Loading up! They said 8:30 am--sharp! We got there at 8:33. Close enough. Note the three kids on my bike, we rode like this for 3 miles.
Saturday: Rode to Davis! I chose the Bullitt so our friend, Randy, could take his kids on the Mundo. The ride there was quick and pretty painless, even going across the causeway. I love this ride. It's not very pretty--lots of urban cycling through West Sacramento, stinky highway, noisy cars, and a recent obstacle of Caltran's takeover for a section of the trail.
Quick pit-stop at Practical Cycle.
No thanks, Caltrans...
Big Brother got squirrley around mile 18 and since we were on the bike trail, I decided to let him move around. It was rough for all of our bottoms and I didn't want him to be too uncomfortable. Little Brother loved cuddling with his big brother.
My cute boys. Little Brother kept shoving Big Brother's head down and singing him to sleep.
Difficult to ride with him wiggling but we stayed upright.
When we reached the Farmers' Market, we were greeted by Chris and Jon from Cool Davis with strawberries, pastries, and ice cold water! We even got new tee shirts! It was awesome!
Thanks, Cool Davis!
Plenty of delicious food, fresh fruits and veggies, and playground time followed and created some very exhausted children. It was getting really warm by afternoon--93 degrees. My boys were cozy in the Bullitt and Randy's son quickly passed out in the Peanut Shell. However, his daughter was sitting at the stoker bars and started looking pretty tired. She was resting her head on Randy's back and starting to doze when we decided that we needed to move her into a secure seat--the Bullitt.
Yep, we had three kiddos in the Bullitt bucket. Little Brother was not happy to have been woken up but after some very loud singing and distractions, he realized that we were the party bike. Fifteen miles with a 120 pound cargo and a slight headwind. It was a good thing they were so cute or I might not have made it. The kids were quite squished but had fun. Everyone was really tired and uncomfortable.
I love this photo!
Getting ready to reconfigure. This was the last bit of shade for about 10 miles.
Little Brother was not happy to have been woken up.
Now they're happy in the party bike!
One more obstacle--couldn't ride the long way home because the bike path access was blocked off by trains for an event.
We made one last stop about 2 miles from home. The little ones were worn out and we didn't want to leave them with grumpy memories about our long adventure. So, we stopped at Suzy Burger for dipped ice creams. That revived everyone to last all the way to home where the sprinklers were waiting.
Sunday: CycloFemme! Last year's CycloFemme wasn't quite what I was envisioning so this year, I enlisted the help of some awesome ladies. We planned a route that had two sections. The first was a bit easier and the second was more challenging but ended at the Sunflower Drive-In in Fair Oaks--13.1 miles total, each direction. We started with 28 riders, coffee, Doughbot Doughnuts (thank you!!!), and lots of bikes.
I chose the Mundo because I like riding it unloaded better than the Bullitt. It was loaded down with doughnuts, coffee, and snacks.
Eliana and I rocked our CycloFemme tats.
Check out this awesome group!
Look at my beautiful mama!
Tiniest munchkin on the ride, chilling in his seat like he owns the place.
Jen and her son, our Mundo buddies.
Gathering at the Guy West Bridge and getting to know each other.
They may be small but the put on some miles!
Tatting up the kids early.
Our new friend Anna Marie.
There were some new-to-riding folks, some new-to-the-area folks, little ones on their own bikes, little ones on their parent's bike, and everyone was ready to ride! It was so wonderful to meet such great new friends and catch up with old friends. Everyone cruised at their own pace, ranging from speedy to strolling, whatever was comfortable and fun.
The cutest mama-daughter biking team in matching floral dresses.
Our second stop was at William B. Pond. We lost a couple of riders, one due to a bee sting and another to a little bike crash (she's okay). The little ones on their own bikes headed back to meet back up in Fair Oaks while their mama giddily zipped back and forth along the bike trail, kid-free. There were cookies (made by my own mama!), fresh fruits (thanks, Randy, for hitting up the Farmers' Market before the ride!), and more coffee (I was begging folks to drink it up. Next year, we go with cold mimosas!).
