I found myself, too often, in the "well, I'd ride my bike but... it's
a potluck. Where would the crock pot go?" ...or a few too many books...
I asked my bike shop guy about the Xtracycle and he said it was an
"interesting alternative to panniers" and that he'd enjoy putting it
onto my bike. I have a Trek 7500FX hybrid and a Giant Nutra hybrid...
decided to go with the steel Nutra but primarily because then I'd
still have a "fast" bike.
Once I got it, I became profoundly more car-lite [linguistic note:
properly spelling light would be confusing; lite has taken on its own
meaning...]. On days with winds of 35 mph, or freezing rain, I would
have every intention of driving the car, but ... that bike would say
"I can handle it! Come on! These are the miles that really count!"
The studded tires might just happen this winter.
It's also not *that* slow :-) I took it on the Horsey Hundred and
the Grand Illinois Trails and Parks ride for a few hundred miles, and
it trotted up and down those hills in fine form.
It also solved some of those potluck issues - yes, a crock pot
fits (as does the indoor trainer), but for my official Middle Age
Unreasonable Expenditure, I got the blender accessory. I have become
a legend in my own mind...
I have ridden 4200+ miles and driven 2800-ish (including a
1600-mile trip to Maryland). I thought I already rode a lot but I've
seriously weighed the cost of car registration and insurance against
the cost of occasional car rental, since I will go weeks between road
trips (and then it's often "if I don't drive the thing, it will get
cobwebs somewhere"). However, this is a college town and most things
are reasonably safely accessible via bicycle - I realize that's not
true in many places.
--- In email@example.com, "larryu81" <bawilson@...> wrote:
> I am attempting to go 'car lite'--I just don't see any way of going
> 'car free' at the moment. I have a Fuji Monterrey hybrid which I have
> equipped with front and rear panniers and a handlebar bag; I can do
> quite a bit with it, but I'm constantly 'hitting the cieling' of how
> much I can haul; often it isn't a matter of weight so much as of bulk.
> I'm considering various options, and ran across www.xtracycle.com.
> 1. Is there anyone in the Charleston, WV area who has one of these
> that I could test?
> 2. Would the Free Radical work on my current bike, or would I have to
> 'bite the bullet' and get a whole new machine?
> You haven't a dealership here, yet, but I usually take my bike to
> Charleston Bicycle Center
> 409 53rd St SE
> Charleston, WV 25304
> (304) 925-8348 , and I'm sure they'd be happy to take care of the
> matter for me. (My mechanical skills are not up to doing it myself,
> thank you.)