What is the Mundo?

I am the very happy owner of a Yuba Mundo Cargo bike, a purpose-built, long-tail, heavy-duty bike that is built to be a serious replacement for a carbon-emitting vehicle. I'm learning more every day what a bike can do, and I'm becoming convinced that a cargo bike with an electric assist is a truly fantastic machine!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Woo Hoo!  30 Days of Biking is done!  And now, the National Bike Challenge: A free program from May 1 to August 31 with the goal of uniting 50,000 people to bike 10 million miles.  You sign up with Endomondo, download GPS tracking software to your smartphone (or just enter your rides on the website), and start riding. (BTW, please sign up for Team Worcester Earn-a-Bike).
The 30 Days of Biking is a great idea, because once you start thinking about how you'll use your bike every day it becomes a normal part of the daily routine.  Now that April is over, I see no need to give up biking everyday, and yeah, I signed up for the National Bike Challenge so if I ever am tempted not to bike I'll remember that I've got to add more miles.  I'm a very lazy person at heart and if there isn't some kind of goal in sight I'm likely to sleep late and skip the biking.
Here's a picture of the Cycle Analyst readout from my 18.4 mile trip to work.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The 30 Days of Biking Challenge is almost up - only 1 more day and I will have done it! Luckily it's going to be a beautiful day here in New England, and I'm planning to commute by bike tomorrow. My total mileage this month (about 400 so far) is probably the most I've ever done this early in the season. Feels great.
Today, a lazy Sunday after a very busy Saturday collecting bikes for Earn-a-Bike, the only ride we did was down to the local coffee shop. Paula rode the Mundo today, and she is "charged up" about electric biking.
Paula on the Mundo at the Pleasant Street coffee/bbq/mini-mart outdoor fiesta.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Just finished out the week with 4 out of 5 days of riding to work and back.  Couldn't (wouldn't) do it on Monday because of pouring rain.  Nonetheless, that's like 160 miles just for commuting this week.  Nice!  Next week, if the weather cooperates, all 5 days!
Long distance commuting on car-centric roads is interesting, definitely want to talk about that some more. Suffice to say that there are some car drivers out there that need some bike-awareness education.  Had a guy today tell me to ride on the sidewalk on a stretch of road through Northborough that doesn't even have a sidewalk.  Brilliant!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What can an (electric) bike do?  How about commute back and forth to work (18.4 miles each way) rather painlessly.  And zip around the city doing errands in the April showers but not worrying about getting a little wet?
Things I love about the Mundo so far:
- seems to be built very well, I see myself having this bike for at least as long as I've had my 1967 Raleigh.
- The stock saddle is surprisingly comfortable - I ride more than 40 miles a day in my work clothes.
- The stock fenders really do a good job of keeping the wet road off of me and the rest of the bike.
- The ability to load up a lot of stuff: computer, lunch, snacks, drinks, classroom materials, and still have room to pickup groceries on the way home.
- The disc brakes (avid bb7) which work flawlessly in the wet weather.
- The handling of the bike: this is a _fun_ bike to ride!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Haven't had a chance to post for a few days, last week was very busy getting ready for the big Worcester Earn-a-Bike fundraiser party.  The party was a great success, but I must admit that the only bike ride I took on Saturday was on the stationary bikes attached to the roller racing setup.  But hey, I did three 500 meter sprints, so I think that still counts for the 30 days of biking.

Sunday was the Earth Day Critical Mass in Worcester, but my tired feeling from the night before {The wages of sin are death, but after they take out for taxes it's just sort of a tired feeling :-) (Paula Poundstone)} combined with some wet weather prevented me from participating.  I was on my way to the critical mass meeting place at the Turtle Boy statue, but I was wet and cold and I decided to go back home instead.  Weak.

Today, however, I did go out in the rain and do my afternoon errands on the Mundo, and I must say the fenders that come on the bike work very well.

And finally, I'm including a picture of one of the patches that we had as prizes at the Earn-a-Bike party.  Stephanie grabbed a picture from a facebook album of me racing at the George Street Challenge for Major Taylor, photoshopped it up and made a silkscreen and printed a whole lot of patches.  I am truly honored!