Victoria showing off her CycloFemme pride!
Sharyn and Jen's CycloFemme biceps!
Little guys taking a break.
Love the spandex-baby combo.
Quick picnic break in the shade at William B. Pond.
The next 7.9 miles had more rolling hills but we pushed on happily, again at differing comfortable speeds. The last half-mile of pure uphill made the ride even more satisfying and the Sunflower Drive-In even more delicious.
Sharyn and kiddo made it up the hill!
Jen and kiddo, too!
Anna Marie and Rich--thanks for many of the great photos!
Resting up before heading back.
Mina and her little one.
Look at those CycloFemme calves!
The way home was a lot harder for me. It was hot again--95 degrees today and even though the ride had more downhill in this direction, we had a headwind again and long stretches of tree-less path. I think the two rides in a row got to me, too. My legs felt like goo. I made it back home in our little break-away group of Jen (kid-free now!), my sister-in-law Eliana, and our new bikey friend Mary.
I am so grateful to be a part of this great biking community and to be constantly meeting new folks who are already in or just joining the biking fun. I'm already looking forward to start planning CycloFemme 2014 and bringing more people into it so Sacramento CycloFemme can continue to grow and evolve into something huge!
The best Mother's Day I could have asked for!
And these guys are pretty awesome, too!
Davis ride tomorrow! We're leaving from Grant Park (22nd and C st) at 8:30am--sharp! The Cool Davis team is going to meet us there with refreshments and t-shirts. Then, we'll hit the Farmers Market for goodies. If you want to stay longer, Whole Earth Festival is also happening.
Sunday is Cyclofemme! For more info: www.facebook.com/events/465273203563939/
It's the perfect way to spend Mother's Day!
May's Kidical Mass ride is on May 26th at 5pm. We'll meet at Discovery Park near the archery field for a BYO picnic followed by a family-friendly loop on the American River Parkway.
Some bike-on-bike fun!
I took the boys out to REI this evening to get some sunglasses to prepare for the rides this weekend. I want to figure our a way to create some shade for the Bullitt and am totally up for some suggestions. I don't have the rain cover and would prefer to not spend $300 until the bike is at least paid off (in about 2 months...way better than a car!). I would also prefer not to drill into the box too much, it's still so new. Although, Little Brother did spill half a cup of icee in it when we stopped to chat with friends at a little league game.
Our dear friend Bekah showed up early this morning for an extremely quick visit before she had to hop back on a plane. We had to get to my mom's house to get the car and drive to the airport so of course, we went by bike. She had come straight from work and had all her crew gear, not her usual light-packing job. Thank goodness for that awesome rear rack! The perfect way to start a day--Bekah and bikes!
Next, my mom and I rode over the Freemont Park for the May Is Bike Month
Kick-Off! Cassidy was there showing folks how to replace their car with a bike. I left the Bullitt
hanging out there to show how easy it is to replace the family minivan. Our friend Jarrod
showed up with his crew on his decked-out Mundo
. Big and Little Brothers found the fountain and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Big guy was hand-selected by the Mayor-of-Davis to choose the raffle winners. He also got to throw out a few pairs of socks (although not to me) and to an aspiring Buster Posey, this was heaven! The best part was when he threw raffle ticket and then also threw the prize. What an arm!
It was a long, busy morning. I knew that Little Brother was going to fall asleep on the way home but didn't realize just HOW cozy he'd be. I ended up leaving him in a shady corner in our backyard for about an hour so he could get a full nap.
Big Brother told me that he couldn't sleep so I said that he could take a book and rest. A minute later I found him like this:
My final trip this evening was another 4 miles on the BionX Breezer for a meeting. 11.7 miles total today. I have a ways to go to reach my pledge of 500 but it'll be a fun adventure to get there!
