Note to Self:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's Not Always About the Destination or How Much I can Carry...


 ...sometimes it's just about the ride.

With the weather starting to break I've been riding my winter bike less and the Mundo more...and for a while (during the deepest, darkest, and coldest days of winter) I nearly forgot how lovely and beautiful this bike is to ride. I had a meeting at church tonight and thought it was going to rain but it didn't, and I'm glad that  I rode. On my way home the evening was idyllic and (nearly) spring-like...and not a breeze in the air. The only thing I carried on my 7' and 60lb bike was me. I've said it before but I have to say it again (and only a Mundo owner truly knows this...and there's a few that read this blog)...for as big and heavy as this bike is it is the most graceful and comfortable bike I've ridden. Pedaling and coasting silently and nearly effortlessly on the way home was almost a form of meditation to me this evening. On rides like this I obviously do not need  a bike like this but I rode it (opposed to one of my other bikes) because of its grace and comfort. If I had to say one negative thing about it is that it can be cumbersome at times...getting it in-and-out of my house and where I work. I'm thinking about (dreaming  at this point because I don't have the $$ right now) purchasing a commuter bike and paring my fleet of 3 (or six, if you count those in my basement) down to two...the Mundo and a yet-to-be-determined new bike. I'd sell or donate the bikes that are accumulating and which I rarely use. The main stipulation is I am looking for a bike that is as comfortable and as graceful as a Mundo (I would also add the bread platform off my winter bike so I could carry things). A quick note to my fellow European riders that are reading this: you are fortunate to have such a large array of choices in bicyles available...fully loaded city bikes are few in the U.S....but it is getting better. One bike I am considering is a Breezer (click here and here). Has anyone ridden one of these or do you own one? I also thought about Batavus, which are available just north of the border (click here). Any other suggestions? Anyhow, at this point it is still in the dreaming stage (seriously dreaming) because I do not have the cash and really do not care to put things on a charge card...but hey, everyone can dream right? In the meantime I'll just keep coasting and pedaling and pedaling and coasting (and of course carrying all sorts of items) on my beautiful Mundo.

10 comments:

DanT said...

Joe,

I love my Yuba which is basically fitted out the same way as yours.

The Batavus delivery is nice but too expensive.

For that kind of money I would pay a little more and go for a Bullitt by http://www.larryvsharry.com/english/

DanT

Joe said...

Dan,

I love my Yuba also, and I have also seen the Bullit, but I am not looking for another cargo bike per se...but one that can carry a few things and is a bit easier to get in an out of the house (while at the same time offer the ride that a Mundo does). And yes the Batavus is pricey...this is the reason I'm not buying one at present...again, still in the thought (dreaming) process.

Jesse said...

I'm hoping to go up to Toronto in a week or so to visit Curbside Cycles. I have my eye on a Pashley Sovereign Roadster, but I will probably test ride other bikes by Batavus and WorkCycles.

These city bikes are really all quite similar, but I'm attracted to the fact that Pashley is still hand-made in Stratford-on-Avon, England. Batavus is more of a mass-produced corporate brand these days, and I have heard it shows in the build quality and craftsmanship. Pashleys have traditionally lugged frames, whereas the Batavus is welded, for example.

These bikes are expensive but I figure if I am buying a bicycle to be my main form of transportation, I'm happy to invest a lot in something that will serve me well for decades.

I'll let you know what I think after my trip to Curbside.

the_big_smile said...

Hi Joe!

How about a Specialized Haul?

http://rad-art.de/store/product.php?lfd_nr_prod=273&ID_wrgr=179&ID=&level=3&productsPerPage=10&ID_wrgr_back=179

Maybe I will look for it, when I am at "Rad Art" in Erfurt the next time to pick up my Chariot.

On the picture it looks like a great commuter bike with the ability to haul stuff.
The rack is welded to the frame and should be quite sturdy.

Jon said...

I've been keeping up with your site for a few months now and enjoy it greatly. Thanks! As a fellow cyclist I always wondered if we'd cross paths out there, and last night I think I may have seen you on Allen St. I actually didn't call out to you because you and your Mundo were crossing Allen and didn't want to distract you.
While I don't have a Mundo, there have certainly been times coming back from the grocery store when I wished I did.

Jon F.

Luis Peters said...

Nice dreams.
Just saw Civia Loring, looks beautiful too: http://civiacycles.com/bikes/loring/

Joe said...

Thanks everyone for your comments...got a lot of interesting ideas. And I also find it interesting how passionate we all are when it comes to our bikes.

Jesse...I'd be interested in hearing if you bought the Pashley (and how you like it). They certainly are beautiful bikes. Another good shop in TO, which you may already know about, is Urbane Cycles just off Queen West. And in regards to the price...I'm willing to pay for a good bike as long as it is not too astronomical. The way I look at it is that it is my mode of transport not a toy...most people pay more than $30K for a car, so what's $1K (or a little more) for a really good bike that has a positive impact on both the rider and the environment.

Stefan...Thanks for the link, it looks like a nice bike. And as I said in the post...you Europeans are lucky in that you have more of an access to a larger variety of city/commuter/cargo bikes. Here in the US the focus is either road bikes (speed) or mountain bikes...but it is getting better.

Jon...I remember seeing you two as well. More specifically your bikes. By that I mean that I pulled out in front of you on Allen and glanced at your bikes because I noticed you both had headlights (as do I) and thought what were the chances that 3 bikes in Bflo with headlight cross paths at once. I almost danged (dinged?) my bell; if I would have known it were you I would have stopped to say hi. If you or Dana ever want to see or ride the Mundo send me an email.

Luis...Yes the Civia Loring is a really beautiful bike but I think it is out of my price range. Did you see one in Brazil (just curious) or on the internet. A couple years ago I was in Minneapolis but failed to visit the Civia headquarters.

Luis Peters said...

We don't have many choices of urban bicycles here em Brazil.
I saw the Civia at the internet, I don't remember exactly where i've got the link, but I had already seen some posts by Alan at Ecovelo.info (it worth a look, I think, for some ideas).
Just dreams, so I didn't look at the prices.
I never saw a Mundo by here, i woul like to try one anytime.
I ride a mountain bike and an old Batavus Comanche I've got second hand and enjoy the "things that can be carried on a bike, thanks for sharing the simplicity things!

the_big_smile said...

Hi Joe!

Right this minute I stumbeld across this bike:
http://www.tomsbikecorner.de/products/Fahrraeder/Cityraeder/Bionicon-Urban-Cargo-9s-schwarz.html

And I checked it: Bionicon is available in the US, too.
http://bionicon.com/en/international

Greetings!

Joe said...

Stefan...thanks for the link, I'll check it out!