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....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Slow Race to the Finish

A few weeks ago, Chrissy and me went Mystery Ride organsied by the crew of Ready, Set, Ride.. The weather held off, and a good time was had by all...

One of the 'events' on this ride was a 'slow race', basically last one across the finish line wins, no feet down, no track stands, you have to keep moving..

I won the second of two heats then had a face off with the guy on the bmx who had won the first round.. He won the final round, but two very different bike, me on the Xtracycle with Chrissy on the back!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Letter to Xtracycle

Come up with another scheme to try and get Xtracycles into Adelaide. Already have about 6 "sold" without even trying! The good people from Xtracycle have yet to get back to me!! This is what I sent them...

"Hello Xtracycle and Greetings from Adelaide, South Australia!

I recently purchased a Xtracycle Free Radical from a dealer in Sydney and finally got it built on the weekend. To the best of my knowledge of the local cycling scene, this is the first Xtracycle to live in his city. Have already ridden about 50 km on it, picking up my daughter, shopping and moving bicycle parts. I bought the Xtracycle to replace an original Adelaide long bike, an extended wheel base bike that I have been getting around on for about a year, but which is a bit heavy and cumbersome.

I have quite an interest in developing cycling, sustainable transport and options that allow people to live car free or car light. I would like to develop a local market for Xtracycles and believe that there is a good deal of interest particularly through the local Bicycle User Groups and Permaculture people that I am involved with.

I have an idea to develop a direct distribution scheme, where a coalition makes a bulk purchase of Xtracycles and accessories and hold a install-a-thon weekend. I could effectively run this scheme through the Bicycle Institute of SA or my own consultancy business. However, I would like to keep the scheme essentially not for profit, mainly designed to develop cycling culture and cargo bike usage.

My question is whether Xtracycle the company would be interested in distributing directly to such a purchasing coalition? If so what sort of quantities would need to be ordered (10, 20, 50 units??), and also of course, what sort of dollars taking into account shipping etc would be anticipated for bulk orders.

At this stage I am developing the ideas and local interest to give such a scheme life, would intend to use my machine as a demo bike and promotional vehicle to 'sell' the idea and get commitment to the coalition.

Let me know what your thoughts are at this early stage as I would be interested if this is something you have done previously, or would hold appeal to develop further markets for your products based on the culture of developing community and local exchange and community capacity building.

Best Regards,

Jeremy Miller"

Xtracycle Finally Built

Big thanks to Peter Good, my long term cycling friend and expect mechanic who helped me with some of the mechanicals and getting the bike built up. Also, Kevin Clark from Clarks Cycle on Magill Road for help in selecting the right parts and doing everything at a really nice price!

I have been riding the bike for two weeks now and it is really amazing. There were a few teething issues, mainly the wheels from my old bike were really too worn out to be used, so I recycled a front rim off one of my hard rubbish bikes that just needed to be trued up and went a brand new Alex wheel for the rear from Kevin who also helped set uo the brakes. I have added a set of Zafel mudguards since the photos were taken which have already proved invaluable. The only other real teething issue is that the FAP bolt keeps working loose (not dramatically, but needs to be tightened every few days, which is not right). Will fix this shortly.

Have taken my daughter to school twice this week, and she loves it! And yes, the Footsies for her feet make a big difference. I'll post new photos soon with the bike as it is now.

Friday, April 11, 2008

It is here! Finally it's here!

My Xtracycle arrived yesterday! So excited! Still waiting on the Footsies but they should be here in the next couple of days.

All I have to do is build it. The donor bike needs new cluster, chain, brakes and levers, headset and wheel bearings as a minimum re-build. Eventually I plan to build a new wheelset for it using Velocity Cliffhanger rims as recommended by Lynn in Sydney.

I was so excited I took pictures

The frame..

Complete kit

Friday, March 14, 2008

Letter to Yuba

As part of the ongoing interest and development of transport / utility bikes here in Adelaide, I am trying to introduce as many people to the possibilities that exist when you own such a machine. Part of that is having acces to such machines...!!