The Bullitt just became even more practical! Tim
found a rack that had come off one of the Breezer bikes after they had done a BionX conversion and was able to finagle it onto the Bullitt. He had to use some spacers to get it far enough away from the disc brakes and I installed a set collar with rack mounts as the bike didn't come with any. After some brute force, I now have a wonderful and sturdy rear rack to offset the load of kids I frequently have in the box. I gussied the rack up with my mom's old set of Nashbar panniers because they didn't fit the rack on her new Breezer Greenway.
Brian and Monica probably get lots of admiring looks from passer-bys.
I ran into the fantastic folks behind Carsick Designs
yesterday. Monica was riding her locally built Cycle Truck
and Brian had his Xtracycle
. Both bikes were decked out in their own bags and filled to the brim! They also had E-zee electric assists and zoomed past at the next intersection.
Ice Cream For Dorie!
Good thoughts go out to our bikey-friend, Dorie, of Hum Of The City
who was rear-ended by a car while riding her Mamachari with her son. Thankfully, her son is okay but shaken up. She, however, is in for her second leg surgery. Please send her lots of healing and kind thoughts for a speedy recovery.
So, as April comes to an end, so does the 30 Days Of Biking. It was easy this year and I didn't even need to give the challenge a second thought. I just rode every day because I had somewhere to go and biking is how we get around. I was in a car about three times this month which is almost as much as I've been in a car all year. May Is Bike Month
starts tomorrow with the Kick-Off event and the mile logging starts! A huge thank you to all our Tiny Helmets teammates! We're going to be contenders this year!
Don't they look excited? I sure am!!!
May is my favorite month! Mother's Day, our anniversary, and my birthday all within a lovely set of 31 days.
It's also chock full of May Is Bike Month swag! I love May Is Bike Month
! Two years ago, I won my beautiful Linus at the Bike Fest (and it just happened to be on my birthday, too). Last year, I reached my pledge of 600 miles by the skin of my teeth and won 3rd place for the most Errand Miles!
This year's going to be even better than the last! They've even started the Energizer Stations already! However, I need some help. Jose's threatening to drop my Tiny Helmets
bike team unless we start racking up some real points. That means, I need as many folks out there who are willing to log miles for our team. I don't care if you pledge 10 miles or 1000, just join our team and log your miles! Our goal is to beat 350 Sacramento's team. I think we can do it. Who's in? Go to www.mayisbikemonth.com and sign up. If you've already joined a team, ditch them and ride with us! You can be a part of your Employer's challenge and still be on our team. Sign up your kids! Both Big Brother and Little Brother pledged 500 miles, who's going to challenge them? They're really competitive. I might even have them challenge each other. That would be pretty funny.
We're the most fun team, ever! Today, my mini team and I ran off to check out an Energizer Station (although we had the day's location wrong) and then hit up Doughbots for some delicious goodies. Bacon chocolate doughnut and an iced mocha is the best way to start a day (although admittedly probably not the best way to keep a day going). We rode around in the Bullitt together quite a bit, getting used to our new set-up.
The boys already love it. They are so happy to jump in the box. I still need to get the seat dialed in and add a rear rack. Similarly to the Mundo, once you add two kids to the bike, there's not a huge amount of room for anything else. Adding the Bread Basket to the Mundo was what made it more functional so I'm looking forward to getting a rear rack and adding panniers/bags to even out the load. The Bullitt rides even better with the boys onboard and it's very entertaining to have them up front.
Oh, and we saw a raccoon today. How awesome are we?
I've been itching to take advantage of being kid-free and go bike camping but it's been really difficult. Since it's the middle of the week, Jose isn't able to join me and everyone seems to be insanely busy (myself included). It's a crazy time right now and I needed a bike trip more than anything to settle my brain. My energy level has been a bit low and the number of things on my to-do list has been really high. Instead of succumbing to my stress, I found a solution--KOA!
