My Hauling Spectrum

My primary interest in bicycles is getting work done, whether it be getting somewhere or hauling stuff or both. While I fancy stripped down bikes I myself can't stand relying upon a backpack or, worse, a messenger bag to carry my things, and I rarely ever ride without some manner of personal effects.

For most conventional daily loads I use the Wald 137 basket on my SS townie, which is a racy Viner and only partially practical for townie use, as can be noted with the extreeemely tight clearance. A trip up to northern Wisconsin back in September effectively destroyed what was left of that old Bluemel fender on the rear, since I had made the dastardly mistake of lashing the Viner to the outside of the vehicle. But! This is a post about cargo hauling, not moisture protection.

On my 1x5, heart-breakingly faithful Puch Marco Polo (it will wait for hours for me in the rain &/or snow), I use the stylishly simple Wald rear rack, which most often has a pannier hooked to it. This lovely outfit will soon see the likes of an Ira Ryan fork and porteur rack. Any day now...

Okay, on to more serious business. For the bulkier & heavier loads I pull out my cargo bike (I realize this not an agreed-upon term but I use it nonetheless). Yesterday I took yet another load of artmaking magic from home to the studio, coffee included. This bike was built in Iowa City, IA by my friend, Chrispi. He's not a full-time framebuilder, but he has made several of these. It does look a lot like a Bilenky Cargo Bike (thanks, Alex), with some fundamental differences. The perfectly perpendicular head tube puts the handlebars over the basket area, which can be troublesome with an especially beefy load, but I've learned to look for steering issues before I start rolling. I tend to do pretty okay with a Greenfield rear kickstand, but I sure do like the looks of the Bilenky stand. No gettin' nervous turning your back on that.

For loads that are too long or heavy or out of control for the cargo bike, I resort to the Bikes at Work trailer, which I borrow from the Bike Library. Currently, gpickle & I do not own one of these ourselves, but being long-standing volunteers down at the BL, we get the perk of using either of the two trailers housed there.

I'm not a bike racer nor am I even much of a recreational rider, but I manage to ride most every day for utilitarian purposes. Give me a pile of crap to get across town and I'll pedal with glee, even if I'm grunting up a hill.


books, bikes, beer said...

Hooray for townbikes! I dig my Wald basket, too. And I can't wait to see the new fork-n-rack. What color did you get? Or are you going to color it yourself? That could be fun.

Cody G. said...

I settled on a slightly off-white powder coat that matches my Bluemel fenders for both the fork and rack, mainly to keep things simple for Ira. When the time comes to get an Ira frame & fork set, I'll get more adventurous with color.