Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How to transport propane on a bicycle

I am aiming for a niche audience here, which is why I chose the title above. Surely, somebody's googling this phrase right now.
That's me above, looking surprisingly much like a completely zoned out hippie. I have no idea how that happened. The cylinder on my side is, despite appearances, not a groovy jet motor, but rather a container of propane, for use in my gas oven at home.
I am sitting astride a bicycle that I have elongated using a kit called a "Free Radical", made by a company called "Xtracycle". The end result is, supposedly, a "SUB", or "sports utility bicycle". All this is just a bit too much taxonomy to my liking, but take a look at it below.
This is all very clever. Eliminating the need for an extra wheel or a vulnerable hitch makes this better than many trailer options. And I am a moderately greatetful for avoiding trikes or two-wheeled trailers on logging roads, as they end up rattling and humming something awful. Furthermore the SUB is a platform designed to be hacked, it can be improved to transport passengers or kajaks or other bicycles or even to make smoothies.

Hermit's verdict: Of all freight bike options I've tried, this is the most versatile one. 


Terria Fleming said...

This is a great picture, and the bicycle looks very handy, and useful to have, on a homestead or even in the city. I have been looking for a freight bicycle or whatever they call them because not being able to carry things on a bike is so limiting. There are places nearby that sell fabuously expensive bicycles but they aren't as useful as yours.

Northmark said...

I have lived in symbiosis with freight bikes for a while, but have become victim of "car drivers syndrome": I carry a lot of stuff I don't really need because, well, just because I can. This makes no sense!

The kind of elongated bicycle pictured in this post is the best choice, in my opinion. (There are lots of different kinds, the Kona Ute, Surly has one, and Xtracycle sells kits.) It can be pretty fast, and is narrow enough to let you squeeze between cars and pedestrians and what have you.