Author Archives


9
Mar 2012
by mark

Carrying a stroller on a cargo bike

There are a few options carrying a stroller on a cargo bike. The
simplest options is do without. Perhaps a sling will do. If the stroller
is to be used primarily on lightly used sidewalks, a bicycle with a
child on it could be pushed along instead.

Sometimes my wife would go shopping at the Farmer’s Market in this
manner, pushing a bakfiets through the market with the child on it:

rainy day farmer's market trip

I hope for the day when our local market is too crowded for that to be feasible.

Before I get to the solutions that do work, I’ll share one attempt at putting a stroller on a bakfiets that didn’t work:

Continue reading →


8
Mar 2012
by mark

Video: Bakfiets winter ride with baby

This nicely produced video by Teppo Moisio in Finland highlights a bakfiets being used to carry baby warmly and safely on a winter day:

http://vimeo.com/37897757

If you can’t get enough the bakfiets baby cuteness, there’s another video after the jump showing off the weather canopy also keeps children dry on rainy day rides.

Continue reading →


6
Mar 2012
by mark

Choosing to ride a bike in the winter

.

The morning my four year old daughter had a choice to ride on a bike for 3 miles in the cold and snow, or ride in the car. She chose the bike, and we had a comfortable ride over to church. When we arrived I asked if anything was cold. She said her ankles were a little cold– she was wearing anklets instead of full-height socks, and some cold air got on them. That would be easily solved with proper socks in the future.

I have some hope that if children can get beyond the excuse that “it’s too cold to ride”, then perhaps some adults can get over it as well. Biking for transportation in the winter can be great way to fit in some exercise, when it’s otherwise not as enticing to be outside.

For another great post on the topic of kids and choosing to ride in the winter, see this post entitled “There’s No Such Thing….as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing” by Sara at Full Hands.


5
Mar 2012
by mark

Hauling couches by bike

Couches are fun to haul by bike.

couch by bike.

Workcycles bakfiets, pictured above, is not particularly well-suited for the task, as the couch is much too large to fix in the box. That didn’t stop it from being fun to make it work, anyway.

The best choice for hauling couches to use a Bikes-at-Work
trailer, as seen in the photos below.

Couch hunting: riverside break

Couch weight varies greatly. The one above had lots of metal guts to allow the seats to recline, plus it was water-logged for being outside. Simple couch designs can be relatively light, with a lot of the volume being in cushions.

new bikes-at-work trailer

I try to keep my total cargo weight not much above 200, so that the handling remains safe. It will be tempting to give friends rides on couches that you might be carrying, but this most likely quickly put you over that weight limit. That’s why the experience above didn’t last much longer than it took to take the photo. On some cargo hauling trips, I have carried a bathroom scale with me to check how much things weigh, to avoid exceeding safe limits. With practice I could get a sense of how cargo weights were adding up as the trailer was being loaded.

The lowest-effort arrangement for hauling couches by bike is to pair the Bikes-at-Work
trailer with electric assist. With that arrangement, I’ve been able to haul couch and loveseat pairs
without strain.

another alley couch and loveseat liberated.

Hauling a couch and loveseat to the dump..


4
Mar 2012
by mark

Weather canopy options for cargo bikes

A weather canopy for your children can make a big difference in your child’s
comfort on the bike during rainy, cold or windy conditions.

The most iconic canopy option is the weather canopy for a bakfiets:

father, daughter and sleep dog on first trip to Abington

However, if you have a longtail cargo bike like an XtraCycle or Yuba Mundo,
there are some DIY options worth knowing about, with detailed instructions
available online.

I love the look the Covered Bike Wagon canopy by co-blogger Larry Clarkberg:

bike canopy side view

You can read more about how he made the covered bike wagon canopy and he can answer
questions about it in the comments. His variation with solar panels is also
worth a look:

solar bicycle

There’s more about this project at My Solar Bicycle. Most recently I spotted this solution for sun and rain production for a Yuba Mundo:

It’s not quite iconic but it gets the job done, and
instructions are available online.

