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, June 25, 2012

The Mundo goes to School

Here in Worcester (2nd biggest city in New England doncha know) there are a lot of very cool things going on.  We've blogged here about some of them: The Co-op Caravan, the REC Farmers Market, the Firehouse, and plenty more.  One of the groups that is making things happen is the Worcester Freeschool, a sort of school without walls that connects people and the community with stuff they can learn to help them become.... Everything: Independent, aware, inspired, and able to build a more sustainable future.  On Sunday the 24th we had a bicycle maintenance skill-share at Crystal Park on a beautiful early summer day.  The Mundo was enlisted to bring all the tools, parts, workstands, and training aids (old wheels to practice fixing flats).  Hooked up the trailer with the new, improved hitch, loaded up and headed over to the park.
Modified some 1" square pipe to fit the Burley trailer flex connector

The Burley on it's new hitch
Spent about 2 1/2 hours talking bikes, tools, and the what and why of Earn-a-Bike.  Everyone who brought a bike got a chance to fix whatever needed fixing or adjusting, everyone learned a lot, and I think we all went home feeling great about why we love bikes!
The Mundo arrives at Crystal Park with everything needed for the skill-share
The bliss of a good floor pump and proper tire pressure!
The power of having a workstand to help get all your neglected maintenance done

Going through the safety checklist on a new-to-her bicycle
Thanks to Dana and Liz from the freeschool for putting this together and inviting Worcester Earn-a-Bike to be a part of all the classes and workshops they are arranging this year.  We loved it!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mundo Mobile Earn-a-Bike!

Today was the first trial run of something I've wanted to do for a long time.  A couple of years ago my friend Josh was living in Boston and volunteered with the Boston Cyclists Union to run a portable bike repair setup at Boston area farmers markets.  He had a trailer with tools and a workstand, and he would go to 2 or 3 different farmers markets during the week and repair bikes while people shopped.  I thought it was a great idea, but didn't have time to try it here in Worcester until this summer.  So today was the first day of the Regional Environmental Council Farmers Market, and Earn-a-Bike was there with the Mundo!  I packed the go-getter bag with spare parts, tubes, flyers, and lubes and cleaners, I strapped a tool box to the rack, and hooked up a trailer to carry the tent, workstand, pump, and a couple of bikes to promote our $5 Kids Bike Sale.  Here's the Mundo loaded up to go:
Ready to roll with everything for a mobile bike repair setup.

The Worcester Regional Environmental Council is an amazing organization, if you don't know them you should check out their website.  The farmers markets are part of their food justice initiative, and includes community gardens, school gardens, "cooking matters", and the incredible YouthGrow Farm, where neighborhood kids learn to be farmers while earning money.  Earn-a-Bike is very excited to be part of the farmers market and bring mobile bike repair back to the heart of Main South Worcester every Saturday (except July 7).
Here's some more pictures of our setup at the farmers market and other vendors:

All this stuff fit on the Mundo and the trailer

Nuestro Huerto Community Farm with one of their bike/trailer setups.

A locally made bike trailer by Scott

Kids adding percussion to the performance by Big Jon Short, Bluesman extraordinaire.

Farmers markets tend to bring out the bikes.

Some of the people from the REC YouthGrow Farm selling their bomb hot sauce.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Saturday Morning on the Mundo

So yesterday morning I had a lot to do before opening the Earn-a-Bike shop at 11.  It was a beautiful, cool morning, so after a quick breakfast I got the Mundo out and headed over to the store for some groceries.  Wasn't going to have time later, we had to leave Worcester right after Earn-a-Bike at 4 to go down to the Cape to see my parents.  They have just arrived at their Hyannis area house for the summer, and always need a little help settling in.  They are both in their late 80's now, but doing well!

Anyway, went to the local organic food store and got some things that I'll need when we get back (Especially coffee: I like a mix of the Sumatran and Ethiopian from Roastmeister, another great Worcester endeavor).
The electric Mundo, a hybrid electric/human powered vehicle next to the Prius Gas/electric hybrid.  Give me human/electric anyday.