Here is a email that I wrote to the guys at Yuba this evening.. lets see what happens...

"Hi Stu

Thanks for the information! Appreciate your speedy response. I already own a "long bike" (as we call them here in Adelaide!), and use this as my daily transport. See attached photo- that is me on the left with the day that I reacquainted myself with the bikes original designer and co-builder. Adelaide has had a bit of a backyard industry with these sort of machines for over 20 years, with several incarnations and machines on the road.

I find the machine able to do everything that I would normally use a car for, including all my shopping, collecting children to and from school and basically all my daily transport and load carrying!

I am very much involved with cycling in Adelaide, being a committee member of the local peak advocacy organization, The Bicycle Institute of SA, part of the Bicycle Federation of Australia. In fact after our AGM this week I seem to have not only retained the Bicycle User Group Coordinator portfolio, but would seem to have also taken on the role of BISA Chairperson! I am also studying Urban and Regional Planning at a post-grad level and am interested in questions of urban transport, the role of cycling, city form and energy inputs, particularly within the context of social change necessary in a time of uncertain energy supplies, water shortages and psychological security. All a bit of a compelling and complex group of issues!

I am particularly interested in load carrying bicycles. I own not only the above mentioned machine, but several standard bicycles, a recumbent trike, a load carrying trike, and four bicycle trailers. You are probably familiar with the Kona Ute, and the Xtracycle Free Radical - two machines that I actively promote along with the Long Bike when I talk to groups as part of a introduction to the possibilities of a car free lifestyle . One friend and cycling colleague has a Kona Ute on the way, as I have a Free Radical to retro fit into an existing bicycle.

I would like to propose that I might have access to a Yuba in addition to the above machines (in some way shape or form - Distributor? Demonstrator? Advocate? Dealer? Lets see if there is a possibility here?) that I can actively (and passionately) promote within the Adelaide market. I have a wide network within the cycling community, understand sales and marketing and would be willing to act as an ongoing demonstrator and advocate for both the machine itself and the lifestyle changes that such a machine makes possible. I would like the Yuba to be a great success and moreover, Adelaide the prime market for these machines.

So, that's an idea!

Of course, if you guys are as interested as doing this as I am we will need to work out exactly the form of our arrangement and what expectation both parties have. I truly believe that it could be quite simple and straight forward, chiefly aimed at developing and encouraging everyday utility cycling through appropriate technology and innovative solutions.

Best Regards,

Jeremy Miller
Adelaide, South Australia

PS: I have copied several friends on this email, who like me, have an interest in utility cycling and may also be interested in being in contact regarding these machines! Cheers!

----- Original Message -----
From: Stuart Edwards
To: Jeremy Miller
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2008 6:43 PM
Subject: Re: Yuba Bikes
Hi Jeremy!

I am planning to distribute throughout Australia with the next shipment (all going to plan) I would like to direct sell to keep the cost as low as possible. I have not yet costed shipping bikes to Australia from NZ properly, but I expect it to be about $180NZ for 8-10 day delivery. That seems like a pretty reasonable sort of price to me.

I will add you to my mailing list (don't worry I am not likely to bombard you with info!) so you can keep up to date when things change. I looks as if the first shipment will be available in NZ in about 15days. I have had a prototype for about 6 months, but the production version looks even cooler!

My 76 yr old father in law has been out riding, and he comment how light it feels to ride. I agree, it is a really nice bike.

Take care
On 13/03/2008, Jeremy Miller <> wrote:
Hello Cargo Bikes NZ

Was just after a little more information on the Yuba such as what distribution is planned into Australia and what the cost from NZ to Aust might be?

Bit of a preliminary enquiry at this stage, hope that you can help,

Look forward to your reply,


Jeremy Miller
Adelaide, South Australia."

Adelaide Tranport Bikes

This blog is all about using bicycles as daily transport and working towards being car free through appropriate and sustainable solutions. It is concerned with the history of the Adelaide Long Bike and bicycles such as the Kona Ute, Xtracycle and Yuba, as well as what are called 'long tail' bikes and genally anything do do with carrying loads on a bicycle!!