Posted by Bruce Ponder, Product Designer - Loko Bike Parts on May 23, 2016
WEEK 3 of 12 in this Challenge -- 90-days of Bike/Bus/Walking 80%--Car-20%.
Bikes & Accessories (pics, vids and links coming). Below I compared running errands and hauling cargo on scooters and motorcycles, then discuss public transport - how bikes, trailers or cargo-bikes factor in their ease of use, speed and range. EBikes and motorbikes are compared next week to pure pedaling. Other options will also be compared.
Standard and "Cargo" Panniers/Baskets compared. Milk-crates are popular and cheap for cargo but high-centered, bulky and heavy so I prefer folding baskets to collapse into each other or mount atop the rack and/or it's sides. Anyone serious about biking needs a large set of panniers, a cargo-bike or detachable trailer. Standard bike-baskets "move" with handlebars, causing imbalance with even small loads and standard panniers are too small on shopping runs, laundry or many goods bought traveling about. Many trailers can also be pushed from behind and walking is great therapy.
Weekly Trips - Bicycles, Scooter & Motorcycle. This week I added motorcycles and scooters. After sitting thru winter, my scooter needed carb and battery work and this required a pickup or trailer to haul it. Cost: $155 plus $45 battery, then it stalled. I've pushed motorcycles for miles - this sucks. They often need battery/carb work each spring. Most shops won't touch eBikes or motorbikes and repairs are like motorcycles, it can be gone for weeks. A quick release motor can change power-assist on a bicycle. Motorcycles mostly don't carry much due to unsprung dead-weight at higher-speeds.
Trips by Scooter or Motorcycle - Easy or Challenging? I rated from 1-to-10, with 1 = anyone can to 10 = hardcore only. Many will never be comfortable hauling cargo on a scooter/motorcycle and license, insurance, registration is req'd. No wonder cargo-bikes and eBikes are popular in Europe! Cargo-bikes carry more than scooters or a motorcycle. Add electric and it hauls 100-lbs or pulls a trailer. Bicycles are ridden on side streets with stop signs, can park on sidewalks, cut thru lots and go slow but steady in protected lanes. Cars often average 10-15mph due to rush hour and long lights.
Yoga Studio/Gym or Restaurants and Movies --- difficulty rating 1-3 (Scooter/Moto easy as bikes except to park)
Market/Grocery / Shopping / Errands ---------------difficulty rating 3-6 (depends on trips/2-3 bags maximum)
Hardware Store / Heavy Objects -------------------- difficulty rating 4-8 (depends on object - trailers are difficult)
Business Meetings / Parties / Events ----------------difficulty rating 1-3 (depends on event, about easy as a bike)
Pedaling only, I have arrived late, sweaty or downhill then had to climb at night, when tired or inconvenient. If I knew this might happen I was more likely to drive. Dinner dates and parties under 6 miles round-trip and hill-climbs in boots weren't too bad but Ebikes would have kept anyone less gung-ho about cycling, complaining or driving more for sure. The bike rides were gorgeous and added to the nights overall enjoyment; we even made friends with drivers at lights.
I can't take my scooter or motorcycle on public transport and despite being less powerful, I often go to bicycles for more portability (I'll post train/bike trips to Santa Fe, LA, and Chicago). My bikes carried 3-5x more cargo than my motorcycles and scooter and they'll easily haul trailers without any special licenses. Motorcycles are better on highways but scooters aren't fast enough. Bicycles with electric may be best in cities - we'll see next week how much is in my Cars $uck jar where I put my savings from cycling :)