Utility bikes.

If you are one of the few enlightened individuals who has managed to escape the cult of the car, you might find yourself in a tough place when you need to move large, bulky items like kayaks, tables, and beer kegs. Until recently a bike-trailer has been the only option, but trailers can be cumbersome, unstable, and prone to theft. A few years back the Xtracycle was invented, and people began converting their extra bikes into utility bikes, or SUBs. In recent years several custom bicycle builders have introduced utility bikes, but they're hand-built and thus quite pricey (though still much less than a car). Thanks to increased demand, there are now a few mass-produced, purpose-built utility bikes available in the US (they've been available in the UK and other parts of the world for many years). The Bakfiet is a bike with a large basket between the main-frame and front wheel, good for hauling large quantities of cargo (kids, cats, vespas, whateva) that you want to keep an eye on. They're now available from Clever Cycles in Portland. Another option-in-the-works for Americans is the Yuba Mondo. These long-wheelbase bikes are used by coffee farmers in developing nations to increase their profitability. For more on that check out Worldbike.org, Project Rwanda, or Bikes to Rwanda. They can be used by you to increase your moxy. According to Ben at Xtracycle (they will be an American Distributor)the price range is $600-850. Why do I bother to write about all this you might ask? Aside from the fact that they're cool and "green", I'd rather get hit by one of these than by a station wagon so the more people that buy them the better for me.

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