The ProBicycle Uticyclist Gallery Be a Vehicular Cycling Hero!
Calling all Uticyclists - Pass the word.
Getting a little chafed by the galleries of our shaved-leg cousins? Relief is here. ProBicycle is featuring the real two-wheel heroes: commuters and utility cyclists.
Send us your information along with a
photo of you and/or your bike. We'll be glad to get as little as your name and location, but we would like to get additional information such as any or all of the following:
types of utility cycling,
how long you have been a commuter/utility cyclist,
most unusual cargo or destination,
comments on equipment or technique,
favorite Web sites,
a link to your own Web site,
your email address if you choose (we will encode email addresses to discourage automated spambot harvesting),
Or just ramble on and send us any uticyclist information you would like to provide.
Free Sticker With Your Picture and Story
We are not interested in publishing reports of confrontations with motorists and in fact intend the section as encouragement for utility cycling by stressing the joy of such things as riding through the freezing rain with a flat tire.... maybe skip that part too.
The more "human" and colorful, the better.
We want this to be a feature that both honors our "Heros" and also will encourage utility cycling.
OK, it's even fine if you do shave your legs, especially you women.
Email your contributions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
No digital camera?
Just ride to any one of our one ProBicycle centers nationwide and we will take your picture. Or, send us a photo, or your bike itself, and we'll scan it for free. All scanned bicycles become the property of ProBicycle. You can have the picture back.
Pass the word to other utility cyclists.
U T I C Y C L I S T
H E R O E S
Send us your uti-photo and comments now!
Chris and Tom
Chris Clement and son Tom of Columbia, SC coming home on Tom's daily school commute.
Jim Baross of San Diego, CA
I commute daily in central San Diego City, the lower left-hand corner of continental US, about a 14 mile round trip - rain or shine. I use a trench coat or poncho in the rain... sometimes with gators to protect my pat legs from the wet. I ride in the clothes I work in - usually dress slacks, shoes, white shirt and tie. I'm in good enough condition and ride slow enough that I don't sweat on the approximately 30 min rides except in the summer on the way home I sometimes take off the tie and shirt. Using this bike, a Specialized Globe 7, with fenders and chainguard makes bicycling with regular clothes a breeze. I use platform pedals with Powergrip straps to get close to pedal clips w/o having to use special shoes. I also like the internal hub gears (7) for city riding - no need to down shift before a stop. I own several bikes - road, tour, tandems, cruisers, fixie, etc. Using the right "tool" for the task makes the ride easier and more fun. I'll include a photo of one of our tricyles - a Worksman - these are great for short trips around the neighborhood for groceries, garage sales, etc. I buy most of my bikes used - neglected gems with plenty of miles and smiles still hidden in 'em... at great prices.
I commute and do other bicycling for fun, fitness, save more than a few bucks and to set a good example for how a bike can be a good way to get around. I'm 59. Oh, and I enjoy being an ambassador of legal and courteous bicycling - assertive w/o being aggressive or illegal... and I have a great time riding in with traffic. There are no "bicycle facilities" on my route - just shared roadways, my favorite for getting around town.
Mark Garvey of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I ride a Tricycle mostly! A recumbent trike, and I LOVE it!
Works great, stable,easy to ride, GREAT for climbing hills, (not FAST,
but GOOD, there is a difference!) I have had my share of minor
confrontations but very few. I can only think of one or two over a
period of several years. I am aware of my surroundings and keep a
close watch on my "6". Evasive action, a cell phone and call 911 to
report a drunk driver! (Well, they MIGHT be!)
My commute is about 6-7 miles each way and I am able to do it 2-3
times a week out of 4 work day trips each way. My co-workers are
pretty supportive of my efforts and give me encouragement like saying
"What? you aren't on the bike today?" when it is -10 and 10 inches of
snow! or when it is 95 degrees and 2000% humidity! But then I work
with a bunch of truck drivers. In fact I AM a truck driver!
On the positive side, I have been able to get my Blood pressure down
to 110/60 consistantly WITHOUT meds when a year ago it was difficult
to keep it below 140/90 WITH meds. I am healthier, I quit smoking,
and am losing a little weight (not much!) I feel GOOD! I get up
every day early and I ride to work. I am dissapointed when I CAN'T
ride now! I also just got a cargo trailer so that I can carry my
working stuff for my overnight runs! I can't go "car Free" but I can
go pretty "Car Lite!"