A pic of me riding up George St. in Worcester printed on some awesome patches.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mundo inspiration: In February Paula and I visited our son Lowell in Berkeley, CA, and one day we rented bikes on the Embarcadero in S.F. and rode across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausilito, where we were lucky enough to visit the Yuba Bicycle Headquarters.  Tried out the bikes, fell in love with the ride, and the rest is history.
Gray at Yuba HQ in Sausilito

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Just a quick update: The savings are starting to add up, only 26 days into the project and have saved over 10% of the cost of the bike (not counting the electric kit, need to update that).  Also, very impressed with the bike, the electric assist, and myself for riding about 125 miles in the last 3 days.  It's 38 miles a day round trip to work plus all the regular errands, and the system is working flawlessly!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2nd trip to and from work today, 37 miles round trip.  Then some errands in Worcester for a total of about  42 miles today.  Excellent!  Still keeping up with the 30 Days of Biking, even if on Monday it was only a quick trip to the coffee shop.  I'm proposing that all the people in the Worcester area doing the 30 Days of Biking thing should meet up at the Earth Day Critical Mass ride on April 22.  According to one of the organizers, one of the goals is to get over 100 people, which as far as I know would be the biggest Critical Mass ever held in Worcester.  I'll be there, just look for the guy with the Yuba Mundo...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday, busy day at Earn-a-Bike, so only a short (1.8 mile) ride this morning to the coffee shop.  Love the electric assist!  The bike is heavier, but now there is no excuse for not using the bike for mad errands.  Load it up!  The commute to work on Friday was awesome, very exciting, felt like superman going up the hills.  Took about 6Ah of battery to get to work, 7Ah to get back home.  Lots of hills, some pretty steep, each way, and that has held me back from ever doing it before.  However, it is more uphill on the way home: Worcester elevation (at my place): 660 ft above sea level,  Marlborough elevation: 450 ft above sea level, so a little more power to get back.  Nonetheless, the 20Ah battery has plenty of power for a round trip, so I can leave the charger at home. Sweet!

So hey, there is a Food Truck Festival coming to Worcester on July 14.  Should the Mundo be there?  Maybe making smoothies?  Maybe "Bicycle Burrito's"?  What do you think?

Friday, April 6, 2012

YES!  First commute using the Mundo! 

18.4 miles from my apartment to my school, avg speed 16.6mph despite the mighty hills, just over an hour.  Very doable, and how great is it to get to work feeling great?  The electric assist worked flawlessly:
Only used 6Ah of energy from the 20Ah battery, better than expected.  Pedal power + electric power = commuting power!
The kids at my school are totally psyched to see the Mundo, it's very inspiring to me to see how excited they are about a bike.  I'm sure it will lead to a lot of great discussions, but in the meantime it is time for class ;-)
The Mundo in my classroom at the "recharging station".

Thursday, April 5, 2012

OK, day 5 of the 30 days of biking in the bag.  10 miles today testing out the new electric assist kit on the Mundo.  400 watt hub motor in the front by Ezee (same as on the El Mundo from Yuba), 36V, 20Ah battery from Ping.  What an awesome ride!  From my place 5 miles almost all uphill to Leicester, no problem, big ring all the way :-)  I'm thinking of re-naming this blog "Me and Mr. Ping".  For the geeks out there: 5 miles uphill = 3 Ah.  For the rest of us: Plenty of power to make my 18 mile commute (each way) a piece of cake.  Tomorrow, April 6, 2012 I will ride my bike to work for the first time in almost 4 years!  YES!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 2 of the 30 Days of Biking Challenge, and I am on it!  Didn't ride the last 2 days of March for various reasons, but went for a short ride Sunday 4/1 to the Worcester Indoor Farmer's Market.  (they will be closed on Easter Sunday FYI) Just 4 or 5 vendors right now, but got some good bread, local eggs, and organic Rhubarb Jam.  There was also a person there selling some rather delicious looking prepared foods, but I resisted.
Today a little bit longer ride, another 8 miles including a trip to the Earn-a-Bike shop and the organic kale store.
Soon I will be riding to work, however I need to install the hub-motor and battery on the Mundo.  Going to get a few items I need to complete the installation tomorrow, and if all goes well I'll be riding the Mundo with electric assist on my 40 mile daily commute.  That will really start to rack up the savings on fuel :-)
And I'm thinking of adding something to the savings spreadsheet, too.  How much credit do you think I should allow for fuel not burned?  Sort of like carbon credits or something...  Every gallon of diesel I don't  buy is not just $4.15 saved, it is lessening my environmental footprint, and presumably has a monetary value?  Maybe I'm stretching it, but I want people to see that biking, especially if you use your bike to do your normal errands instead of driving, is really a huge money saver as well as being a no-brainer sustainability-wise.