Friday, March 16, 2012

Bike Transport

Yesterday was a great day for a bike delivery trial. Mike Cobb from Antload lent me his Yuba Mundo, and one of his great lashing systems so I could try it out.  Even with the copious rain I had a great time and completely wore myself out. 

The route ended up being 33 miles, a bit more than I originally thought.  Half of that was with a load of boxes filled with CSA shares, probably only 70 or so extra pounds of payload.  As long as the road was flat or slightly downhill all was fine, but anytime there was even a slight uphill it was painfully obvious and I slowed to a crawl. 

Mike only had one of his lashing systems to loan me so I used a bunch of webbing I had to lash the other side.  Having tried to lash with the webbing vs. Mike’s system, Mike’s system rocks - so much easier. Mike also has an iphone mount on the handle bars - oh, it's the little things that are so nice!

The whole ride into town I was busy thinking about better rack systems for the boxes.  It was also clear to me that electric assist would make a huge difference in the feasibility of the system.  I can do the ride, but I was pressed to keep on schedule even leaving an hour earlier than I usually do and not spending any time on the blog.  I was also pretty worked by the time I got to Near East Yoga, which was partly due to not being in shape, but also had something to do with hauling that much weight that far.

The ride took me almost 4 hours.  I think I could cut that in half with the electric assist and if I were in shape.  As a comparison, when I drive it takes me about 1 hour. 

The Yuba was a workhorse.  It reminded me of the beater trucks that are ubiquitous on farms. It’s not a high end vehicle, but it’s utilitarian and very functional. The frame handled my load with no troubles (although a special rack for the boxes would make loading way easier).  I could see some of the advantages of the long john style bikes, and the more agressive position of something like the Bullitt (I’m still temped to test one of those on the route), but a used Yuba is definitely more in my price range.

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