The nearest campground I could find was the KOA in West Sac, 8 miles away. It's basically the same route as going to IKEA, just on the other side of the freeway. It's actually about the same cost as camping at Beal's Point--$30 for weeknights, $35 for weekends. I invited my mom and was happily surprised that she could join me! We decided to splurge on a one-room cabin for just a few dollars more.
We left around 5:30pm, giving ourselves enough time to get things done for the day but not too late to get into camp before dark. I rode the new Bullitt so I could dump all our gear into the box and give it a camping test-run. My mom rode the Mobic because she still doesn't have a bike, yet, and that one is the only one that can adjust small enough to fit her.
All packed and ready to roll!
This is luxury bike camping at it's finest--pillows, electric tea kettle, awesome!
Since this was all pretty much on-the-fly, we didn't have a dinner plan. Luckily for us, we ran into a food truck in Old Town. Everything was coming together nicely!
Some Cajun food to go.
The ride was really straightforward. West Sac is easy to bike through even though it's pretty busy. I was happy that we were leaving slightly after the 5pm rush. We made it to the KOA just before 7pm with plenty of daylight to eat dinner on our porch swing.
What you can't see is the giant freeway right behind me.
We made it! A peaceful pond blocking the Industrial view. The ducks were pretty noisy.
Our Klassy Kabin.
I couldn't have asked for a better solution for my April Bike Overnight! My mom and I both needed a fun bike ride and a quiet night. The KOA is surprisingly peaceful for being so close to the freeway (yes, it was pretty noisy). I left my phone off and refused to check my email/facebook/twitter for the night. Instead, I enjoyed an amazing book that a kind reader, David Macpherson, sent to me this week: A Pedouin Life: Stop and Smell the Aritichokes.
A Pedouin Life! Visit: www.pedouins.org
What I think is most incredible about this book, besides the fact that this family rode 7,000 miles on a bike built for 5, is that we actually crossed paths during their journey! Three years ago, Marnie and Bekah and I, rode from Arcata to Elk Prairie
for their first experience bike touring. On our last day, we were riding South down hwy 101 when a giant yellow blur sped up the Northern side. The captain yelled out "Where are you headed?" and before I could take in everything I was seeing, I barely got out and answer. Afterwards, I kept going over in my head and discussing with the ladies, how many people were on that bike, what just happened, where were THEY going? It was seared into my brain as one of the most amazing contraptions I had ever seen. Now, three years later, I finally have the answers. It is every bit as brilliant as I had imagined and even more so.
Thank you, David, for bringing closure to this mystery and thank you, Harrison family
for the inspiration! It all feels so kismet! This book is wonderful and awe-inspiring. I'm only on chapter 8 and I just want to keep reading forever.
'Nama and I rode home this morning. A simple ride back through West Sac. We stopped for coffee at Weatherstones, running into Tara, who had just gotten a Boda Boda
as a birthday present from her hubby. As we were enjoying our mochas, I saw another Boda Boda speed by. Such a wonderful day to start with an 8 mile ride, coffee, and cargo bikes swarming Midtown!
The juxtaposition makes me smile.
Breakfast of champions.
She's here, she's here, she's here!!!
My two lovely bikes :)
Practical Cycle for the win, again!
We made it home in one piece.
They arrived today and Tim was nice enough to get it all put together for me so I could take her home immediately. The Mundo stayed at the shop to get her recall wheel skirts installed. Bullitt and I bulleted home! It is quite an adjustment, especially from the Mundo. I had a hard time doing my usual no-foot stops and had a couple of swerves. Nothing nearly as bad as Jose's initial ride...as seen below.
Yes, I was pretty bummed about the bike at first. Jose's doing well, thanks for everyone who was kind enough to worry about him :) He's a bit sore but the good news is that the Bullitt is fine!!! Jose's riding a little better, too.
