Alternative Transportation

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by wy0mn, May 9, 2005.

  1. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

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    I've seen several similar postings but none identical to this that I've found. So here goes...
    I pedal a bike for a ten mile round trip to work. Are there any other regular cyclist on the forum and if so, what types of bikes.
    Anyone riding a horse to work? Renting a rickshaw?
    I suppose I'm really trying to see how far people will go for petroleum freedom.
    Fuel is getting no cheaper...
    Lex
     
  2. Canucklehead

    Canucklehead Active Member

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    I have a nice giant bike a ride quite a bit. We do not drive a car... too much in gas and insurance. The best investment I ever made was an electric motor from wildernessenergy.com. I have the 36V extended range. Speed: 20+mph on the flat with no pedaling. Range: 30miles on flat with no pedaling. It goes fast and going up a hill is easy as the flats. A little pricy but still one of the cheaper motors on the market and well worth it. Note you still should pedal or the batery won't last long. Hard to say the max range because I still pedal but my battery has not run out yet.

    If you can find one to try at a bike rental store, try it. You'll love it and won't be able to stop grinning.

    If you want to keep up the riding, this is your best option. Oh yeah... you don't have to use the motor... the bike works fine when it is turned off.

    I can't say enough about this thing....

    PS: It is super quiet.... the sound is no more than rubber on the road. Also, most people do not even know there is a motor on unless I tell them.

    PPS: It is very funny to look back at the bikers you zoom pass on big hills while you hardly pedal. The all must think they are having a very bad day.
     

  3. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    When we moved here that was our plan to use our horses for transportation. But dh had a work related accident and now our doctor's buggy sits in the barn unrestored still. His right elbow was crushed and he has to limit what work he can do with it.

    We did go 8 months last year without a vehicle. So we bought a bike (Tank- but I do not recommend them. We have had so much trouble with it.) and two of those carts that are for children that you hook on the back.

    We live 7 miles from our town so he hooked the cart and went to town. And we have lots of big hills (and no electric assist). He bought alot of groceries, kerosene (for our lamps) and gas (for our generator and chainsaw). So he was loaded. It took him a hour to get up to the top of one of the hills (the worst one).

    I just found a site that is about using bikes for transportation. It is http://bicycleaustin.info/ but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet.

    I am excited to see someone else interested in these methods. DH hates to drive! He would like to get a Rhoades car with the electric assist. But too much$$$$!

    One more thing, we have a friend who hasn't driven in over 40 years, and he raised 12 children on his homestead. His kids think it's so funny when dh talks against cars and driving! They live 7 miles from town and go all the time.
     
  4. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My husband is a regular bicycle commuter. He'll drive if he feels he has to, but gets to and from his daily job and does errands around town by bike, even in winter. For fun, he sometimes takes long (80-160 mile) rides, but mostly his bike is transportation, not recreation. Our son bikes to and from school (only about five miles).

    I'm the worst of us all: I usually drive to work even though it's less than four miles. There's a fair bit of traffic and I work pretty long shifts (and I'm skittish about riding home alone late at night). I'm going to try to drive less, though. We've biked to church together recently, and to the market about ten miles away, and both rides were very pleasant. That electric motor sounds intriguing, but I aspire to both save on gas money and get more exercise, so maybe that would be cheating?
     
  5. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...................I rode a Schwinn all the thru my sophmore year in HS . I continued to ride while in College . I live 11 miles out in the country from my job in town . Have given consideration to riding to work but , ....the first 7 miles would be on a very Narrow farm to market , paved road and It would be sheer stupidity to even try . Plus , it puts the the cars\trucks in a very difficult situation when they meet and you have a bicyclist taking up a full lane of traffic . There is no place to go except for someone to "Hit the Ditch" . So , I'm just NOT going to even try . ...fordy.. :)
     
  6. Canucklehead

    Canucklehead Active Member

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    Lots of people ask/say this, I understand the sentiment. The thing to remember with the pedal assist systems (like mine) is that it is only there when you need it. Not only that, when you don't use the motor, it adds weight to the bike which makes you work harder, if that's what you want ;)

    For instance... I get quite sweaty after a hard ride up the hill. That's fine going to the store or just out for some fun, I push it hard to get out aggression and frusteration sometimes. But people in an office might not like it so much when I come to work smelly.

    Most hardcore bikers think the motor is an easy way out and that I'm not a real cyclist. They tell me I'm lazy as they jump into their SUV to drive home and get their bike to go for a ride. I laugh as I ride home thinking about how great it is not to own a car and not be stuck in traffic. Electric motor or not. ;)
     
  7. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    Canucklehead,
    The wildernessenergy bike conversion kit sounds interesting. How well does it work when it's wet? Is it completely waterproof, or should it not be used in the rain? I read the FAQ on their website, but they didn't mention if it was weatherproof or not. If it's not weatherproof, then it sounds more like a novelty or a toy than a practical means of transport.
     
