Monday, January 16, 2012

4.5 days...not that I'm counting or anything!

It's Monday night and the snow that appeared last night is starting to thaw, which is good news because I don't fancy taking on the snow for my first few rides on the Mundo.  I still have no updates regarding the peanut seat for Jack but I'm really hoping I don't have to wait until the end of February for it!  Couldn't I just strap Jack down to the deck with bungees? Get a back pack, cut appropriate holes for arms, legs and head and wear him? I'm feeling frustrated by the time it takes to go from thought manifested in my head to actual realization.

I've been pondering how I should track my progress in the following months (better than fixating on the seat and kickstand problem).  I could track mileage, weight-loss, total number of trips, sense of many options! I personally don't like scale fixation but it's hard to beat the cold hard facts that numbers on a scale depict and for some reason I tend to think readers would find it easy to relate to.  I also like the idea of mileage tracking but I was concerned that would mean another expense in the way of a computer, however I have been the fortunate recipient of a gift- A bike computer from a kind bike enthusiast I met on Facebook!  How nice is that? And his only request for payment..."do something good for someone else"...  thank you John, I certainly will!  I've felt so cut off from any sense of community since we moved to this area almost a year ago, it feels nice to "belong" in some way.

I had my mum over to my house today and she excitedly joined me in viewing all of the Yuba videos on YouTube. We especially enjoyed the transportation of 400lb of bananas on the back of a blue Mundo, pretty spectacular!

Hopefully my next post will include pictures of my zesty new bike (I opted for the citrus orange) but until then if you have any input as to what you would like to see me track for the next 12 months please let me know! I love the comments and appreciate the community spirit I have found as a soon to be cargo-cyclist.


  1. How old is Jack then I might have some ideas for you.

    This morning I wrote an email to Yuba regarding our PeanutShell. Here's a copy. This might not bother you at all, as you may not be moving anything or have the cargo we do :) :

    I would also like to inquire about the child seats. Do you know if
    another type of seat would fit on the deck? Here are the issues we are
    having with the peanutshell and I thought you might have some

    First, the install is difficult. There are a lot of little tiny
    peices. I had to move the seat position in transit once and it took 20
    minutes and I lost a part or two. We rearrange our bicycle a lot due
    to the sizes and ages of children as well as all the many uses we put
    the bike through.

    Second the legs get in the way of carrying cargo. Even in the front
    position. It's far more intrusive in the rear position, the prefered
    place for our lighter passenger. We have contemplated cutting the legs
    off but would prefer to find a way that is safe, to elevate the seat
    (similar to the flight deck on the Xtracycle) or find a legless seat.

    Any assistance is apprecaited. The PS is ideal in every other way. It
    is high enough, comfortable enough, safe enough, etc.

  2. I just looked it up, Jack is 20m. I would suggest asking your bicycling community for a loaner front seat. I love my cheap iBert for our 2yo. It has it's down side, but I prefer a front seat over a rear seat in all occasions for him. Someone might also have a trailer you could borrow, which has been our winter go to. Since it's a temporary fix, there might be one in a garage waiting for you :)

    As for tracking. I love numbers but I don't have a great answer for you. If you are trying to loose weight, those are good numbers. If you are trying to see about your over all health, maybe a daily mood meter? If you just like to know how many miles you have taken away from your fuel the end, do it for you and we will all enjoy it.

    Thanks for writing!

    1. I think you have excellent points, I may search out a trailer for now as we planned to get one anyway for the dog because obviously she can't run being the 75lb princess lap dog that she is! lol. I've heard drivers avoid trailers like the plague and I like that idea too:)
      After lots of pondering on what to track I may just do all three - weight-loss, mood and miles. I thought it might give me a huge sense of accomplishment and therefore help me stay motivated. All this time that I have to wait around and think about stuff is essentially making me more nervous as I'm getting too much time to think rather than DO!
      Thanks again for the community! Lindsay

  3. Hello Stacy-
    Jack is 20 months old and weighs about 33lb. I have heard similar stories of the seat being hard to adjust but I also heard that any alternative seats have to be chopped to fit. I'm really wanting the PS because I love the leg straps and knee coverage.
    I will definitely want to be able to utilize all the cargo space I can but with only one kid I probably won't me moving him around a lot on the back.
    Let me know what you hear from Yuba. In the few email correspondences I've had with them, they have been really helpful. Thanks for your comment! Lindsay
    P.S. I shall probably get lots of kid/bike related questions so I appreciate your input!

  4. Weight is not really a good gauge. Waist size will definitely shrink and you will feel a whole lot better, sleep better and have a lot more energy.

    Gerry :)

  5. Gerry- I can't wait to get my energy levels back up! I take care of kids for my friends to help make ends meet and sometimes I'm so jealous of their seemingly endless supply! Lindsay

  6. Hi Lindsay - Thanks for sharing your adventures with everyone! I started riding a cargo bike with my two boys (3 and 5) after reading the full hands blog last spring so I love that more people are telling their story.

    We bought our Yuba Mundo last April and we've been bike commuting ever since. I don't have an cyclometer on the Mundo, and while I have no interest in knowing how fast (or rather SLOW) we ride it would be fun to know how many miles we have logged in the past 9 months. I know I'm in better shape BUT I eat more now so I can't say I've really lost a lot of weight. And my two boys are growing like weeds, so while the grades are a bit easier they'll never get that easy.

    I don't know how to quantitatively measure the joy and happiness that comes from riding - no longer having to wrestle my kids into car seats, the amazing conversations on our rides, the words of encouragement that total strangers shout out, or the different parts of the city we've discovered at our relaxed pace.

    So no solid advice on what to track, but you'll come up with something while you are out riding. We used to count the number of "grandma cars" (Prius) vs. bikes on our way home, then for a while we starting guessing how far traffic would be backed up on the local freeway when we passed over it, and now the boys have taken to counting the number of stop signs and traffic lights on our ride.

    And with regards to the seat, my 3 yo is still up front in an iBert and I've been holding off on moving him to the back because a) it's easier to talk to a kid in the front b) I like the weight distribution in the front and back and c) when I move both kids to the back I'm not sure how we'll get into our go getter bag? Right now the 5 yo is in the peanut shell in the front position. If we add a second peanut shell I don't think we'll be able to get into the go getter - and we pack ours to the max every day with lunches,lovies, jackets, school work, snacks, helmets and even a T, baseballs, bat and glove during t-ball season.

    The 5 yo is old enough that he could theoretically sit on just the padded seat with the rumble strap or handle bars, but he often falls asleep on our long (and for the moment dark) commute home so I don't feel comfortable doing that quite yet. And when we do move him out of the seat I'd like to have him directly behind me and put the peanut shell at the very back. (Basically I've got the same issues as Stacy.)

    I guess I haven't been much help, but welcome to the club and thanks again for sharing you story!


    1. Colleen, after reading and emailing with Sara at Full Hands, we went with the Freeloader bags on our Yuba b/c of the top issue and legs/seats. They were also much 'cheaper.' We also track our miles after the fact with or google maps, if that helps any. But end the end it's all about the ride.

  7. Hello Colleen,
    I read your comment and then re-read it to my husband out loud. When I got to the beginning of the 3rd paragraph where you discuss measuring the joy and happiness that comes from riding - I could feel what you were saying and almost feel the happiness that you described. I'm so excited to be able to give my little boy childhood memories of something more meaningful than riding in our SUV and I just feel like they grow up so quickly, so I'm excited to slow our lives down.
    I'm amazed at the amount of stuff you can fit in the bags but it seems like if the peanut seat legs folded up one might be able to access the bags easier and then fold them down afterwards? Or is it different in real life? I guess I shall find out!
    Thanks for your comment Colleen and the warm welcome! I'm very excited to be here in the cargo club! Lindsay

  8. I look forward to hearing about your adventures. The bike is such a great invention. Good luck.
    Pete in England

    1. Thank you Pete! I agree, the bike is one of the best inventions for sure! I was born in Brighton but haven't been back to the UK in 11 years:( Cheers! Lindsay

  9. Hi Lindsay, not sure this will be any help to you, but FWIW,

    I ride the first version of the Mundo, which has a slightly wider rack, and therefore not compatible with any manufactured seats. This prompted me to make some. Fortunately there are many online examples of people doing this previously for their Yubas and Xtracycles, which gave me a design starting point. Certainly for a 20 month-old i would agree that one of the very form-fitting options (peanut/iBert) would be best, but as he grows a bit, an option without those plastic legs is advantageous. I know Clever Cycles carries some models. My design does not have leg placement, so Go-Getter clearance is no problem. They just ride as if on horseback, or prop their feet on the frame tubing behind the seat post. My daughter is old enough now where she only needs a stoker bar. My how quickly they grow.

    In terms of calculators, One of the cargo bike blogs (Joe George at Urban Simplicity possibly?) posted this within the last two years: If it wasn't this one, it was something very similar. There are some "apps" that do this too evidently. You can change the weight of the rider to reflect the total for you, the heavier bike, and your cargo, and then see calories burned. I use a simple computer just to keep track of miles. It's a nice reminder, and can even provide fun motivation (I remember having a mini party at mile 1000).

    Also, regarding winter riding, I have to say the one spill I've taken on my Mundo was in a very sudden, very slight snow fall. Conditions went from perfectly dry to a slippery dust mid-ride. Fortunately the kiddies weren't with, but it was that which prompted me to add a Boxcycle (aka Christiania) to the fleet. We had started with a trailer, and would have stuck with it, but the two kids outgrew it, and there was too much fussing/hair-pulling going on back there. There are larger trailers out now, but having the kids closer, either immediately behind on the Mundo, or right in front via the Box, is oh so much better, communication-wise. And just wait until the singing starts!

    May you have many miles of joy,


    1. Hello Max,

      I really love that calculator you mentioned, thank you, I think that will be very useful. And I think I will start planning a party haha that's a great idea!
      I think I want Jack in a full seat for a while, at least until he can stay awake for a trip. I think he's going to nod off a lot, but I really look forward to days when we can chat and sing, in fact it's the thought of those days that I find most encouraging. Hearing so many parents tell me about their wonderful trips, or just a trip to the grocery store, I can't wait!
      Thanks Max for another encouraging comment! Lindsay
      Right now it's still pouring with icy rain and 22 degrees. The idea of even trying to get the bike home in this weather is a worry.


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