But I have discovered a GREAT truth, if you want to call it that, about cycling in general. A BICYCLE IS NOT A CAR! this is surprising, but should not be! Note please that this does not say that they can not or should not be used for the same purposes! But that they should not be treated with the same expectations! When I ride my trike to work, I give myself TIME to enjoy it! I don't expect that I can cut through traffic and arrive in 30 minutes every time! This is why a car was used in the first place, or any powered machine. To give speed and carrying capability. I enjoy my ride to and from work! I live in one of the nicest places possible for bike riding. Right now, the trees are aflame with color and I often see deer and other animals on my daily commute. In a few weeks, it will turn brisk, and invigorating. But most people lose track of riding as an ENJOYABLE means to get to work and make your commute to and from work (or school) a way of "bookending" your day. My morning trip is invigorating and wakes me up! the ride home unwinds me. I can cruise and let the tension drain away, or I can "kill myself" riding and burn off all the frustration/agression/anger from a bad day BEFORE I arrive at home and possibly release that on someone at home!
Exercise and "saving the planet" are "issues" but not big ones for me. Enjoyment and release of excess energy ARE issues that concern ME! In any case, I am interested in some of the issues common to cycling in general and utility cycling in particular. I even put a few thoughts down is booklet form if you people are anywhere near interested in it. Not an anti car screed, but a pro cycling series of essays.
Roger Quennell of Astoria, Oregon
My wife put up a quick-and-dirty
gallery of some pics of various loads that I've hauled. The link for now is:
Location: Astoria Oregon, with an average rainfall of over 6 feet a
Occupation: stay-at-home-dad/wannabe farmer/tinkerer.
Type of ute cycling: My family is car free and use a bicycle for all of
our families transportation, mostly going into town with my daughter in
a trailer. I haul virtually everything to the "farm" by bike/trailer
through any weather that I used to drive a car in. Although I admit to
hiring a dump truck when I bought 7 cubic yards of sand for a vegetable
Traffic type: I live on the outskirts of Astoria, 45mph one lane
business 101 is my route into town. The city itself is 25-35mph with
rather light, but cyclist unaware traffic. Lots of bike lanes that
can't be used due to drainage grates and car doors. I use the shoulder
on the highway and take the rightmost lane for the rest. I should also
mention the extremely steep hills in town, ever been to San-Francisco?
Time as a ute cyclist: I started cycling "for real" in August of 2004.
I took the plunge and haven't looked back.
Most unusual cargo: The heaviest was over 400lbs of compost from the
landscaping yard, close to a 1/4 ton! The strangest might have been the
7hp roto-tiller judging by the looks I got at the rental yard.
Comments on equipment: I have scoliosis and 2 ruptured discs so I
generally use a recumbent for everything, although my wife and I
recently bought an upright tandem. All of the bikes and trailers have a
built-in electric system that I designed. 35W halogen headlight, horn
and LED big rig running/brake lights all around. Nerdy, but it
generally works! (I currently have a broken foot...) I have a child
trailer for small stuff and a 6 foot utility trailer for real hauling.
I ended up putting an electric motor with regenerative braking on the
utility trailer, to both get up the hills and to get me back down the
other side safely. With heavy loads down wet hills trailer brakes and
sticky tires are a must! I also built a truly water-proof child carrier
for the big utility trailer that slides in and attaches with bolts. I
use it when I need to haul a load and my daughter at the same time.
Stephan Vance: Ocean City, CA
Steve Hulme: Boise, Idaho
Fully-committed bicycle commuter and utility cyclist.
My website: home.rmci.net/bikeboy
I'm 51; I pretty much gave up the car in January, 1986. (Inspired by Betty, another dedicated cyclist.) The last time I drove a car to work was September, 1997. (8-mile round trip) I accumulate 4500-6000 miles / year. On September 1, 2004, I clicked over 6 numbers on the odometer (100,000 miles). On the rare occasions when I'm not riding the bicycle, I'm riding my sweet Harley-Davidson FXDX.
Bicycle (1959 Capo Modell Campagnolo) and rider have a three-digit combined age. Round trip work commute is about 15 mi / 25 km.
Name: John A. Eldon ( email@example.com )
electronics engineer / hands-on technical manager
turn 56 on Tullio Campagnolo's birthday, 2006
types of utility cycling:
commuting to work; light shopping; going to the gym
residential streets; bike lanes on prime arterials
how long you have been a commuter/utility cyclist:
comments on equipment or technique:
I collect, restore, upgrade, and ride vintage European road bikes
"All religion, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom."
-- Albert Einstein
favorite Web site:
Sue Jones pedals off on her xtracycle.