  8. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

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    This is working out well.
    Yesterday I purchased a 26" Mongoose aluminum framed bike with a 21 speed gear cluster.
    I got it from the 'damaged' rack @ WalMart for $25.
    It was missing a chain, pedals & the bolt that holds the handlebars on. I think I got a nice deal.
    It has the Y frame with the dual suspension, for those of us with no butt!
    My plans are to convert it to a recumbent, using the www.cruzbike.com system.
    Another project thats sitting in the shed is a 26" mountain bike thats been stripped of everything. Its final incarnation is to be used as a "slipstream" electric. I can't remember the web addie, but you mount a 1hp 12vdc motor on it, using a mini deep cycle battery.
    I have all the parts for this bike except the motor. EShopping prices for one is CrAzY!
    Fordy, the Wyoming land is still available. We aren't having much success selling this place in Tn. I'll keep you posted of any changes.
    Ya'll have a great day :) .
     
  9. roughingit

    roughingit knitwit

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    I ride a Fuji Palisade with a rack, rear panniers, underseat bag and handlebar bag. Someday I will get a front rack mounted, but since I have front shocks, I can't use most off-the-shelf ones.

    wy0mn and others- Please, please be careful with those Walmart and other cheapy bikes! They are not as sturdy as getting a good used bike from a better brand. The welds are not as strong and they are *not* designed for off-road use or heavy weight bearing! (Even the ones with full-suspension have warning tags on them, it is just for show...and even then, no one else is going to be fooled...)
     
  10. Kickapoo

    Kickapoo Member

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    You guys need to check this out:

    Xtracyle Sport Utility Bicycle Kit

    I've thought about buying one of these for my old Rockhopper mountain bike since I only use it for errands anymore anyways. I'm a competitive cyclist but I also like to see people driving their cars less and riding more. Back when I was young and prideful I would have laughed at the idea of a motor assisted bike, but now I can appreciate that they're a big help for a lot of people. And a motor on an S.U.B. would be fantastic for hauling heavy items around.

    We're probably going to buy some land about 5 miles from town next month and I hope I'm not too lazy to use the bike for at least small errands when we move out there. When I didn't work from home like I do now, I would always commute by bike 15 miles both ways. I loved zooming past everybody stuck in traffic. Funny thing was it didn't take me much longer by bike and I got a good workout at the same time. Now we live in a small rural town and the cycling is fantastic out here. I hardly ever see cars on my rides anymore. It's idyllic!
     
  11. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    "Anyone riding a horse to work? "
    I used to ride a horse to the grocery store! LOL! But that was when I lived a LOT closer to a town.
     
  12. jerzeygurl

    jerzeygurl woolgathering

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    i'd love to use the horses or donkeys with cart to town but hubby says it would take all day!!
     
  13. designer

    designer Well-Known Member

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    I wish there was a good alternative. I hate the drive to work! But it takes me 20 minutes to drive it so that would be too far for a bike. At lest to get there on time. And dropping my son off at school might be a little tricky on a bike. I'm waiting for the electric hybrid cars to come down in price.

    If you rode a horse to work where would it stay while you worked?
     
  14. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..........Well , I'm sorry to hear about your sale difficulty . I'm kinda going thru the same "back and forth" here with my life and Place . For a while I has "Hott To Trott" as my friend use to say to get this place sold then I slowly drifted away from that Idea and settled back into a Mundane existence . Now , things are changing again , as I didn't get the job I wanted but I'll find something else . I've put alot of work into this 5 acres and saying goodbye would really be hard . The property tax situation in Texas maybe helped somewhat by some legislation currently under debate in the Texas Legislature . I just Don't have much faith in our elected folks on either the State level or the Federal level as well . Their whole agenda is predicated on what the Lobbyists "want" and what they have been paid to DO . So , I'm beginning to consider selling and travel trailers , cool nights in Wy and Colo , etc . My problem is that I'm a Hobo at heart and now I'm TOO FAT to jump on a freight car with my Fritos and Tequila and cell phone . Oh Well!! "Tamalie" is another Day . Keep me posted on your "journey" , ..fordy.. :eek: :)
     
  15. wizzard

    wizzard future nomad

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    currently i drive a car because we moved 10 miles out of town. i have been driving a car for 6months now. before that me and my wife rode bicycles everywhere we went. we put in an average of 15 miles per day. i have two bicycle trailers and 4 homemade recumbent bicycles. im hoping to make a pair of recumbent trikes this year with one rear wheel and two front wheels. but im not sure how well that will work out yet

    i liked the idea of the cruizer. it gave me some new ideas. most of the bike frames i have made have been long wheelbase. but that was a very clean way to do short wheel base
     
  16. cowboy joe

    cowboy joe Hired Hand

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    I road a bike to work years back when I lived in the city. The 13 mile commute took longer by car than by bike and I enjoyed the look on some of the driver's faces as I cruised by while they sat in the gridlock. But enough of that.

    I spent a few hours looking at the various power assisted bicycles and coversion kits on the market. I wasn't able to more than an article or two describing home built units. Does anyone know of any good informational sites?
     
  17. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

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  18. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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