I wish the boys were here to enjoy the bike already but it does still need a couple of adjustments and another screw for the box since one was too short. We also need to figure out how to train our dog to get in. He's too big and wiggly to pick him up and too shy to jump in. Thoughts?
We're already almost halfway through 30 Days Of Biking
and we've managed to keep biking every day. It's so funny compared to last year--that was a challenge, congratulating myself with each passing day. It was the beginning to our new life, although I hadn't really noticed it, yet. Back then, it was amazing to be able to count the days that the car had stayed parked. Next, we started realizing that we couldn't keep up with the number of days in a row. Now, we've come to realize that this weekend is going to be the first time since the beginning of the year
that we will be borrowing my parents' car and needing to pay for gas! I don't even know what the price of a gallon is anymore.
It is surreal to think back on how much our lives have changed just from last year. Just today, we sold the final reminder of our pre-bikecentric fleet: the yellow double Chariot. Amazingly enough, we were able to sell it for just under what we had put into it. Off it goes, like the red single Chariot and the Yepp Mini, to bring biking joys to another family with youngsters. One more family on the road, enjoying the feeling of freedom and independence that only a bike can give.
Big Brother checking out his Chariot for the first time.
Little Brother on one of his last Yepp Mini rides.
Adventures await when you have a Chariot!
So before our shed gets too comfortable being extra spacious, it's time to officially announce the next addition to our fleet: a Bullitt
We had settled pretty early on a long-john
style, mainly because we need to be able to carry our dog and because it's an awfully convenient way to carry kids, groceries, cargo. The Mundo
has been great to us. I love how it rides like a tank and plows through everything we ask of it. We already know that we can tour with the Mundo, run errands, and haul our little ones, but ultimately, we decided that it would be better to have a different cargo bike to balance out our needs. It will be fun to start trying out new adventures with the Bullitt!
Between the two bikes, Jose and I will be able to do anything! No more bike juggling just to get the kids home! The only thing that made us choose this bike over John's Cycle Truck
(an amazing bike!), was the already-designed kid seat with seat belts and rain cover. I would have never been able to come up with such a beautiful set-up and, truthfully, the Bullitt was my first love. Getting a chance to ride on with David of Convoy Cargo Bikes
, had sold me back then, Practical Cycle'
s decision to start selling Bullitts, sealed the deal. Check out Hum Of The City's thorough review
if you don't believe me (although we aren't getting an assisted one...yet...).
Our Bullitt is going to have a custom wooden box with child seats. Since it's not going to rain for another 8 months, we decided to hold off on getting the Blaq Designs
rain cover just yet. This is a huge investment for us! Last year, we felt that the Mundo was the biggest step we had ever taken and now, a year later, we are upgrading once again. Although I get some benefits for working at the bike shop, this is over double the cost of the Mundo. Still, when you think about it, it's less then the cost of a terrible car, fewer than 6-months of a car payment, more joy than we could even count, and people pay this much money (and more) for a slick-carbon-5 pound ghost of a road bike. This is not a toy for us. This is a vehicle of change, a tool to facilitate the life we feel is appropriate for our family.
Day 1 for cargo bike #1!
The only reason I continue to write--besides the fact because it gives me an excuse to push my limits and try out new adventures--is because I want to share our experience, hopefully showing that this lifestyle change is much easier than you might think. I know that it has even surprises myself to think about how smoothly this transition was. While I am a little bummed at how uneventful this year's 30 Days Of Biking has been, it's impossible to fathom how much this means to us. Luckily, I do have April's bike overnight coming together soon!
I used to run stop signs, roll red lights--all the time. I was never that biker who dangerously blew through intersections without looking, however. I thought I was being safe and sneaky--Idaho stopping in California. I am a biker, not a car. I need to move!
I don't do that anymore. I stop. All. The. Time. Every light, I wait patiently. Every stop sign, I come to a stop and look both ways (although I don't always put my foot down, that's not required by law). I choose to ride predictably because that's the best way to keep myself and my kids, when they're onboard, as safe as we could possibly be.
