Ode to My Bicycle Utility Vehicle

Posted on Posted in Bikes

I ride a bike. I ride a really spectacular bike, on which I have carried practically everything I’ve needed in my life since I got this particular lovely bicycle five years ago. We are temporarily separated as I am in Pittsburgh for the month of July and my bike is still in Denver. There’s a new bikeshare system in Pittsburgh, but it’s nowhere near my July house and so doesn’t really make sense for my life now. (More stations please, Healthy Ride? Pretty excited it exists anyway!)

I’ve never been bike-less for this long and it’s making me question a lot of things — such as my plan to leave my dreamy bike in Denver because I didn’t want to ship it here for the month. What a terrible idea!

Now I’m depending mostly on transit and walking as I did before I started riding a bike in 2005. But back then I lived in Chicago and DC which are larger, denser cities with glorious public transportation. Pittsburgh is a little more difficult. (See my last post “Standing on the Corner Waiting for the Bus.”)

So, in celebration of my wonderful bicycle and all those other bikes that get people around for free + exercise, I am going to share some pictures of the surprising things I have been able to carry on this spectacular bike I’ve had for the past five years. Kindly share enthusiasm, hauling successes or failures, questions, or other words in the comments.  Please excuse the dodgy quality.

Laundry haul!
Heading up to the laundromat!
Riding to the Laundromat Action Shot!
Riding to the Laundromat Action Shot!
Found this gorgeous but quite heavy vase next to a dumpster in an alley in Pittsburgh. It was holding a very dead fern but was in great shape otherwise. I removed the fern and loaded this beauty onto the bike rack. It was a somewhat wobbly but very successful ride!
On my way home from the plant store — riding in the alley where I found that beautiful blue vase above — I found these great ferns. My house was pretty close and riding like this was a little tricky, even staying in alleys and sidewalks, so I walked it part way home. A smart choice!
And while recruiting members for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association on Bike to Work Day, my bike rack became a display table.
And while recruiting members for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association on Bike to Work Day, my bike rack became a display table.
Nah, this is just pretty
Not too challenging, but lovely. I’m carrying my laptop and lunch, stopping for a quick exploration of some trail in Berkeley, CA.

6 thoughts on “Ode to My Bicycle Utility Vehicle

  1. During our Amish sojourne bikes were my preferred mode of transportation. Horse/buggy always freaked me out. Bad Amish.lol. We had a guy in the community that made bike trailors for everyone to use. 300 # max weight. Very convenient for town runs and slow rides for sipping communion wine on the DL.

    1. Horse and buggy is one of the forms of transportation I have yet to embrace, but I love that they are still used in Amish and other communities. 300 pounds on a bike trailer is pretty fantastic. I think I’ve carried about 150 on the front of my bike and untold amounts when I use a trailer.

      Communion wine on the DL! HAHAH

  2. I once spent a summer in Berkeley. I brought my bike (it was cheaper back in the early days of airline deregulation). I discovered that riding in Berkeley is a whole different thing than riding in Providence. Wide streets. NO potholes. Big hills. I took my bike on BART then rode it all over San Francisco, across the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito, then back on the ferry. That one day was worth the hassle of transporting my bike to and from the airport. Just think: you could be riding to Ohiopyle on the GAP right this minute.

    1. You’re so right, that would be an incredible ride right now! Everything is so lush. I’ve moved with this bike on Amtrak from Pittsburgh to San Francisco and back and then down to DC and then down to New Orleans and then up and over to Denver and I was just sick of taking it apart. This bike requires almost no care day-to-day due it’s flashy internal hub. There are So Many Parts to take apart and put back together and I was lazy. Oh well, walking around Pittsburgh in the summer is beautiful.

      Riding in Berkeley is glorious! It is possible to ride slowly safely and enjoy the landscape. They have fantastic signage, wide bicycle boulevards (!!!), and then you can go to the Berkeley Bowl and see the most magnificent arrangement of colorful fruits and vegetables in the United States. (probably). YUM.

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