Pics and Info
Here is more info on the "Xtra-V" as I like to call it. The old Killer V 500 began life as my primary mountain bike back in '95. Eventually it started to gather dust in the basement. A 29er fetish left this little green gem lonely in a corner. I thought about doing the whole singlespeed 69er thing, but instead thought I would seek something practical. Instead of just a rack, I wanted real functionality. I had followed Surly's release of the Big Dummy and was intrigued. With the exception of the Xtracycle "Free Radical" (that's what they call the attachment), it uses standard components. I had some old XT stuff laying around and a new XT Shadow rear derailleur that I took of another bike last fall. The wheels are old Mavic X618 on XTR non-disc hubs (no dish, stronger that way). The only new thing on the bike other than the Xtracycle "Freeradical" is the Surly 1X1 fork. This was my way of trying out the cargo bike as inexpensively as possible. I may build up a stronger wheelset and change out the tires to something more stout in the future, but it works well as is. Let me note that I am not one of the "sell your car" lifestyle cyclists (yet). A bike was a source of recreation . . . I haven't owned a bike with a kickstand since 4th grade! The Xtra-V is changing things.
I've given up the car for the summer because this is so much better around town. I've used it to haul camping gear from storage (going bike camping soon), move a carpet cleaner, take cardboard to the recycling center, and I just got back from a milk and cereal run for tomorrow's breakfast. I live in a small town and not many are on bikes, but rising gas prices will change that. When I was at the checkout today I got this exchange;
Cashier: "Are you on a bike?
Cashier: "Hey everybody he's on a bike, did you see that? We better double bag this, good for you, good for you".
Me: "I'm not retarded"
Cashier: "Then why you on the bike?"
I guess she mistook the meaning of the stupid grin on my face. All I need is a throat beard and I'll officially be the village idiot. It's fun, really.
As I was riding home with my milk and cereal I was able to smell the air, see the neighborhood fireworks, and talk with an older woman about the bike. Imagine, people in a community actually talking on the street. It's crazy to be on a bike that is more of a tool than a toy. Here are the pics: