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!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

North American Handmade Bicycle Show comes to Denver

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show is in Denver this weekend, and I am here to ogle and dream. The show runs Friday to Sunday, and I volunteered at the registration desk on Friday in exchange for a free ticket on Saturday, a nice deal.  I went to the show once before when it was in Richmond, VA, so I knew it was a wonderful place to see the best in custom bicycles.  I would highly recommend you go if you can, you'll see some phenomenally beautiful bikes, and get to talk to the builders directly.  I'm heading back upstairs at the Denver Convention Center, but wanted to post some pictures from what I've seen so far:

Awesome lug work on a bike by Bilenky Cycle Works of Philadelphia

Classic Italian Steel

The Hero Bicycle Project teaches you how to build your own bamboo bike, and the money raised goes directly to  support youth initiatives in Alabama.

Wow, OK this is a curved titanium frame created by welding a "bend" in the downtube.   Very cool.

The Wonder Woman bicycle by Bilenky Cycle Works

Boo Bicycles of Fort Collins showed up with a lot of great bikes, including this super-fatty with bamboo tubes, carbon fiber lugs, and a titanium fork by Black Sheep Cycles.

Lots of wooden bikes including this beauty by Owen

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Errandonnee Forever

Because that's what I do.  Really.  Every day is the Errandonnee in Fort Collins, the #2 city in our fair country for bike commuting (according to The Atlantic Magazine: )

Since I don't work at a regular job, my daily life doesn't really involve a "commute", but I do have a sort of regular schedule, things to do, and biking is the way to go.  Since moving to Fort Collins in December 2012, there have been many days when my wife's car and my truck have gone nowhere, since it is so easy to get around here by bike.  In my old hometown of Worcester, MA, (which didn't even make the list :-(  there weren't as many bikes on the road, but the opportunities for biking instead of driving were abundant.  There is really not much difference between the two cities, except Fort Collins makes the little bit of effort it takes to be bike friendly - bike trails, bike lanes, and aggressive enforcement of traffic laws for both bikes and motor vehicles.  As I've always said: more bikes on the road = even more bikes on the road.  We're #2 because biking is the new normal thanks to a shift in infrastructure that recognizes bicycles as belonging to the regular flow of traffic.  This is what sustainability looks like!

This is how we rock the trip to the grocery store in a bike friendly town.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Errandonnee Complete!

I've been obsessed with "The Winter Challenge: Errandonee" for the past week, and today I think I have completed it.  So far I've done 12 errands while biking 40.6 miles since Feb. 12.  I have gone on 8 out of 11 possible different kinds of errands (lunch, coffee, grocery store, bike shop, etc.) and the rules only ask for 7 different kinds.  I've also gone out twice after dark (check!),  and not used any category more than twice.  I have documented my trips with pictures, filled out the control card, and done and done!  Here are some take-aways on the experience:
My only regret?  Haven't had time to go to the library.
Coldest night ride? Tonight, coming home from the bike coop it was 18 degrees. Chilly.
Longest ride? Out and back to the grocery store at the corner of Drake and Timberline, a 6 mile round-trip.
Lesson learned?  OK, I already knew this - most of the stuff you do every day you can do on a bike!

Here are some more pictures from my adventures errandonneering:

Part of my lighting setup for night riding: the USB rechargeable Vis 360 helmet system from Light and Motion.  I also use an old Niterider LED rear light (non-blinky) and a Cygolite Hotshot (super bright blinky).  I will be seen!

At the Fort Collins Bike Coop, hard at work making earn-a-bikes with John.

Coffee to go from Crankenstein. (Small Americano with soy milk)

At Ace Hardware to get a plastic drop cloth and some masking tape.
Unloading groceries (most of them were already inside before I remembered to take the picture)

Sunday, February 17, 2013


As soon as I saw the word, I knew it was for me.  Errandonnee.  I love bikes: working on them, riding them, reading about them, what have you.  If it has to do with bicycles, I'm there.  The bottom line though, is that I see the bicycle as the ultimate utility tool.  Need to go get something at the grocery store? Hop on the bike.  Gotta go to class?  Bike it.  Want to get out of the house and chill at the coffee shop?  No better way to get there.  So despite my love of all things bike, and my participation in all sorts of bicycling events, I am, above all, attracted to the pure practicality of bicycling as the most efficient mode of getting where I need to go.  The errand enabler!

Thanks to the wonderful Lovely Bicycle! blog, I recently heard about a "Winter Challenge" from fellow bicyclist/blogger Chasing Mailboxes D.C.  The authors have concocted an enticing way to inspire us to get out on our bikes despite the cold weather and possible snow on the ground.  They call it the Errandonnee: "complete 12 errands in 12 days and ride a total of 30 miles by bike between February 9-20."  OK, I know it's already the 17th, but other people have done the whole thing in one or two days, and you can too.

In a nutshell, you keep track of your errands (they have a shared document you can use), you prove your various exploits by taking pictures, and you have to do more than, say, just go to the coffee shop every day.  So hey, check it out and have some fun, and let me know how you're doing.  Right now I've gotta go - biking over to a brunch potluck meeting to find out how I can get involved with using bicyles for food rescue with Fort Collins Food Rescue.  (Community Meeting, #4 on the list for the Winter Challenge :-)

Here are some pics from my recent errandonnes:
On a trip to the coffee/beer/bike shop (Yes, Crankenstein is all that and more) I saw this cool custom keg delivery bike from Equinox Brewing Company.

On a trip to the grocery store I saw a beautiful Yuba Mundo setup.  This is some serious errandonneering!

My sister lives on the other side of town, and sometimes needs some help taking care of her dog, Dooley, during the day.  A bike ride, a little frisbee, and both Dooley and I get some exercise.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A new life in Bicycle Paradise

Lots to say here, it's been awhile...  I retired from 20 years of teaching last June, spent almost 5 blissful months living the retired lifestyle: coffee, computers, and bicycles, all while getting prepared for our big move from Worcester, MA to Fort Collins, CO.  We arrived at our new home on Dec. 20, 2012, survived the Mayan apocalypse the following day, and have proceeded to settle in.  Lots to talk about, Fort Collins is a fabulous place to be a bicyclist, but for right now I just want to promote the Errandonnee, a fun way to get out on your bike despite the cold weather!  More updates soon!

On my way to the Fort Collins Club, tire tracks in the dusting of new snow.