as gas prices rise, people are beginning to talk more and more about using their bikes as transportation and not just recreation. all of us @ proteus ride when we can, but none of us live totally car-free. It's really easy to come up with an excuse to drive: I have to bring something heavy home, it's raining, that road is not very good/safe/smooth etc.
I have been trying really hard lately to not let those excuses get to me and it has been really nice. A simple thing that has made a big difference is playing around with baskets and racks!
front basket: I have a really simple one that goes on and off and hangs from the bars and it has become one of my favorite bike accesories, It's really nice to ride around, haul stuff, AND not have a sweaty back from a bag.
Rear rack, a simple easy way to make your bike much more utilitarian. I have a large wire basket that I zip-tied to the rack and I was able to ride to an outdoor movie with food, locks, a blanket, and 2 folding chairs. the weight always seems weird for the first minute but then you totally adjust, I've found that larger loads feel better once you get going. One of the many items that I drool over in the shop is a quick release basket for rear racks. It looks really classy and goes on and off in seconds.
now, anyone who knows me, knows that I have a bicycle acquisition problem. I have had plans to add an xtracycle attachment to one of my bikes for a few months, but Xtracyle has been sold out for the year for some time. Just in time, we received a couple Kona Ute's. These bikes are SO COOL. 8 feet long, built for cargo, handles really steady, still able to hop over curbs and small logs, room for 29'er mountain bike tires and has front disc brakes. Can you tell that I want one? unfortunately living in a small Baltimore row home with 9 bicycles and a wife who has been far more tolerant than necessary would suggest that this is probably a bad move for me. That said, I can't stop thinking about picking one up. Come give one a try, because it's COOL!
pretty long-winded entry I guess, but if you still have 10 minutes to kill, watch this segment from CBS Sunday on increased bicycle usage.