Monday, October 13, 2008

Simon's Xtracycle

Sold a kit to my friend Simon who I met doing a Permaculture Design Course back in 2007. He lives at the top of a VERY big hill and will have legs of steel carrying loads with his bike!

Sophia's Xtracycle

Built this up for my car free friend Sophia and her son Derek. They live in Gawler which is a long train ride from my place and then a substantial ride up a long hill. The difference that the Xtracycle made for Sophia was quite marked.

She was able to do her shopping, carry Derek's gear, pick up stuff, and generally feel heaps more independent, something that when you only have a child seat and a back pack is a little harder (though not necessarily impossible) to achieve.

Close up and personal

Been taking a few more photos of my Xtracycle, set up a Flickr page for them and other images that I might try and upload occasionally...

Detail of my Footsie, starting to get a little worn, have oiled it up a few times, but it just gets a lot of use!

My bike also found its way onto Xtracycle Gallery , lots more Xtracycle owners!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What can I carry on an Xtracycle?

Well, when a friend said I could store a few things in her shed, I set myself the challenge that if I
could not carry it on the bike then it would not go!

A load of stuff

and on the bike...

Compared with Sophia's Xtracycle you can see just how much can be loaded onto one of these machines.

In fact my load was almost as big as Soph is tall!!

Ready to roll!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mij's "new" trailer

Finally got the trailer coupler finished for Mij's bike. One of those little winter projects that the cold and rain kept defeating! With summer on it's way and a few days of blue sky the energy levels are returning and the impetus to finish projects and get work done gives a good boost to the energy levels.

The trailer is part of an old child jogger stroller that was one of the trailers that came with my second hand Greenspeed last year. Having a few to many bicycle trailers cluttering up my life I thought that it might be a good time to give it away. Mij plans to use the trailer to haul water to various guerrilla gardening sites in Adelaide, particularly important with the rather hot summers we get here in Adelaide town!

Fixing up a Long Bike

One of the old Long Bikes based on a 26" wheel front and back. Needed a little TLC, plan to finish doing this one up then give it away to a household that will use it as their transport bike!

Old meets New..

The wonderful Adelaide Long Bikes created around 20 years ago were perhaps one of the most original load carrying cargo bikes in recent history, long before Xtracycles, Kona Utes and the like. I am fortunate to have one of these original machines that I still use for heavy duty short haul trips and when towing a trailer. Was around at Ian's place a few weeks back were he has gradually been restoring several of these machines, perhaps ready for new homes and another 20 years of use.

Heavy duty integrated rear rack, bomb proof 24" rear wheel, low drop downs, low top tube for easy step over, very easy to ride and haul many different loads, children, shopping, bikes, timber, and pretty much anything else you might want to think of.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things I have carried recently.....

My cat, Clancy ate a mouse/rat that was probably full of rat poison. He went all listless and floppy, more so then usual as he is pretty chilled out. So off the the vet to spend vast sums of money to get him fixed. He is getting better at riding on the bike!

Another use for the old Xtracycle box, carrying a small road bike frame to Lifecycles to get a helicoil put in the crank from where the previous owner had stripped it out- my friend Nick is buying this with the money going to the Bike for Refugees scheme.

Ladder, large suitcase - gear that you might normally need a car boot to haul it all, the Xtracycle just eats it up!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sophia's Xtracycle Built!

Finally built Sophia's Xtracycle on Sunday night. Ended up using my kids old child seat rather then Sophia's that is documented previously in this blog - which was not looking like it was going to fit without making significant modifications.

Without too much stuffing around, the older seat just slotted into place, looks really good and functional. The Xtracycle build was fairly straight forward, need to do a little more work on the gear adjustment, but it left here last night quite ride-able and all kitted up!

The Adelaide Cargo Bike Cult grows with another disciple!

Bike Lovers Bazaar!

On the weekend Soph, the kids and I went down to Thebarton for the first Bike Lovers Bazaar, a bicycle market where stall holders can sell and trade everything bicycle related. Though not too busy on the Sunday, it was good to see it making a start, the Bicycle Institute will make plans to have a stall at the next market. I was happy as I got a copy of the 2001 edition of Encycleopedia for $10 - early version of the Xtracycle in this edition along with many other inspiring machines and options to add to your cycling lifestyle!

My bike went out with its wideloaders on in expectation of making a bulky purchase, all I ended up bringing home was a pair of large traffic barrier poles abandoned on the side of the road - thinking of using these in a future project!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Coming home on the Train

Made a trip out to Gawler recently, catching the train out there and back again. Unfortunately Adelaide has a woeful public transit system, especially when it comes to duel mode transit and taking your bicycle on a train!

In this photo my bike is just leaning on the seat, which means that the traveler has to hold and supervise their bike the entire trip. What really did not help was that there was only one carriage on this day which quickly filled to capacity. I got stuck when another passenger literally threw his bike against mine, and did not even bother to ask if I might be getting off anytime soon. It was all quite embarrassing, people packed into the carriage and trying to get past all the other passengers, bikes, pushers and a wheelchair! Adelaide really needs to re-prioritise its transport system!

Living Room, or Bicycle Workshop??

Sometimes I wonder?? With the arrival of my new bicycle repair stand I am now even more likely to be fixing a bike at one time or another.

Such as it was when I went and got all the parts I needed to do up a really nice Avanti Hybrid that I have to be a bike for Tully and I to share. Working on it was pretty cool, finally able to get the bike up in the air and working properly!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On the weekend Sophia and I had a first look at her bike to see what might be involved in installing the Xtracycle with her childseat in place. We have been inspired by these flickr photos which show the same child seat installed on a slightly different bike. Is going to take a little work I expect, but I have been able to enlist some expert help in the form of my good friend Peter who I am sure will assist us make it happen!!

Sophia's bike with rack and Xtracycle frame attached...

Click on the photo for a much bigger image!

Monday, July 14, 2008

More Xtracycles for Adelaide

New Wide Loaders!

This week I picked up my new Wideloaders from Clarks Cycles on Magill Road, unpacked them, put them on the bike and loaded up with three more Xtracycles and a bunch of accessories for friends who are planning Xtracycle build-ups!

And rode all the way home with them!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Adelaide Cargo Bike Cult!

Time for this cult to see the light of day. The Xtracycle has proved an excellent catalyst for this. Affordable, practical and flexible and now with an Australian distributor!. Very exciting!!

Been doing more of the build on my machine, now looking at a disc brake front end for better stopping, and a flash new snap deck cushion, that I designed, and that my Mum (god bless you Mum) built!

The seat has been a big hit, very eye catching, my daughter loves it!

Have written to Dirt Works letting them know what I have been doing to promote and gather interest for the Xtracycle in Adelaide, increasing the market and promoting the machine directly to consumers and bike shops. I have been trying to get a little bulk buying community oriented scheme off the ground for a few months now, and I am increasingly thinking that I will need to work with a local retailer to make this happen.

I have three friends keen to get one and another four yet to make a decision, and that is without even really trying to sell them!! Frustrating me a little bit as I want to build the scheme, get more Xtracycles on the road and in the public eye!

The next event for the Cargo Bike Cult will be a picnic of Adelaide's Cargo Bike enthusiasts! Looking at a Spring event as the weather is warmer and there will be more bikes on the road!

We have quite a few examples of Cargo Bikes and can swap a few stories about what can be carried, how and where!!

Watch this space....