I don't want anyone to be able to place blame on me if I'm ever in an accident. Insurance companies are chomping at the bit to find the biker at fault. If I'm cruising through stop signs and disobeying traffic laws, they're more likely to come after me and say "look, you did that wrong, you probably did this wrong, too." I will be able to go to every red light camera and show that I am calmly waiting for the light to turn green just like everyone else. I will have eye witnesses to attest to my niceness. It's not going to be my fault in an accident.
I don't want to do anything that I wouldn't want my children (or my students) doing. My kids watch every move I make. One day, they're going to be on their own bikes, barreling down the street (properly), and I don't want them to think it's acceptable for a biker to ride through intersections or ignore right-of-way rules. For one thing, children don't have the distance-judging abilities that adults do. They also don't have the same reasoning skills, either. Their eye-brain connection hasn't figured these things out yet. My flippant actions could put my children in danger down the road. Biking is dangerous and it takes serious concentration and decision-making, just like driving a car. If I can instill these behaviors in my kids now, I will feel better about them being on their own, both on a bike and in a car.
I don't want to be a jerk. It's bad enough that there is too much cyclist-hatred out in the world, I don't want to be contributing to it. Every time a biker disobeys the law, drivers around them say "see, that's why bikers are so horrible." I make a conscious effort to be courteous and generous. I always try to stop for pedestrians and say hello as they pass by. I smile but politely refuse when a car driver tries to wave me through and it's not my turn (also because that can turn into a dangerous situation very quickly if other drivers aren't paying attention). I ride as if I am a legal driver of the road--which, surprise, I am! I want the same rights and recognition as car drivers. With those rights come the same responsibility. I wish that drivers would see me following the rules and think to themselves "wow, I guess all bikers aren't terrible" but in reality, they will usually only see what they want to see--bikers misbehaving. Let's try and cut that down, please, to give us all a better reputation.
I can understand why bike drivers would want to keep moving. It's hard to start rolling again from a dead stop (try that with 80 lbs of kid, too). It's also not as fun. It takes work and balance, something that car drivers don't understand since they just push their foot a little to stop and go. It can also be scary. Oftentimes, you'll have car drivers squeezing in behind you and, most of the time, expect you to keep going. This is usually where I use my stop/slow arm signal. Not everyone still remembers what it means but it does draw attention that I'm about to do something. If there is a car really encroaching in my space, I might actually take a minute to put my foot down and really check the intersection before I go (yes, this is a little bit of passive-aggressive behavior, I'm sorry). Shifting down before you stop can really help you regain your momentum after stopping, which I'm getting better at remembering these days.
Sadly, everywhere I go, bike and car drivers are disobeying the laws set in place to keep us safe. Twice last week, I watched cars stop at a red light then drive through as if it were a stop sign. I watch bikers riding down the wrong side of the road and plow through stop lights and stop signs without even touching the brakes or turning their heads. These people are dangerous for everyone on the road, especially the more vulnerable users like pedestrians and other bikers. I would like to see them all ticketed and required to go to traffic school. Car drivers, of course, should be held at an even higher standard as they are also driving a deadly 2,000 pound machine.
From The City of Vancouver
I was thinking that if bikers start using stopping as "interval training," we might be able to get more riders to do it. Man, it sure works them glutes!
Last weekend I had the fantastic opportunity to test out a local cargo bike builder's set-up: the Cycle Truck
! John Lucas has been building bikes in West Sacramento for quite awhile now. His bikes are unmistakeable. Unlike typical long-john style bikes with a wooden box built onto the frame, his bikes are a solid one-piece design. The Cycle Trucks have linkage steering which means the front wheel is pushed forward, in front of the handlebars, and is steered by a connecting piece of metal. This was the most difficult style of bike for me to master and it takes some practice before riding starts to feel "normal." In fact, the first time I got on one of his bikes, I almost steered myself into a wall. However, with a little extra practice, I began riding like a pro. After this last week, getting back on a standard bike felt weird. My first ride back on the Linus almost made me stop to check if the fork had come loose.
