Thursday, June 5, 2008

Utility Bikes

With all the recent attention on the high price of automobile fuel, people are talking more and more about alternatives. For the most part, it's simply complaining. A few, however, are making lifestyle changes. Some are changing jobs so they can work closer to where they live. Others are reducing their driving by taking shorter vacations or combining multiple errands in a single trip. Some are actually getting the nudge for which they've been waiting and are considering making a few trips by bicyle. Those that are already "serious" cyclists are broadening their horizons by supplementing their herds with utility bikes.

Utility bikes are, in a word, useful. They are designed to be easier to pack, store, or keep nearby, such as is the case with my "clown bike" or designed to allow the rider to carry impressive amounts of cargo. There are designs to address almost every kind of transportation usefulness need.

My clown bike is a utility bike with incredible usefulness. It maintains my sanity. Because my job demands frequent travel and because living in hotels and eating restaurant food erodes my spirit, I pack a bicycle whenever practical. My Bike Friday Tikit makes it easy.

Last night, after work, after dinner, after the sun went down, and after the nearby office buildings were virtually emptied, the Texas Tikit rolled. In the summer night breeze and through the urban landscape, we cruised for an hour, cleared the mind, and refreshed the body.

It's not quite like being back home in Denton County with my beautiful bride, but it most certainly is useful.


  1. If only we made an SUB (Sport Utility Bicycle-- e.g. an Xtracycle equipped bike or a Surly Big Dummy) that could fold and pack as easily and quickly and compactly as a tikit. That would be the ultimate in useful!

    Certainly, though, even with alternative forms of powering automobiles, I think they are of limited scope. The sheer scale of a car is inconsistent with the fact that we aren't gaining any land and yet our world population is expanding exponentially. Not to mention the manufacturing costs. Seriously, most people use only a small percentage of any car. If it could even be shrunk down that would make sense.

    But at that point, you might as well just get a bike. It's better for your health and it goes places even itsy bitsy cars can't go. How more practical can it be?

  2. Thanks for checking in, Walter. I'm flattered.

    Hmmm...there's another word for utility bikes...practical. Well said, my friend.