Tag Archives: cargobikes

Ten Days with the Madsen Kg271 Bucket Bike

Warning. This post is loooong. Tim and Anne co-wrote it. Singly they tend toward verbosity. Together? Oy. Maybe grab a cup of coffee or beer before you start.

Probably the best thing about this little bike blog thing is all the great people we’ve met. Folks like David and Stephan from Dutch Bike, Marge (who we’ve yet to physically meet, but I’m sure we will some day), Marcus  and Elliot from Austin on Two Wheels, Val, and more. It’s been a great ride.

One of our newest blog buddies, George loaned us his Madsen KG271 (you know, the long bike with the big bucket on the back) for a 10-day testing stint.

Full disclosure: George is friends with the owner of the company and asked us if we’d give his own personal Madsen a try and share our impressions. He didn’t ask for any sugar coating, and it’s a good thing. Tim’s not real good at being sweet.

Over the course of a week and a pair of weekends, we both had the opportunity to ride the Madsen as part of our daily routines (where we normally ride our Xtracycles and Anne’s Oma), as well as on a couple special-purpose, made-for-Madsen adventures. Tim picked up bags of compost; Anne transported three kids home from school. We even had some of our bikey neighbors take it for a spin. Overall, the idea was to see how this one bike (in one size, shared by two people of very different size) could fit into this bike life we’ve built for ourselves.

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SXSW Adventures: Large Guy, Small Bike

large-guy-small-bikeI went to the South by Southwest  Interactive festival (SXSWi) in Austin last weekend for work. While there I was lucky enough to score a loaner bike from our friends at the great Austin bike blog/magazine: Austin on Two Wheels.

Oh, and this wasn’t just any beater… it’s was a sweet Azor Transport all the way from Holland (via our pals Dutch Bike Seattle—small world)! Anyway, as you can tell from the reflective Panda snapshot, the bike was a tad small, but that sure didn’t stop me from having an excellent time riding it all over Austin (side note: how freakin’ cool is the Internet when other bloggers loan you their very own bike, just ’cause you’re a fellow bike-life blogger and long-bike rider?).

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This just in: January 1 Cargo Bike Ride is on!

2008 Opening Day Ride

We just received word from the Grand Pallet of Cargo Bikes, Val. The traditional Seattle Cargo Bike Opening Day Ride is a go:

Yep, this has to be the shortest notice ever, but it’s on for 1/1/09. Meet at noon at Greenlake, cruise to Golden Gardens, and light some fires to celebrate the new season.

These winter cargo bike events are as much about standing around eating, drinking, and telling lies (“so there I was riding down 5th Ave and that damn SLUT pulled out in front of me. I was fully loaded down—I had just picked up a an old toilet, two double-hung windows, and 10 gallons of paint from Second Use in South Park—and wasn’t sure I could stop in time. So I did what any Xtracycle rider would do—I took a deep breath and bunny-hopped the mofo while flashing a big smile to the driver and tourists as I cleared the roof”…) as they are about actual riding.

So plan to dress warm, bring some hearty food (expect flames of some kind for heating food and souls), your preferred beverage(s), and your sparkling personality. Heck, last year folks enjoyed a Christmas tree bonfire on the beach; you could even bring your tree if so inclined.

To get a feel for the event, check out our photos from last year. The carfreedays.com crowd had planned to be on our way out of town the morning of the 1st, but this event is forcing us to revisit our plans: we hope to stick around and at least make ride (though we may have to save the food and the lies for next time.

Hope to see you there!


Edit: PS: Last year we met near the pool/community center — right by the outdoor basketball courts on the Gregg’s Greenlake Cycles side of the lake. I’m guessin’ that’s where we’ll gather again.

Val Kleitz interview

Alan of ecovelo posted this wonderful Cargo Bike Pilot interview of Val Kleitz. The video, by the Cargo Bike blog, shows why Val’s a legend around here.

He’s been an inspiration and a huge support of our move toward (and efforts to blog about) family cargo-biking goodness. Since we love the Val and all of his infinite wisdom, we thought it was worth posting here as well.

The group cargo ride images make us lament our late start for the July 4th ride even more. Who would have thought they’d leave close to on time for once! For what it’s worth, the photos from our cargo ride of two+two are up.

– Anne and Tim

NAHBS Update

Trucker Racks -- bikeportland.org photoI spent an amazing Saturday at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. While I’m not the type to drop $5k on a bike anytime soon, it sure is fun to look gawk at these incredible bikes/works of art (and talk to their very friendly builders) in person.

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Happy New Year and Ride Reminder (today!)

Swingin’ and Xtracyclin’We’ve been a little lax about posting in the past week. You know how it goes — holiday time with the family and all that. I know riding more is going is a goal of mine for the new year (I try to stay away from actual resolutions because I suck at them) so maybe I should add “posting more” to the mix, too!

Our first opportunity is the New Year’s Day cargo bike ride, noon at Greenlake. If you are local, come on by. Folks will be meeting near the basketball/court baseball diamond. This is the side of the lake where you’ll find the big hole (formerly Albertsons) and kind of close to Gregg’s Greenlake Cycle.

If you can’t make this one, try start the year off with a ride, no matter how short. I’m sure lots of folks have resolved to exercise more in 2008. If you are one of them, remember that utility bike trips count as exercise and reduce car trips. So, instead of driving to the park, saddle up the kids and ride over for your swing and climbing structure session. Do you have some vices you want to hold onto for just another day? Then hop on the bike and cruise on over to 7-11 for that pack of smokes and a 2nd 3rd bottle of champagne. It won’t seem so bad that way. And, if you are set on using the gym for your “workout” resolution, try riding there.

We’re going to try to step up the bike power in 2008. How about you?

Happy New Year from Car Free Days!

-Tim and Anne

New Years Day Ride – Meet at Greenlake

We had a great time on the Day-After-Thanksgiving ride from Pike Place Market to Gasworks Park.

Val shot us an email about the first ride of the year. Meet at noon at Greenlake near the basketball court and baseball diamond on the east side of the lake.

We’re planning to be there. This time I don’t think I’ll be able to keep Tim from loading up the bikes with everything we might need to keep us warm and fed. We have the space on the Xtras so why not? Live a little.

 – Anne

I ♥ my Wald Front Basket

My xtracycle, my basket, and suzzallo library

After date night, I attended an amazing lecture by Lawrence Lessig at Kane Hall. On the way home, when I should have been thinking about things like hybrid companies, government regulation, and our broken intellectual property system, I found myself moved to conduct an impromptu bike-basket photoshoot. As much as I wanted concentrate on Supercapitalism, etc, I was smitten by the beauty and function embodied in my Wald #585! Continue reading