I rode over to John's place in West Sac using the Mobic then folded it up and shoved it into the Cycle Truck to ride home with both bikes. The awesome thing about John's bikes is that they are made to be used. He doesn't worry about scratches in the paint and instead sees them as signs of use. Nothing on the bike is "fancy" or super expensive (although you could build one up that way if you wanted). The metal frame around the deck is so solid that you could rest just about anything on top of it to carry around.
The very first thing I did with the bike when I got home was load it up with firewood, beer, and camping gear to ride up to Folsom for a little bike overnight. I rode 30 miles that first day and didn't have any problems. The friction shifting was a fun change from the clicky index shifting that I've grown used to. The weight distribution was fantastic and instead of feeling like I was pulling a heavy load, it felt like I was lightly pushing it. It was a subtle difference from what I am used to on the Mundo but it was noticeable and it was comfortable.
I really liked being able to just throw things in the box and not have to worry about balancing the load or tying it all down.
In the kid-hauling capacity, while the Cycle Truck was certainly fun, I did feel that I needed more security for traffic riding. The open sides of the basket lead to arms and legs slipping out and a bit more wiggling around than I felt comfortable, especially with the little one. Big Brother actually had a blast and followed my instructions of keeping his body inside the box. Little Brother, on the other hand, didn't follow directions as well and we had a scary moment when he rebelled and stood up, pulling on the cables, having a fit while I was riding through a busy section of road.
There would be some fairly simple fixes that could be made to the basket to improve the kid-control, such as having a liner around the open bars and some sort of seat with restraints for the little guys.
Stability-wise, this bike is a tank. I never worried about tipping over or crashing. Even my dad gave it a test--he's never attempted to ride the Mundo, let alone carry a kid on the thing. There is something incredibly comforting to have the weight low to the ground. Steering almost feels like a dance, swooping slightly from side to side.
John is continuously tinkering with different styles of frames. He has this 20" wheeled bike coming together at the moment and has another plan in mind for a Nihola-like trike.
John built this green cargo trike while he was in China. It is one of only six that he made. It's hauling capacity is amazing--shown here carrying two Cycle Trucks and below with an entire family.
This three-wheeled trailer came together after he saw a homeless man carrying a ton of scrap in a similar style trailer. The front wheel is steered by the pole connecting the trailer to the bike. It tracked perfectly behind me and could carry as much as I could tow. The front wheel takes most of the weight so it was a really smooth ride.
One of John's recent developments to his own orange Cycle Truck is the addition of his pizza maker BBQ. The BBQ rests perfectly on the bike's frame and the propane cylinder rests on the deck inside. The way the cooker sits, the bucket is still completely free to hold the rest of the party gear--ice chest, beach chairs, basically anything you can throw in there.
After the initial learning curve that comes with linkage steering, this ride is amazing. Going up hills was not a problem for me, even packed with cargo. In fact, it rode a lot better with weight in the bucket. When it was empty, it was more rattly than I am used to. I would say that the Mundo rode better for me as a regular, unloaded bike but they were pretty equal when it came to carrying cargo. Although I loved having the kids up in front of me where I was able to see and talk to them, they had too much freedom to roam for my comfort. I felt more secure with them on the Mundo. However, with the low center of gravity, I never worried about tipping over in the Cycle Truck.
There are definitely a lot more pros to this bike than cons and one of the biggest pros is the fact that it's built here in Sacramento at an incredibly affordable price--about a third of what other "bakfiets" or long-john style bikes cost. If you are looking for something to carry pets, big kids/adults, large and unwieldy cargo, this is the bike for you. Every person I have ever seen on a Cycle Truck always has a giant smile plastered on their face. This bike is fun and useful--even as a picnic bench.