Monday, February 8, 2016

Lubbock on a Bike: Electric Bridget Lives!

Sometimes you have to tell yourself to put up or shut up. I keep yammering on lately about cargobikes and personal carbon reduction and hauling stuff greenly. Well, it was time to do something about it and to do that within the MH family budget. So here goes.
Meet the Bridgestone:
This $5 garage sale beauty has hung around the garage and or the back porch for a year and a half now. Honestly, I have not paid much attention to it. I have even tried to give it away a few times - but its virtues have not been apparent to anyone around me. It's old, it's faded, it's scratched up. And really good deals keep popping up on Craigslist used bikes, so it's been hard to get excited about a 25-year-old $5 bike.
But the budget and my desire to de-clutter a bit lead me to take a closer look. Suntour shifters, Araya rims, Ritchey and Shimano components - all quality stuff. This was a nice bike back in the day. Really, a set of tires, a seat, some brake shoes and a mild tune-up could yield a great (if not pretty) bike.
But I have been wanting a Radwagon, an Xtracycle, or a Yuba. Why have I wanted one of those? So that I could haul stuff - so that I could drive a car or truck a whole lot less. You know - that whole Personal Carbon Reduction thing. If I start setting money aside now, maybe I could afford one of those next year.
Or I could learn to weld and get to work on my own longtail bike. By the end of summer I could have one built.
Or, I could (and did) refurbish the Bridgestone (mostly with stuff I had lying around) and start hauling stuff on a bike now.
Guess what I did this weekend?
You've come a long way, Bridget!
Now, the Bridgestone has a new front basket, a used rear rack, new(ish) tires, seat, handlebars, pedals, and an axle hook-up for the Craigslist trailer. Oh yeah, I also pieced together a 36 volt, 1000 watt front hubmotor system to help me haul the heavy stuff from further away.
The trailer is a dustier version of this.
Needless to say, I am pretty jazzed about my spring commutes and the ability to haul stuff. I don't have to burn gasoline to buy groceries, to haul water, or to bring home pieces/parts/soil for Mesquite Hugger projects. I am ready to live the dreamier!
As always, I will keep you posted and invite you along for the ride.
Special thanks to Sun Adventure (my most-local bike shop) and their winter clearance sale for tubes and shoes and the front basket.
Are you green with envy?
For those of you who are jealous, solid used mountain bikes are pretty easy to find and the electrification portion is well documented in lots of places. My favorite place to learn more is Endless-Sphere - here is a thread that is a great place to get you started.
Now, it's time to make some panniers. Does anyone have a pair of pink messenger bags lying about?
May we all find healthier ways to travel and may we enjoy the ride.