Sue Jones, general commuter, Urbana IL
Interests: Cycling, Learning, Being kind to the planet, dyslexia, bicycles, simple, simple living, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, environmentalism, environment, Google, Free Radical, acoustic music, not quite acoustic music, lyrics, xtracycle
More riding = more endorphins
more endorphins = more good feelings
more good feelings = world peace.
Ellen Anderson, Petersham, MA bringing home the dinner. Check the baguette in the backpack.
Mountain bikeE with dual suspension bought used in 2001, fitted with
Currie motor in 2002 by Bill Darby. Lead acid batteries replaced in
2005 by Josh Kerson, Runabout Cycles. Ridden by Ellen Harding Anderson
to shop in town and for most trips under 20 miles round trip. Photo
taken about 6:30 pm March 18, 2006, temperature about 35, 15-20 mph
wind, just a few snow flurries.
I rode a bike at U of Michigan in the 1960's. After graduation,
splurged on a Raleigh Tourist to ride from home in Boston to work in
Jamaica Plain in the 1970's. In the late 1980's I was told that parts
for the Raleigh could no longer be found so I traded it in for
something miserable. When I went back to the store to retrieve my old
bike it had been sold for parts. Then I began to look for a good bike.
They all hurt my wrists, my back, my bum. I tried every combination of
saddles, handlebars, etc., then found out about recumbent stationary
bikes at the Y. Bought the real thing in Lincoln just as BikeE was
going out of business.
Next chapter.. I live in a valley in a hill town in Central
Massachusetts. Each day I would ride my recumbent a little further up
the hill (10%+ grade) trying to get to the center of town, 5.5 miles
away and all uphill. Finally, as my old knees began to give out, I
searched the net for someone who could give me a little help. Found
Bill Darby, Special Purpose Vehicles, who makes Tadpole Trikes.
So, now I peddle until my knees twinge, then push the throttle and ease
up on my knees. I load my back pack with groceries, or, if I am going
on an assignment within 10 miles, I take my powerbook and files. I
would never use my car if I had a better battery. I ride in the street
and always have. I have been knocked off my bike by an insane
pedestrian but never had a problem with another vehicle. In this cold
weather it is alway tempting not to ride, but once I get into several
layers of clothes and onto the road I never want to stop. I love your
Jim Gagnepain: Fort Collins, CO
I've been commuting year-round for the last 16 years. My commute is 8 miles one-way. We are a one-car family, and it usually stays home with my wife. My children, ages 17 (M) and 19 (F), both commute almost exclusively by bicycle. I view cars as a necessary evil in America, prevalent because of a "me" attitude of Americans, rather than a "we" attitude. I also believe that the Automobile and Oil industries do everything they can to maintain the status quo, and disrupt rail and other Alternative Transportation projects with negativity and political influence.
I am an Alternative Transportation activist.
Jason Wilson, Amsterdam, Holland.
My sadbikes photo site:
I like the idea of a utility bike feature. I live in Amsterdam, but am from Portland, Oregon .
I was sooo excited about the Dutch bikes in general and the flatbed
'bakfiets' they use to move everything from truck loads of beer to
couches around the city.
I found this racing bakfiets on a dutch online ad site and haven't
This baby is fast and can corner like a sportscar, it was built to
velodrome racing, if you can imagine.
The bamboo frame is my addition, to hold the rain cover up off of my
own precious cargo.
Name: Mark Rehder
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Car-free since 1999
Volunteer: currently the Director of our local re-Cycles Bicycle Co-op,
where we take in donations of unwanted bikes and refurbish them to sell
back into the community. Folks can also come in to learn bike repair, or
work on their own bikes.
I also helped start a local cycling group, HPVOoO (Human Powered Vehicle
Operators of Ottawa). We do serious and silly things with serious and
silly HP-machines. Visit our website (link below) to see what we get up
to, including towing a Hammond organ (with organist!) through a parade,
and helping someone move their apartment.
I built my first cargo trailer in 1999, then built a cargo trunk
(tailbox) for my Linear recumbent. I have since built two other cargo
trailers for friends, and a fourth is in the planning stages. I've
learned over time that it's all a matter of the right cycling tool for
the right cycling job.
The attached photos are of "Kyoto", my homebuilt cargo trike, from a
design by Dan Kavanaugh of Organic Engines. I work primarily as a
musician, and created this trike to lessen my dependence on other with
motor vehicles to help me move my gear around. It has also come in quite
handy for other moving adventures and parade rides, etc. The designing
and building of this machine is documented at my website.
