December 7, 2007
Big bikes for carrying lots of stuff
This is a one-shot arrangement, to demonstrate the feasibility of carrying small wiggly kids behind an xtracycle. A woman in Jamaica Plain was interested in doing this, maybe, though she had some pretty terrible storage constraints. The xtra can easily carry 100 lbs (I have hauled over 150 in the form of a teenage child), and the trailer is good for about 70. I’ve hauled two kids simultaneously in that very trailer, and with the xtra a third could ride on the back. It would be quite a workout; perhaps it would better to attach the trailer to a tandem. On the other hand, my xtra’s got a third small chainring I haven’t used in about a year, so arguably, I am not hauling enough.
I saw this in a park in Palo Alto, and was totally impressed. A quite-small woman (a little over 5 feet, and plenty slim) pilots the recumbent trike, towing one child in the pedal-alonng behind, and another in the trailer behind that. The trike is just beautiful; it’s a GreenSpeed, Crank Candy pedals, what looks like an AirZound horn, and a rear-view mirror.
Another great design is the Bakfiets. I saw one of these in town this summer, and immediately started taking pictures (the only importer seems to be located in St. Augustine, but I’ve heard thhat they are moving to the Boston area). The low load, centrally located in the bicycle, means that these can carry an enormous amount of weight without the handling getting too squirrelly. Because the rider (usually the largest load) is located to the rear, they are unlikely to flip. I don’t know if this really qualifies as a big rig, seeing as how there is no trailer.