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, May 21, 2012

Saw this handy bicycle savings calculator in an article about how riding your bike instead of driving saves a lot of money!  Basically, Kiplingers figures it costs 46 cents a mile to run a car.  Have to do some research on where they get that number...  But hey, click the link for the savings calculator.

UPDATE: I asked the author of the article, Amanda Lilly,  how they got the mileage cost number, and this is her response:

The per-mile cost of driving to work is 55.5 cents, including gasoline, insurance, maintenance and depreciation, according to the IRS' 2012 standard mileage rates. Actual rates may vary by vehicle.

Our estimate of the per-mile cost of biking is 10 cents and includes maintenance and depreciation, based on interviews with U.S. cycling organizations and previously published research, including from
Road Kill: How Solo Driving Runs Down the Economy.
So there it is.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Last week was pretty good for riding to work, only one day was so rainy that I had to drive instead.  Grrr.  Another day started off dry, but by the time I was about 7 miles into the 18.5 mile trip, it was raining.  However, it was a relatively warm rain,  and I always carry my rain pants in the Go-Getter bag just in case, so along with my windbreaker, I was pretty dry when I arrived at school.  The Mundo handles the wet weather with aplomb, and the ezee hub motor seems impervious to the road spray.  I love this system!

When I get a little more time I'm going to set up this blog with some new pages to focus on each aspect of the bike: the electric kit, the Go-Getter bag, the DIY stoker bars, and of course, the cup holder!  For today though, I just wanted to post some pictures that once again show what a bike can do.

I got some starter plants at the Regional Environmental Council Spring Garden Festival at the YouthGrow Urban farm on Oread Street, Main South Worcester.  Yeah!  Anyway, got the plants (Kale, Kale, Kale, and some tomatoes...) and needed to get some dirt and manure and containers to plant them in.  We're trying out some container gardening this year, to supplement our CSA share.  Rode the Mundo over to the local depot place that has that stuff, got it loaded on pretty easily, and headed back to the house with about 170 pounds of stuff lashed to the rack.  In typical Worcester fashion, people sort of looked sideways at the crazy person with the weird bike, but nobody said anything.  Very easy trip, but I'd like to build some kind of open boxes that attach to the rear rack that could easily be loaded with large bulky items (such as 80 lb bags of dirt).  I'll let you know when I get them built, any suggestions on design and materials?  Anyone else build something like that yet?  Drop me a comment if you have an idea.  Thanks!

Loaded up for the trip home
Kale and tomatoes looking forward to their new container home.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Riding double on the Mundo

Here's a little video Scott took at the Mayday Heyday event showing Paula and I cruising on the Mundo.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pictures for the Yuba Bike Month Contest

Sweet Saturday, beautiful weather, super busy at Earn-a-Bike.  Rode the Mundo around on some errands before EAB, then went for coffee after, and last but not least, got some kale, baby bok choy, and beer at the local organic store.  Very pleasant, now getting ready to make dinner, but I wanted to post these 2 pictures (I'm trying to win the free T-Shirt from Yuba bicycles ;-)

At the coffee shop working on the blog in the sunshine.  Iced americano hiding behind the laptop.

Stopped at Living Earth for kale, baby bok, and beer.  Still plenty of room in the go-getter bag for my computer and other stuff.
Bike Month Contest

Friday, May 11, 2012

Last Sunday was the "Mayday Heyday" at The Shop, a collective of artisans, engineers, farmers and urban sustainability beauties.  One of the activities was the "Coop Caravan", a bike ride around Worcester to visit some local businesses that are committed to building a better city through new kinds of cooperative business models.  Very cool!  Paula and I led the caravan to the first stop aboard the Mundo, with Paula shooting video from her perch on the rear rack.  Scott sent me a couple of pictures to share with you:
Gray and Paula with Judy in the background
Leading out the Coop Caravan

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's been raining a lot here in central MA.  Last week I was only able to ride to work 3 out of 5 days, this week (if the weather holds for tomorrow) I'll only get 2 commutes in.  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday all rained out.  Very frustrating, but good for the trees and gardens.  Anyway, I'm really looking forward to riding more tomorrow, only did about 7.5 miles this afternoon after work on some errands around town.
And in other news, did you see that Yuba is having a photo contest?  Here's the info:

Want to win a free Yuba tee shirt, apron or hat this month?
Simply submit a photo of how you are celebrating May Bike Month. Show us the cutest, heaviest, most epic loads you’ve hauled this month, and you can win a prize.
To enter, simply submit the photo on the Yuba Bicycles Facebook page. Think Facebook is creepy? Then just email your photo directly to kaytea@yubaride.com.
At the end of the month, three lucky winners will be chosen at random. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I'd like to use this forum to talk about things both Yuba specific and the benefits of bicycling in general.  To wit: last Thursday evening was Bike Night, a yearly fundraiser for MassBike.  I was fortunate enough to go, and it was a great event for a worthy organization.  MassBike is working for better access, better motorist education, bicyclists rights, and more.  It was quite awesome to see all the people who came out to support them at Bike Night.
On the Yuba specific side, I set up the Mundo to carry another person on the back today so that Paula and I could ride together to the Mayday Heyday event as well as ride along on the Coop Caravan.  Lots of great things happening in Worcester to make a more just and sustainable city!
Here is the picture of the rear "stoker" bar to help the person on the back stay balanced.  Found an old stem and handlebar at Earn-a-Bike, cut the bars down so it's still easy to swing my leg over the seat, and cinched down a piece of foam for a sit-pad on the back rack.

Paula loved it!  We had a great time riding around Worcester together, the bike handled very easily, and Paula was able to take pictures and video of the Coop Caravan as we traveled around to the different cooperative businesses (such as WooDaddy Waffles!) and houses on the route.  Once again, the Mundo has proven to be a unique and amazing vehicle, and there was a lot of interest in it at the Mayday Heyday event.  Loved talking to people about what a bike can do!