You can also read more about the differences between the bakfiets, Xtracycles and the Yuba Mundo.


3
Mar 2012
by mark

Electric Yuba Mundo as school bus

Here’s a great little video about one dad who uses an electric Yuba Mundo as a “school bus” to take his two kids to school:

I’ve used my own electric Yuba Mundo to take two children to school before as well:

Missed the bus.

More about that experience is my previous posted called Missed the Bus.


2
Mar 2012
by mark

Taking the kids out to dinner

Tonight my wife rode our two kids out to dinner in the bakfiets. The 9 month old baby rides in a rear-facing car seat, while the 4 year old sits on the bench seat. The target restaurant was in a mall parking lot off a busy road, about 3 miles away. However, with a bit of research and experimentation, we found a back way into the mall that is only a bit further and is much lower traffic. We even got to see a rabbit!

I rode along on our electric Yuba Mundo with the requisite parenting gear. The trip was a great way to combine some exercise, family time and transportation.


2
Mar 2012
by mark

BikeForth.org and MyCargoBike.net Blogs Merge with Bikes As Transportation

Welcome to Bikes-as-Transportation.com! This new site represents a merge of
three blogs focused on electric cargo biking: Larry Clarkberg’s Bike Forth blog, MyCargoBike.net by Don Marsh and Mark Stosberg with his “Bikes as Transporation” blog.

We now blog from Ithaca, New York; Seattle, Washington; and Richmond,
Indiana. We write about biking with kids from 6 months to 16 years old.
Blog posts here will cover direct experience with a range of cargo bike options, from the common to the
exotic.

The joint venture aims to provide a better overall experience for our regular readers and visitors. For more information about the site, you might start with About this Website or About our Bikes.

We hope you enjoy it!

Don, Larry and Mark

Mark, Don and Larry plan the new site


1
Mar 2012
by mark

Big Dummy vs Yuba Mundo vs Bakfiets

Cargo bikes are increasingly viable as car-replacement vehicles, but there are some significant differences between the options to choose from. The Surly Big Dummy is lighter, while Workcycle’s bakfiets puts kids front and center with a large box for cargo up front. Yuba’s elMundo is one way to add electric assist to the equation.

I have not had my own car for a decade. Instead my family replaces a second car with a number of bikes and other gear. Our bikes include WorkCycles bakfiets, an electric Yuba Mundo and a Surly Big Dummy. Here’s how they compare with each other based on our experiece riding each as part of our regular routines.

The basic details about each are readily available online, and won’t be repeated here, although the photos below will give you a sense of each.

Bakfiets

100 mile radius potluck at the park

Electric Yuba Mundo

Electric Yuba Mundo with Bikes-at-Work trailer

Big Dummy

First ride with my new custom Big Dummy. More to come...

Continue reading →


31
Aug 2011
by mark

Now on Twitter, still on Flickr

I now have a Twitter account just for the topic of bikes-as-transportation. You can find me on Twitter as @BikesAsTrans. My hope for the account is to share related content from myself and others around the internet, as well as to provide short timely updates about my experiences with family cycling, cargo bikes, and electric bikes.

I also continue to post photos more regularly to my flickr stream than I do here. If you use a feed reader, you may wish to follow the feed of my latest bike photos, which usually include some short posts with them as well.

I look forward to posting more content here as well. This spring we added a second child to the family, and also added a Surly Big Dummy as my personal bike, complementing our existing bakfiets and my wife’s electric Yuba Mundo. There’s plenty to say about how these three distinct cargo bike options compare, contrast and combine. If you have a question about how any of them compare, leave a comment here and I’ll try to answer your question.

For now, here’s a couple recent photos from Flickr. Click through either for more explanation.
stopping to check out the cows and throw rocks in the creek
Another bike trailer load too big for the car