Just finished boxing up the Xtracycle Freeradical for it’s long journey to Minnesota. Shipping this piece off it bittersweet. I really enjoyed the cargo option, it was very useful. But it was not as versatile as I needed it to be. Hence the sale. So, the end for the X, but the beginning for the Troll. The X’s departure will keep the Troll ball rolling. After dropping off the X at the post office, I will be heading over to my local shop to have them install my headset to further along this process.
So goodbye Xtracycle, you were fun. But your replacement is going to be even better…
Just keep spinning…
Last night was gorgeous. By gorgeous I mean temperatures close to fifty degrees, and a mostly clear sky with a full moon. A night like that calls for one thing: Bike ride. A couple friends were summoned, some “essentials” were loaded into the HaroX, and off we went down the trail.
All three of us had lights on our respective bikes, and also headlamps, but once on the trail, it was unnecessary. The moon was out in full effect, casting a gentle glow over the entire bike path, enabling us to let our eyes adjust and ride on without using any artificial light. This was not the longest or most extreme ride that I have done this year, but quite honestly it was one of my favorites. Around fifteen or so miles in around 2 hours, the pace was light, with a few stops and conversations. After the ride it was winter seasonal beer sampling time:
The beers on the agenda for the evening were two highly enjoyable brews, 21st Amendment Brewery’s Fireside Chat, and Cincinnati’s own, Rivertown Brewing Company’s Winter Ale. Both beers were heavy on the spice, and both had a nice winter beer flavor. After a few of these, I didn’t mind the cooler temperature.
I think that a ride like this should happen a little more regularly, maybe when the weather starts turning warmer again. Hopefully this was not the last of the nicer weather, but looking out the window today says otherwise…
It’s funny how things change a bit once you start getting older. Granted, I am no old man by any means, but things are WAY different now at thirty than when I was twenty. My life has made a complete 180 degrees in those ten years. But I am starting to get off track, that is a totally different topic altogether.
Let’s just think about bicycle time at thirty rather than twenty. Gone are the days of thirty mile epic mountain bike rides that last all afternoon. Gone are the road rides that last all morning from coffee shop to coffee shop. But in their place are new rides, that for me are just as exciting. Rides with my daughter to the playground, or just around the block are a couple new rides that I find absolutely amazing. Another interesting ride that I have been doing more and more of is the grocery ride:
Thanks to the Xtracycle, I am able to squeeze in a ride to our local grocery to pickup a weeks worth of “life supplies.” Tonight was one of those nights, a nice little jaunt to pick up a few of the daily essentials that we so desperately needed. Not a long ride by any means, but fulfilling nonetheless. These are the types of rides that I am starting to enjoy more and more as I get older.
By doing this type of cycling though, you are spending more time on the bike, and that is what it is all about.
Every now and again I get to fit into my schedule an epic ride, but the grocery run has become a staple in our household.
Just some thoughts, just riding along…
When you think of bicycles, normally you think of them as something that you would use for exercise, or possibly recreation, or maybe even for transportation. Would you think of them for hauling cargo? Thankfully, there is a shift in cycling culture in the US. More and more people are starting to use their bicycle as a tool to accomplish tasks that you would normally use a car for. The bicycle is no longer just something to burn off a few calories, it is now your mini van, or your pickup truck. It is used to drop off the kids at school, or to pick up a weeks worth of groceries. It is used to take a week long vacation, or just to ride to work. What is the meaning of all of this random text? I stumbled upon this video, and thought it needed to be reposted:
This is a pretty awesome summary of what it is like to have/ride a cargo bike. It is life changing. It is epic. It is exercise. It is environmentally friendly.
Everyone wants to help save the planet. Not many people however seem to mention how practical and environmentally safe it is to use a bicycle. Want to save the world? Ride a bicycle. Want to do even more, like carry a lot of stuff that normally you would need a car for? Ride a cargo bike.
Much love to the companies and folks who are out there doing this very thing. I am so glad I converted my old MTB to a cargo bike. Want to know how? This is a good start: Xtracycle
Some other links that might be of interest:
Trek Transport Sale price here in the Cincinnati area, 20″ frame with a small ding in the down tube for $840! Normal MSRP $1259.99! That’s a deal!
