Bike Gear

I’m Going to Make This- Bike Bag/Clutch

717ead368206c64521f3a7c8b9cb45a1OMG, I want this.  It’s from Elycia at www.lovelyelycia.com- there is a detailed (very, very detailed, as in over two hours long) video available at the link, but I’m just going to be ‘inspired.’ And I’m pretty crafty.  I’m brainstorming for my Etsy shop- I have some small idea growing in me for some bike related projects, but while it isn’t clear which direction I’ll be going, in the meantime I’ll be sewing this amazing dual duty clutch.

Car-Free Game Changer #2: Yuba Mundo

Our Yuba Mundo, coming home!
Bringing the Yuba Mundo home from J.C. Lind- an exciting day!

Bringing the Yuba Mundo home from J.C. Lind- an exciting day!

The Mundo is like a big friendly dog in that it helps us make friends at the park.  People ask us frequently if it’s 1) a custom build, 2) motorized, 3) a tandem or something.  This really ought to be game changer #1, but I was excited about our travel vest and had a photo ready to share…

We started biking (and blogging) early this summer when our wheels were a Target Schwinn (now locked as back-up bike in our apartment’s bike room) and a Craigslist Burley D’Lite.  The good news was, we fell in love with using the bike to get around.  The bad news was that the trailer was sometimes difficult to pull (at a stoplight on a slope I was really struggling) big to store, and difficult to get in and out of our apartment. I had researched several options for getting around with two bigger kids, and it seemed like we were too big for the kid in front/kid in back combo (little guy was in the upper 30 pound range) and too small to be trusted on our own.  I started to read about longtail bikes and was thinking they were awesome- but expensive.

I posted awhile ago about paying for more expensive items- I have learned to justify this at times knowing that some things resell very well on Craigslist (I’m talking about Burley trailers in this case) and are more safe and durable than lower cost options, like InStep or others.  But a bike for over $1000 seemed LUDICROUS.  A bike?

It seems like a lot- unless you are replacing a car.  Once the car is out of the picture, it seems a whole lot more reasonable.  The car was super expensive, looking back on it.  The bike is mostly one up-front expense, with a little maintenance here and there.  And since there’s no WAY I’d dream of getting rid of it right now, I don’t care what it’s resale would be on CL.  I ran into a lady the first week we had the bike near 12th Street Beach who had an “El Mundo” (electric-assist Yuba Mundo) and an odometer- she had something like 2000 miles on her bike, and she’d only had it a few months.

I quickly got lazy about logging miles despite trying several websites, including Map My Ride (eats battery, shows our exact locations- which I find to be a bit much) and Drive Less, Live More (which is GREAT.) It would have come in handy for calculating and comparing our cost per mile, but anyhow, I’ve decided there’s no need to break it down.  I have no buyer’s remorse. None.  And if you can’t tell, I feel crazy paying “full price” for just about anything- thanks, Mom, you bargain hunter, you. 😉

So this is what we love about our bike:

1) It holds two kids, and me, and lots of stuff.  That’s obvious. Which might be why Mr. M isn’t keen on being seen riding it… Ha!  He can keep his feather-light fixie road bike, which was his choice when we put car money toward bikes- Yuba Mundo is to Honda Odyssey as Bianchi Pista is to Porsche Boxter.

2) It lends itself very well to customization- and can be adapted to suit your needs, which is a must when you have growing kids. You must check out Jarrod’s posts at 8 legs 2 wheels to see some customizations.  I’m including just a few of my own as well in the photos here.

3) The Yuba is comfortable.  I love the saddle.  I love the angle- I’m just about upright, and can see all around.  The grips are wide, like a mountain bike, just the way I like them.  The gearing is perfection.  Chicago isn’t hilly, but I struggled like crazy pulling a trailer, and I think it was mostly due to the Schwinn hybid.  Cargo bikes are made to haul loads and have a generous helping of “granny gears” for taking on inclines, and I’m able to do it all in my middle gear.  It is also HEAVY which is both good and bad- but I’ve come to like the feel of a substantial bike under us.

4)  It’s made in the U.S. by a company that has a good reputation.  I say this because I haven’t heard any complaints about Yuba, and anyone I know with one of their bikes loves it.  (Many are compelled to blog about how much they love it, actually!)  I posted a comment on their Facebook page– after they put up a pic of the monkey bars on their wall, and they responded by tagging a photo of the bike standing on end with the bars attached.  Thanks! Oh- which reminds me…

5) It stands on end.  This is how the bike lives in our living room.  Because we wouldn’t dream of making it sleep on the balcony, or in the bike room.

6) Yuba accessories are pretty good.  We have the soft spot, leg up, running boards, de-flopinator, stoker bars, and Go-Getter bag.  That bag is AWESOME for grocery runs.  And I have a feeling Yuba will continue taking care of us.  Oh!  And the kickstand…

7)  The kickstand is great.  It is like one you’d find on a scooter or motorcycle, and it can almost handle the kids climbing up on it alone.  But they shouldn’t climb on it- Little Guy did manage to tip it over at one point, pulling himself into the seat.  I still feel bad about this- but he learned and was unscathed.

8)  It seats another adult.  Not that I’ve frequently brought grown people out on rides, but I think the option is pretty cool.

That’s what I can think of for now… but I’m sure there are lots of other things I could list that I love.