weeks. The warmth of the sun was on my face and a slight breeze was to my back. I also thought, as I waited for the light to change, that I haven’t had a car in nearly two months and I’ve barely noticed it. At that moment there was nowhere else I wanted to be.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#443)…and a couple comments

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On and being pulled by the bike…$184.67 in groceries.

Comment #1…I went to a big box supermarket today, haven’t been to one on a while. Not that I’m boycotting them or anything…I just don’t find them that convenient and would much rather shop in a smaller store. Anyhow, as my merchandise was being rang out I noticed that the cashier was putting it in plastic bags. I asked her not to put the remainder in bags, that I didn’t need them. I also mentioned that we could simply put the groceries back in the cart. How are you going to get them home, she asked, do you have bags in your car. Well, I told her, I have baskets and a trailer for my bike…I can just put everything in those without the bags. You’re going to carry all of this home on a bike, she inquired (it was a full cart). Yes, I don’t live too far. She eyed me suspiciously for the remainder of the transaction.

Comment #2…It is possible for an adult to survive in America without the daily use of a car.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#433)

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48 live vegetable plants, 120 lbs/54.4kgs top soil, 2 bags (5 lbs/2.2 kgs each) organic vegetable fertilizer, a jean jacket, 2 lbs/.91 kg brown rice,  2 lbs/.91 kg boneless chicken legs, 3 liters of red wine, a quart of milk, and 1 lb/.45 kg fresh spinach. 

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#423)

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Payday today, the house was bare with essentials. After a brief steam and swim I ran errands and did some shopping. This is what I carried on–or pulled with–the bike tonight from 4 separate stores:

 Two bags of of dog food, $67 in groceries, vitamins, sundries, a bottle of red wine, a canvas bag containing an extra camera, books, and writing tools, a gym bag full of wet clothes, an extra jacket, and an extra chain lock.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#417)

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A gym bag full of wet clothes, 10lbs/4.5kgs of dog food, a new dog bed, and $47.52 (US) in groceries.

Urban Simplicity.

More on the Trailer

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This post is related to my prevous post regarding my latest experiment in self-propelled mobility…a trailer attached to the Mundo. A few people have asked me how I attached the hitch to the bike seeing the Mundo–with its long wheel base–is not suited for an attachment to the traditional axle attachment. How I attached this (to the frame instead of the axle)  would work–I think–for other trailers and other bikes. Anyhow, here it is.

Firstly, above shows how the trailer attaches to the hitch; the top is detached and the one just below it shows it attached. What’s unique about this trailer is that it has a quick release using a version of a high pressure hose connector. That said, these trailers are not intended to carry incredible weight like some others. Nonetheless, it has suited me well, and I have in fact owned it long before I owned a longtail cargo bike. These trailers are great for doing your daily errands and hauling a week’s worth of groceries while keeping everything dry.

Pictured below is how I attached it to the frame using an existing bolt. On the Mundo there are two bolts on each side of the frame holding the rear drop-down bars in place (pictured in the first of the photos below). I’ve eyed these bolts for months while holding the hitch up to them in various positions trying to figure out how it would work. BicycleR Evolution trailers  offer two hitch options; I have c-hitches on two other bikes, but on the Mundo I used the standard hitch. Anyhow, the hitch is meant to attach to the axle but also has two smaller holes, one of which fit perfectly in place of one of the bolts on the frame of the Mundo. After tightening it, it felt snug but I didn’t feel comfortable with it being held with just the single bolt (which is much smaller than the intended axle rod attachment) so I also used a hose clamp for added security.

Anyhow, there you have it. I likely won’t use it often on this bike, nor will I carry super heavy loads in it (as the Mundo was built for that); though I have carried a full case of wine in it on another bike. My plan is to use it for extra large grocery trips, gardening trips, or for when I want to keep things dry. As mentioned in the previous post, the Mundo rode great while pulling it. but today it’s snowing out so I’ll use another bike. Stay tuned for pictures and updates of the Mundo-trailer in use…

Urban Simplicity.

