Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cameron As Pickup Truck

When Hubby the Bike Man and I decided to purchase a cargo bike we decided we wanted one that could be used by either of us or our oldest son, Cameron. Cameron is 15, 6'3" and quite strong. Now was the time to learn how to ride a loaded long tail. For a variety of reasons, Cameron will not be getting his driver's license next year, nor will he be getting a car for college (even though when I bought my car new in 1999 it was with the thought of passing it to him when he was old enough). Instead, when Cameron goes to college in 2 years he will get to choose what type of bicycle he would like to have, including a cargo bike if that is his preference.

Here is what Cameron had to say about his first Xtracycle hauling job : )

Today was something different. Instead of riding my usual Rockhopper, I learned how to ride the Xtracycle, otherwise known as the F.U.B. We use it all the time for shopping trips or to carry Declan. It was a Salvation Army trip today. Compared to what my dad pulls, that's nothing, but it was my first haul. Here I am pretending to feel a sense of accomplishment (that came later).

Cameron As Pick Up Truck

At this point, we were entering the Mission District. You ALWAYS have a car on your left, and the F.U.B. is a bit wider than your general bike when it is loaded up with cargo. Compared to my Rockhopper and my touring bike, the F.U.B. is too wide. I was a little paranoid about stuff falling off, or clipping a parked car, or getting clipped by a driver. Otherwise, the cargo makes downward slopes easier, and makes headwinds a complete pain, or so I'm told. The headwinds we faced were after taking off the cargo.

Donation Run

The balance is also a little weird.

Now we're on Valencia Street. As you probably know, it's flat here. Still a false sense of accomplishment, but I was getting more comfortable. The highlight of this stretch was Úna's comment and the ensuing conversation. I quote from a mostly accurate although very possibly askew memory of said conversation:

"Cameron, that seat makes your butt look big," says Úna.
"Úna, the only person whose butt doesn't look big on that seat is your father's," replies my mom.

It's true. My dad is pretty skinny. Very skinny. Bone thin. But anyways, what's your opinion: Does the seat make my butt, or anyone else's for that matter, look big? I guess that's just retribution for not having to pay for gas.

Learning How To Haul

The fact that Xtracycle is pretty much a pickup truck on its own, I guess is part of why I'll never need a driver's license:

A bike works just as well.


  1. thanks so much for sharing your point of view with us cameron! i absolutely love the first pic of you in the not-a-highway area of glen park with a fully loaded xtracycle. so rad!

  2. I think this might qualify as child abuse. ;}

    I actually think its a great idea to send your son off to college with a brand new bike he can be proud of rather than a car that at this point is a decade old. Not only is he actually learning to have more freedom (from insurance, maintenance, the cost of gas, parking, etc) but also to be more self reliant and responsible since he can maintain the bike himself.

  3. rock on! I hope my kids are just as cool in 10 years.

  4. It sounds to me like you and The Bike Man have done one heck of a good job raising Cameron and instilling a fine sense of values as well.

    Cameron, you rock! I ride a Surly Big Dummy as my daily driver and I love it so much that my conventional bike sits most of the time.

  5. Adrienne, your family is rad.
    hearts to you and yours.
    happy holidays! see you soon.

  6. I think ur butt looks fine.
    Excellent post Cameron! :D fun read

    "Cameron, that seat makes your butt look big," says Úna.

    oyyy sisters are trouble!! ;)


  7. I'll bet that bike is surfable.

  8. I liked the idea and the lust of a real effective bike, but should be too heavy! :) try to advance to a real truck!

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