Friday, August 24, 2012

Bicycle Commuting

I'm getting back into the swing of things after taking last week off and going on vacation with my family.  It's always tough heading back to work after some much needed R&R but the bicycle always seems to work its magic and makes it just a little bit easier.  I rode my bike to work four out of five days this week.  I drove the car once because I had some boxes and other stuff to transport. 

I've been kicking around the idea of buying a cargo trailer to expand my ability to portage bulkier items that just won't fit in my backpack.  The other day I had to make a quick run to the grocery store which is only about mile from my house.  I had to drive the car because I had to get a gallon jug of milk, orange juice and some other odds and ends.  Together it was too much stuff to carry on my back and a cargo trailer attached to my bike would have made it a piece of cake.  As far as the car is concerned from a mechanical standpoint I've talked to mechanics who say that an automobile needs to be run a minimum of eight miles just to bring the engine up to normal operating temperature.  Driving short trips and shutting the motor off allows harmful and corrosive compounds to build up in the engine that would otherwise be flushed out by a longer period of operation.

I like the idea of a trailer that I can disconnect from the bike and hang on the garage wall when I don't need it as opposed to a big heavy cargo type bike.  Earlier this week I got a Nashbar catalog in the mail and I noticed they had their cargo trailer on sale for just over a hundred bucks.  Think about it this way:  How long does it take to burn through a hundred dollars worth of gas.  The reasons to ride more and drive less just keep stacking up.


  1. Absolutely....we waste an enormous about of gasoline with those short trips and it's also terrible on the car. I'll be looking forward to seeing the info on the carrier. At $100, it seems like a real bargain.

    We buy most of our fruits and vegetables at the local farmers market. A large backpack works well and is a great excuse to take an extra ride into town.

  2. Have a buddy with a Trek Soho that looks a lot like this one, but it is belt driven. It's a nice bike, but I think for convenience sake, I'd still go with a chain like the one you have here.

  3. Treks are great bikes, My son rides one. As a company I think they have super line up of bikes -something for ever kind of rider.

    I don't have any experience with the belt drives but for a city bike or commuter it seems to make sense. Heres the issues as I see them:

    1 The frame has to be specially made with an opening in the drive side seat stay tube to get the belt on and off.

    2 Because the belt is one size some kind of internal rear hub gear system must be used to gain any spread in gear ratios. Again I'm not real knowledgable on the subject but I think these internal gears are more restrictive in range and heavier than conventional chain and cog arrangements.

    3 I've heard that the belt does not run perfectly quiet and if the aligment isn't just right it makes noise.

    It's a cool idea and I'd try one out but I'm old school and like a chain and sprockets. Simple and effective. Time will tell whether belt drive bicycles are here to stay or fade away as a gimmick.

  4. I use a nashbar trailer for grocery runs. I'm not a big fan of how it connects--seems to put a lot of angular torque on the mounting bolts. I had to get harder ones as those supplied bent. Weight limit is 45 pounds. I'm on my second trailer as the frame on the first failed after 2 years.

  5. Hey thanks for the input Unknown. I suppose it would be more than worth the extra money to just get the B.O.B yak trailer. At least the Yak has 70 # load limit.