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, April 13, 2013

Modifying the Mundo to carry 2 bikes

This weekend in Fort Collins there is a big meeting at New Belgium Brewery, sponsors of the Tour de Fat.  Most of the attendees are bicyclists (I wonder how many of them are doing the 30 Days of Biking challenge?) and New Belgium, in cooperation with the Fort Collins Bike Library, is providing them with bikes to use for the weekend.
The Mundo with 2 bikes for the Bike Library

 Volunteers were needed to move the bikes from a storage building to the Bike Library Kiosk where people could pick them up.  The plan was: ride a bike from the storage to the kiosk, then walk back for another one.  Total bikes to be moved was about 65!  Well, ya know, I hate to walk, so I figured out a way to carry 2 bikes at a time on the Mundo.

2 Bikes on the old roof rack trays that I mounted to the lower rack.  Very easy to ride with.
I had an idea that if I could find some old roof rack trays, I could probably mount them on the rear carrier somehow.  Luckily, I found some old trays nobody wanted at the Fort Collins Bike Co-op, attached them to the lower part of the rear rack, and I was good to go!

Here's how I did it:

I had to put them at an angle so that I would have room to pedal, and the trays would not stick out too far in back.

I could only find 2 full-length trays, and they don't match.  But hey, they do the job.

I drilled holes in the tray, used some longer bolts than the ones that came with the rack.  With the longer bolts the tray could be attached using 2 of the existing bolt holes.

The right-side tray was an older style, but was even easier to attach.  I had to remove the clamp assembly that was designed to hold the downtube, and I had to drill through one of the tubes to get my bolts in, but it is very secure.
Here's another view of the right side, you can see that there is room to pedal.  That thing that looks like it has a bow on it is the old ammo box that holds my 15Ah 36V Ping LiFePO4 battery.
You may think that this is a lot of work to go through to move some bikes a few blocks.  It took me about an hour and a half to figure out and install the trays, but it only took half an hour to move all the bikes (there were lots of other volunteers).  The setup will come in handy again on Sunday when we have to move all the bikes from New Belgium back to the storage building, but the real reason I did it was so I would have a secure way to carry my mountain bike up to the trail-heads in the foothills.  It has always bothered me that people drive their cars to go ride their bikes.  Well no more!  This proof of concept shows that the electric-assist Mundo can easily carry a mountain bike to a trail-head that is a good 10 miles out of town (or more), and it avoids the drudgery of riding a fat tire bike on the road.  Now to get the mountain bike tuned up and ready to ride.  Hmmm, maybe some new tires for it this year?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Epic" Spring Snowstorm Slows 30 Days of Biking Challenge

Winter Storm Warning!
Well, if this is what 4 - 7 inches of overnight snow looks like, I guess the 30 Days of Biking Challenge is not in danger of faltering.  The reality this morning is I don't really feel like riding anywhere, not because of snow, but because it was only 19 degrees F when I got up.  Being a weather wimp, I'm going to wait until later today before venturing out.

So hey, until today the weather has been fine, and the 30 Days of Biking has been a breeze.  Yesterday I rode downtown to meet with my tutoree.  (I work part-time for Larimer County as a GED tutor).  The view from the 5th floor of the County building was beautiful - you could see the clouds and snow and wind approaching from behind the mountains, but there in downtown Fort Collins it was still rather warm.  Stopped at the coffee shop on the way home, and saw a couple of cool bikes out on the town:

A fellow cargo-biker with rad seat cushion

A sweet errandonuering bike

A beauty of a town bike with well-placed Odell Brewing sticker

Saturday, April 6, 2013

30 Days of Biking Bliss

Today I rode my bike.  I have ridden it every day (almost) since last April 2012 when the 30 days of Biking challenge found me.
One of the spoke cards I made for the 30 Days of Biking Challenge

 There have been some days when I haven't: too lazy, too cold, too busy, whatever!  But last year, when I heard about the 30 Days of Biking challenge, I just felt compelled to do it.  I needed to make a real commitment to biking as my main form of transportation, and stop burning carbon just because I want to go get a burrito (or a coffee.  Usually a coffee...).  Having the electric-assist Yuba Mundo has really helped me keep my commitment - I was able to do my 38 mile round-trip commute between Worcester and Marlborough without a problem.

Mundo with trailer = massive hauling capability
Now that I've retired from teaching and live in Fort Collins, aka Bicycle Paradise, I only use the Mundo for grocery shopping, hauling, and long distance trips that have to be accomplished quickly (The electric-assist Mundo moves through time and space at an average speed of about 18 mph).  However, whether I'm riding the Mundo or my trusty old Cannondale road bike, or doing a long touring ride with my beautiful old 1967 Raleigh Pro, the Cosmos Mariner, the bliss of bicycling has truly taken hold.  I felt it today very strongly, the warm air, the beautiful clouds, the foothills off to the west; weaving through the streets, no hurry, just enjoyment of the movement.  In the moment.  Bliss.  Yes, I will bike every day this April, and the 30 days of biking will continue to be an inspiration as Spring turns to Summer and the silent, perfect wheels of the most efficient machine on Earth keep spinning.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Here's a quick update - It's April, and I'm participating in the 30 Days of Biking, a challenge to start the warm weather riding season off right by riding your bike every day in April.  Last year, this was my inspiration to make a solid commitment to riding to work everyday, and with the help of the electric-assisted Mundo I was able to make the 38 mile round-trip almost every work day of the month.  This year I'm in a different city and state, and no longer have a M-F type job, so no commuting needed.  However, me and the Mundo are busy errandoneurring around Fort Collins, and trying to get this bicycle paradise up to the next level of bliss.  So hey, I've made some bike spoke cards, and I'm putting them around town.  If you get one, let me know, go to the 30 days of biking website and make the pledge, and then, if you want, give the card to another bicycle you see.  OK, off to the store for groceries, something a bike can do.