Surly Big Dummy
Black Sheep Bicycles Very pricey custom cargo bikes among other beautiful bicycles.
Since the overnight bike camping trip, I have been putting in quite a few miles on the HaroX on all of the local roads here in the Cincy area, and I am starting to think that a road bike would fit the bill a whole lot better than the cargo bike for these type excursions. No way, am I talking about selling the HaroX. I am just starting to realize that putting in a bunch of miles on the cargo bike takes a lot out of you. It is amazing though, climbing on the HaroX, but I feel that I would have fresher legs for more miles at a time on a standard road bike. I guess I should not say a “standard” road bike, I have always fancied a Rivendell. Too bad they are WAY out of my price range. Some of the other bikes that I think would be pretty solid are:
Surly Pacer/Long Haul Trucker
Older Kona Honky Tonk (1st version if I remember right, powder blue w/down tube shifters)
See a common theme here? Steel. Clearance for wider tires. Mounts for racks and fenders. More upright riding stance. In no way am I looking for a racer type bike on skinny skinny tires. That is not how I get down.
Anyway, just thinking…
And here is a short video I did the other day of my cargo bike:
Spending lots of time on the Xtracycle here lately. I have been putting in quite a few miles, loaded and unloaded, trying to get ready for my upcoming bike camping trip next month. Still not too sure on my route, but it will be a 2 or 3 day journey. I have never done anything like it before, so I am really excited about it. Anyway, I have been trying to tackle all of the tough hills in the area, and last night, I conquered probably one of the best hills in the greater Cincinnati metro area. Cunningham Rd. from Camp Dennison going into Indian Hill. The photo below does not do it justice. Very steep.
Today, I scored a new bike. Technically, just half of a bike. Finally bought a unicycle! I have been wanting one for quite some time now, and I found one on the local craigslist for $25, so I bought it. Quite possibly, one of the hardest things that I have ever tried to do. Tonight, I spent around 40 minutes just trying to balance on it, to no avail. I did end up going as far as two pedal strokes, but man is this hard. I will be lucky if I can ride around the block by the end of the summer. But, that is my goal, baby steps with this bike. I will say though, in just that short amount of time, it wore me out. Crazy.
I have to admit, Cinco de Mayo was quite different for me before I had my daughter. I would have been a day full of drinking, doing something outdoors, and probably more drinking. Granted, I did have a few brews yesterday, but nothing to the proportions that have been consumed in the past. Here is basically a run down of what happened yesterday:
The day started off with Goose and I taking the XtraHaro down to the local doughnut shop, Ms. Cheri’s, to get a few pastries to start our day. Quite a few people were intrigued, and also confused with the entire family bike/van setup. Very comical to try to explain it to non cyclists, but at the end of the trip, I think most people got it. I guess that is the draw back to being only one of a few Xtracycles in the great Cincinnati area.
After spending the morning tooling around on the cargo bike, the afternoon brought some sitting on the patio, enjoying some Hudy Delight. This is a local Cincinnati beer, or was since it is now brewed in PA. I do believe that they will be producing it here in Ohio once again in the next couple of years. Anyway, just a light beer. Nothing fancy. Since the weather is getting warmer, it makes me want a lighter beer, and this one does the trick. Plus, it is cheap, and has more flavor than a Bud Light. Works for me.
Once the evening set in, I retired to my garage to work on a few bicycle related projects that I have needed to do. The first was to get Big Red back up and running. I ended up putting on a set of Maxxis Crossmark 26×2.1s front and back, and a new Wippermann single speed chain. The Crossmarks do fit in the back, and in the front there is a little bit of rubbing, but for this town cruiser, I do not mind. It was nice to take a little spin on it last night.
After that was finished, I started to add some protection to the Xtracycle frame. Basically, I just cut up some old tubes, and zip tied them to the frame, to act as a chain protector. It is not flashy, but it will do the trick. I think after all of the miles that I have put on, that gave me a decent idea where I am getting chain rub. Also, it was free. It pays to stockpile old tubes for this reason!
Since the V Racks were off of the HaroX, I decided to clean it up a bit. I don’t normally wash my bikes all that often, so I made sure that it count. Also cleaned up the Haro Mary SS, since she might be leaving this weekend. We shall see. All in all, a very productive, awesome day!