Mulch Run

This cool video is from Daniel Kopald over at Cargo-Bike.

Moving to a car-lite (or car-free) lifestyle can require a variety of bikes to meet all of the needs that were previously met by an automobile (not a bad thing!). Fortunately, eliminating a car can save up to $8,000-10,000 per year; the extra expense of one or two bikes pales in comparison. In our case, we’re doing fairly well with two roadsters and a folder (plus a few ‘bents for good measure), but there are times where a little more carrying capacity would be great. Right now we can easily haul up to 50-60 pounds, but we’re limited in our ability to carry large, bulky items. Our plan is to have a Surly Big Dummy built up over the summer. If it performs as as well as anticipated, it should nicely round out our fleet.

9 Responses to “Mulch Run”

  • Perry says:

    Looking forward to your impressions of the Big Dummy. Seems like a great platform and a must have for someone trying to seriously reduce car trips.

  • Rick says:

    Very cool! I can’t believe how easily he was pedalling uphill with all that mulch! However, as you pointed out, using the bike for utilitarian purposes leads to many miles under your belt.

    On another note, I don’t think the techno music really went well with the theme of mulch. Maybe something like a tuba solo would have been more appropriate…

  • Herman says:

    You might want to check this site for ideas (from Amsterdam/The Netherlands).

  • Eric Vann says:

    One thing I have noticed about the “working bikes” I have seen “up close and personal” is that these are really not very transportable. I only bring this up because it means that folks in clubs who normally think about buying a car rack, etc. are going to have to commit to riding these bikes from home to wherever they need to use them.

    I don’t know how many so-called serious riders have ventured into this territory “mentally”. We are so used to owning expensive bikes which we cart around to remote ride starts and the carry back home after the ride. In a car-lite world that sort of thinking will have to go the way of spats.

  • Alan says:


    “In a car-lite world that sort of thinking will have to go the way of spats.”

    Agreed! That’s what we’re all about Eric: thinking about bicycles as tools, not toys (this is actually how most of the world – other than the US – views bicycles). The point is to replace the car, not use the car to haul the bike to another location.

    “I don’t know how many so-called serious riders have ventured into this territory ‘mentally'”

    The most “serious” way to use a bicycle is as a primary means of transportation for getting to work, obtaining food, paying bills, visiting the doctor, hauling mulch ;-), etc. In my opinion, even the most dedicated racers, if they’re only riding bikes for sport, are less “serious” than my elderly neighbor that rides his trike for daily transportation.


  • Alan says:


    Henry WorkCycles are cool!

  • Roland Smith says:

    In the Netherlands you can rent an oldfashioned tricycle “bakfiets” (see the workcycles link) for around €27 per day. It can carry a whopping 600 lbs! You wouldn’t want to pedal that uphill though. :-)

    An issue with a lot of regular cargo bikes is that the weight is usually quite high above the front wheel. The cargobike from and the old long john bikes have the weight down low where it is easier to load and to control

  • Forrest says:

    I’ve had an xtracycle conversion since March of 2007. In my opinion they are everything they claim to be.

  • Daniel says:

    Glad you all like the video. Tuba, techno no matter just so long as it is danceable!

    So on the topic of “I can’t believe how easily he was pedaling uphill with all that mulch!”, this is a custom bicycle built with thin-wall steel tubing so that makes it relatively light. When you add the Rohloff transmission into the mix Seattle’s hills are not so bad.

    Onto the topic of transportation. I have ridden this bike in Orlando, Albuquerque, Portland and Chicago. If you look you’ll see the S and S coupling in the main tube. I have been able to get the entire bike in a single box. ~10 mins and three tools to break down and set-up.

    I’d love my next bike to be a Long-John with Schlumpf and Rohloff.

    Ride In Beauty

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