Increased Capacity

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If you’ve been to this blog before you know that I ride a bike as often as I can, not great distances or in races but for my everyday transportation around town…and I also like to carry stuff on my bikes, whatever stuff a person would normally carry in their car. Besides my cargo bike (Yuba Mundo) I also have a few other bikes, most of which are equipped with a hitch for a BicycleR Evolution Trailer. The Mundo’s frame isn’t built to accommodate a trailer and I’ve been trying to figure out how to attach it for a while. Sometimes, I suppose, a 7ft bike is simply not big enough (most cargo bikers will agree, I’m sure) and that one can always carry more things with their own human power. Anyhow, I finally figured out to attach a spare hitch (and it was actually pretty simple). I took it for a test ride tonight while empty…and as usual the Mundo handled exceptionally well; I really could not even tell I was pulling a trailer. I likely won’t use it often but it is nice to know it’s available when I need it. And when I do…I’ll post pictures. I’d enjoy hearing from other cargo bikers regarding their experiences pulling a trailer.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#393)…and how my bikes are therapeutic

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Things on the bike and in the Bike Rev trailer…

$127 (US) of groceries from two separate stores.
3 liters of red wine
4.4lbs. dog food
A gym bag full of wet cloths
A canvas bag containing books and an extra camera
Two portions of Chinese take out

One (of the many) ways my bikes are therapeutic (to me)…

I had a busy day at work, slightly short handed–staff-wise–but just busy (and for some reason the wait staff seemed especially loud and annoying today). Anyhow, by the time I arrived home I was exhausted and had a crazy headache that extended across my entire brow. I rested for a bit and took some aspirin but to no avail. I had planned on going to the health club for a quick steam and swim (which I did) and then do some grocery shopping. I knew I’d be doing a larger shopping trip (for me) and there is still ice on some parts of the roads near the curb (kerb, for my EU friends), and I generally don’t ride the Mundo on ice…so I almost drove the truck. But then in a moment of clarity I realized that likely the best thing for me was fresh air…and it was. The minute I got on the bike in the refreshingly chilly air (30F/-1C) it felt good. It was a bit of a struggle–riding my ill-maintained winter bike and pulling a trailer–but it still felt good. My headache was gone by the time I arrived at the health club. When I arrived at the club there were cars circling the parking lot angrily looking for spaces (which there were none), I  in turn was able to coast up nearly to the front door. After leaving the club I rode and did my shopping at 3 separate stores, each time loading items into the trailer and on the bike. And on the short ride home (about 2mi./3.2km.) on this old winter bike with both it and the trailer loaded–and going up a slight incline–I’d be fibbing if I said it was easy and that I wasn’t huffing and puffing. Then, on the last stretch of my short journey there is a slight decline in the road and I was able to coast. And as I coasted–with the cold breeze on my face and the sound of my knobby winter tires against the road–there was nowhere I’d rather be. I felt free.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can Be Carried On A Bike (#281)…and a few comments

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Things that were carried (and pulled) on this particular ride: 
$121.47 in groceries and sundries, an 8lb. bag of dog food, 3L of red wine, and a gym bag full of wet clothes.

A few comments:
As stated over and over again (and over again) on this blog…I am not car-free, just car-lite, sometimes lighter than others. And it seems that this past winter has really been crunching the numbers with my riding ratio…the frigid cold and snowy winter has put somewhat of a damper on my riding, but not entirely of course. If I had to pick a number I would say that I still managed to ride or walk at least 75% of my (short) trips this past winter; opposed to something probably like 90% when the roads are clear. Anyhow, here’s an example of how a person can spend a day car-free and still accomplish a lot.

In the morning I rode my winter bike (pictured above) the short commute to work. Then after work I rode home, making a slight detour to stop at the bank. After stopping home I hitched the trailer to the bike and strapped an empty cardboard box to the front rack then rode the the health club for a brief steam and swim (I felt I only had to do half my regular workout when I was riding a 40lb bike and pulling a trailer into the wind…the bike ride was a workout in itself). On the way to the health club I stopped first to buy some wine (I get thirsty with all that pedaling and swimming), and then to another store to purchase dog food. After the swim I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and load up. When I brought the cart full of groceries out I looked at it’s fullness, then looked at the bike/trailer and really wondered how I was going to do this; the trailer and box on the front were literally overflowing (I had to push down on it like an over-stuffed suitcase to latch it)…but I did.

All-in-all, I probably only covered 10 miles throughout the day…but I did it using my own energy, and that makes me feel good, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Even though I–like many cargo bikers–do this often, I still find it fun and amazing to do. Bikes, of course, are far from being simply a recreational toy, and they are much more than just a mode of transport (though they are really good at that)…bikes are also a utilitarian machine that carry not only you but also your cargo.

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