Moving by Bicycle

In June of 2009 I made up my mind to move from one apartment to the other. I also made up my mind to make this move using only bicycles and bicycle trailers. After making up my mind to do this I did some research and found some great testimony to this from other individuals and groups having done this on the Internet.

Two days ago, after I'd decided to move I found out about a contest that Madsen Cycles was putting on. If you're interested in helping me win, click this link to their site and check out their cool bicycles (it'll open in a new tab/window).

I started off on a Sunday afternoon by loading a few plastic tubs into the "kid trailer" I pull with my Schwinn Tempo road bike.

Schwinn Tempo and Converted Kid Trailer.

After the first load with the Schwinn I sent a text message to my buddy Captain E to see if I could borrow his Madsen Cargo Bike. I did two more loads with my Schwinn/trailer combo and then heard back from Captain E so I cruised down to pick up the Madsen.

Upon retrieving the Madsen and Captain E's homemade bike trailer I could tell that this game was ON! I rode it home and began to load it up with my stuff. I've moved a lot in my day and I have numerous plastic tubs to hold just about everything. This made loading the flatbed trailer a breeze.

The Madsen loaded up.

The consecutive loads went off without a hitch as well. I was able to stack tubs on the trailer and bulky, odd-shaped items into the Madsen's ample bucket.

The snowboards depict a common site in any Bozeman move.

Note the fly rods sticking out the top of the traffic cone.

Having things packed well from the get-go is important.

Furniture, skis, you name it!

The last load I had been contemplating since the start. When I set off to make this move using only a bicycle I assumed that the last load I made would be in my automobile. I justified that I would have to move my car from one location to the next and that it made sense to load it up with stuff. Although, as I proceeded further and further with the move I became more and more stubborn to move everything with cycles. The last item left was my boxspring, mattress, and bed frame. I solicited the help of fellow members of the Bozeman bicycling community whom I know are up for general jackassery such as this. Responses from SingleTrackM1nd and tjdzor came swiftly and with great enthusiasm.

The three of us sat in the sunshine pondering the massive load, first making attempts to put the mattresses on SingleTrackM1nd's Xtracycle. The weight was no problem for the Xtracycle but the size was. It became clear, quickly that the Madsen would have to be used as the width of the bucket was idea for balancing the width of the load of the bed.

After placing the load onto the bucket one test run was made unsuccessfully but I felt confident in my abilities so we re-secured the load and set off down the street. SingleTrackM1nd and tjdzor road ahead blatantly stopping traffic at the two major intersections, laughing, shouting, and capturing video along the way. The load was precarious and it required great concentration but in the end there was SUCCESS! A whimsical video was captured by tjdzor. Check it out:

Oh how I Need to learn how to Weld

This article blatantly stolen from Utilitarian Transports

The Cargo Commuter
It’s a bike you can comfortably commute on, yet still haul that bag of potting soil or massive discount box of diapers on. The rack was designed to hold one of those big rubbermade containers with the lid, but we’ve used everything from old suitcases to pails, or just piling the stuff on and tying it down with old inner tubes.

We take the retrofit candidate, inspect it, famesave it, and reinforce it (only if applicable). We then extend the head tube and add a sweet hand made front rack to the new headtube and frame of the bike. This brings the size of the front wheel down to a 20″. (or 16″ or 26″ etc.) We replace the old fork with a smaller one designed for the new front wheel, extend the steerer tube, and after all that we paint it, build it, and test ride it.

Attaching the rack directly to the frame provides the rider with a few nice things:
  • Having the rack lower creates more carrying capacity and makes for a more stable ride.
  • The 20″ wheel is stronger and can handle loads better.
  • One can keep a close eye on their load while riding.
  • Seeing how the rack doesn’t move when you turn the handlebars, there is no heaving when turning with big loads. (up to 150 pounds)