39.5kg of books in the snow

I am just back from the morning service at Harrison  Road. As you can see from the two pictures below there is still plenty of snow and ice about.

So what was it like riding a loaded cargo bike a total of 7.6 miles in the snow and cold (according to the car -9C when I left home)?

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You can see that by noon the main roads are clear but nothing has been done to the pavements or cycle paths.

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Here is the bottom layer of stuff. Three bags of books plus change of clothes (my suit is too thin for these temperatures and my best shoes too slippery). Total weight of cargo (according to our bathroom scales) 39.5kg

The important thing to note is that the trip was totally without drama. I went pretty slowly, although on the way due to my forgetting that the service was at 10:15am not 10:30am I had to put my foot down a bit. The Bullitt was sure footed and gave me no scares.

I do get a lot of comments from people about how hard it must be to ride with a load like this. I have to say that exactly the opposite is true. The riding it is easy. The Bullitt gets steadier as you load it and the gears are plenty low enough for the hills around here. I think I got down to 3rd gear when I had to stop at the mini roundabout just before climbing over the Railway Bridge at Syston. But that made it very light and easy pedalling. I am pretty confident that just about anyone that can ride a bike can ride a cargobike with a load like this.

Obviously I am not going to break any speed records on the road. But then neither were the 54 cars queueing to get out of Syston onto the roundabout by Thurmaston Shopping Centre as I came home. Nor will the drivers who spent ages defrosting their cars so they could see.

When I collected the books from Syston I pushed the bike inside and loaded it in the warm without having to carry the books far. At Harrison Road I also went straight inside to unload. There are double yellow lines outside Syston Methodist Church and the Car Park at Harrison Road was already full. So I would have had to carry these heavy bags of books quite a distance too and from a car.

So this way was much more convenient (again) and probably quicker (count the time for defrosting the car in -9C, parking, carrying 2 loads of books, queuing). Plus I arrived unstressed and awake. Also a bit warm, still over estimating how much clothing I need 🙂 Remind me again why anyone would want to drive on a beautiful day like this!

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  1. love it Dave, you are an inspiration!

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