 Ran into my friend Dave M. who was also out and about early on a Saturday.  Nice to see him, and then it was back home to put away the food and then take the go-getter bag off the bike so I could go drop off some old books at the Goodwill and then to Home Depot and get some mulch.
Boxes of books on the rack for the Goodwill store.

Three 50 lb. bags, lashed them to the rear rack, and headed back home to make the container garden area look a little nicer.  Needed to lay down the mulch under the containers so we wouldn't have the problem of grass growing all around them.  Also, on my way to HD another friend pedaled up behind me and said hi.  He was on his way home from his 6 am Saturday morning group ride.  Worcester is such a great place to be in the summer!
Loaded up with mulch!

So I got a lot accomplished and had a great time riding and seeing friends, and as usual some of the people at Home Depot were really interested in the Mundo, it's always fun to be out talking to people about what a bike can do!
Mulch for the container garden.  Kale and tomatoes, CSA for the rest :-)

And just for fun, here's a picture of me and my mother down at North Bay after getting her boat put together on the beach, ready for a summer of easy sailing!
My mother and I with the main hull of the Windrider trimaran at its summer home on the beach at North Bay.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dodging Raindrops and Drinking Lemonade

Finally got to ride the Mundo to work today, it's been raining a lot this week.  Even today we had a couple of episodes of heavy rain and thunder, but I was lucky to get home this afternoon without getting too wet, and had a lovely (real) lemonade from Lala Java on the way home.  As for the rain,   once again there seemed to be a rain cloud nestled in to the Lake Quinsigamond valley between Shrewsbury and Worcester.  Every time I ride on a potentially rainy day it is _always_ raining there.  Oh well.  Here's a pic of the rain clouds coming in from the center of Shrewsbury, using my new HTC Evo 4G LTE phone as my camera, with the setting on HDR (High Dynamic Range):

Rain clouds moving in towards Shrewsbury
Love the camera on this new phone, I look forward to getting some good pics on my rides without having to bring the DSLR.

And on a totally unrelated/un-Mundo note, I finally achieved my goal of surpassing the highest scoring student at my school on Temple Run.  I know it's still pathetic compared to the real masters out there, but I am the King of Temple Run in my classroom.  Love it!

A Phoenix Record!

Monday, June 4, 2012

No commuting today or tomorrow, lousy weather here in New England in the beginning of June. Ugh!
However, the bad weather broke long enough for a fabulous ride at the Bikes not Bombs Bike-o-Thon on Sunday the 3rd.  Team Worcester Earn-a-Bike (Me, Steph, Rebecca, and Paula) brought all the EAB propaganda and set up a table for the Green Roots Festival, and then all of us except Paula went on the 25 mile ride.
Gray, Steph, and Rebecca ready for the Bike-o-Thon

The Bike-o-Thon is the major fundraiser for Bikes not Bombs, and at the end of the day yesterday they had raised $105,000!  Excellent!  If anyone out there in blog-land wants to contribute to them, you can click here.
The 25 mile ride takes the riders on a beautiful ride through idyllic parks, quiet streets with Victorian era houses, and up through the Blue Hills reservation.  Really nice.  Rode the electric Mundo, of course, and then Steph and I traded at the half-way point.  She is now a Mundo convert!
Steph takes over on the Mundo
After the ride, we hung out at the Earn-a-Bike info table and talked with a lot of very cool people about Earn-a-Bike, bikes, music, and food.  And coffee.  Paula and I took a ride on the Mundo over to the Ula Cafe for coffee and cookies, and that started a stampede of people wanting to try out the Mundo.  Lots of happy people!
Also, I finally got to meet John Partridge, the guy from Ferris Wheels Bike shop who actually built my Mundo for me.  It was great to talk to him and show him the electric kit and 15Ah LiFePO4 battery I installed, and also to check out some of the other Mundo's at the Fest that had come through Ferris Wheels.  John rigged up a nifty brake light for their shop Mundo, a project I'm going to try this summer.  Details when I do it.
Lots of other cool cargo bikes at the Fest, I think Boston is going to be the next Portland (except with better weather???).  Here's some pics:

And finally, here's a picture of the Earn-a-Bike info booth and Paula, who was the set-up person while the rest of us were out riding.
Rebecca and Paula
Earn-a-Bike info table with the Mundo