HPVOoO - hpv.tricolour.net
re-Cycles Bicycle Co-op - www.flora.org/re-cycles
Sheldon Brown (web cycling guru) - www.sheldonbrown.com/articles.html
Organic Engines - www.organicengines.com
Mike K., Philadelpia, PA
Philly/NJ area Bikes are my passion ..I do a 10 mile commute to the city. I use my trailers to move everything (up to 300 lbs).
G. Todd Katner: Chicago, Illinois
Web site - bicycle-diaries.blogspot.com
You all rock! I love the concept of a "uticyclist"! I've been riding for over ten years in Green Bay and now in Chicago. Recently, I've gotten involved with the Chicagoland Bike Federation, Chicago Critical Mass, and Ghost Bikes Chicago. But there's not a lot of organizing going on for folks who use bikes for everyday things every day rain, snow, shine, and wind. And there should be since I just lost out on a lucrative consulting contract here in Chicago because the San Diego-based company didn't think I could get around by bike%(
occupation - education consultant with institutions and non-profits here in the US and overseas
age - 44
types of utility cycling - consulting work esp. around Chicago and out as far as Dekalb.
road/traffic type - all surfaces except sidewalks and highways
how long you have been a commuter/utility cyclist - decade
most unusual cargo or destination - Jos in Plateau State, Nigeria as well as Mindanow, Philippines!
comments on equipment or technique - I love my beaterbike!
favorite quotes - 1st absurdist playwright and poet, Alfred Jarry (1873-1906), referred to his racing bike as "that which rolls"
favorite Web sites - visualresistance.org esp. the Mass and Ghost Bike URLs
The attached jpeg is from the 1 May 2006 Demo - Day Without an Immigrant, here in Chicago.
Tyler Bayn riding home from 4H Robotics Camp in Logan Utah
James Deane IV, Macon, Georgia
Hey guys, I love your site and I am glad there are people who stand up for us cyclists who choose it for more than a sport but for a way of life.
I am a 21 year old Bartender from Macon, GA. I have not had my bike for long. But recently I purchased an Ibex Corrida CT. This bike does everything I need plus more. It has great components at a great price. The only thing I really dont like is the saddle. It is quite uncomfortable. Maybe a Brooks in my future? I don't work too far away. But I get up everyday and hit the road with my bike. I ride to the store, around town and to work. Almost all my errands can/are done with my bike. It has become such a pleasure to ride. The pleasure comes from the workout, being able to slow down the pace of life that you take for granting when driving a car, and reducing the impact on the environment. I am starting to get over the physical barrier and just enjoy the ride. I have decided not to use panniers, so I use a sling backpack to carry all my stuff. I cant say much else. The word FUN sums up the experience.
I look forward to using the resources on your site to help fuel my passion for cycling in the future.
My name is Harry Brogan. I am currently residing in Lincoln, Nebraska and work in the computer field. I have NOT owned a car in about 15 years now. I do all my commuting on a bicycle. When the weather is bad (as it often IS in the winter here) I either dress warmer or take public transportation. I am now riding a Sun Tadpole with a BoB trailer. This is a photo of "The Rig". It has been dubbed with that name by the many people that I run into when I am out and about. I am STILL completely CAR FREE!!!! And I have been riding through some extreme weather this year ((16 below zero)) and have been dealing with this quite well..
Bay Village, OH
Occupation: IT Manager
17 year (2007) Bicycle Commuter (average 3 days per week any weather)
I commute 16 miles each way with relatively flat terrain on the Lake Erie shore. The best part is riding through Edgewater State Park and seeing the sun starting to rise behind the city (Cleveland).
I have two bikes that I commute on. My primary commuter is a 1985 Schwinn Passage. It is the quintessential sport touring bike and has survived all the abuses I have thrown at it since I bought it new for myself in 1986. The other is a 1974 Peugeot A-O8 10 speed that I bought at a yard sale for $5US. It is just the combination of 'reliable but beat up and old' that ensures it will still be outside when I return.
Over the last 17 years, the attitude of motorists toward cyclists in Cleveland has changed for the better. There are enough commuters now that we are not just an oddity and the gas price actually has most people I meet considering cycling a viable alternative to driving.
I cannot stress enough the need to be seen. From October until April, I ride to work in the dark and back home in the dark. It is imperitive to have a combination of passive (reflectors) and active (lights, flasers) lighting. I use an Illuminite vest, wheel reflectors, tires with reflective sidewalls, front and rear reflectors and clothes with reflective stripes or piping. I have the Blackburn Mars 2 high intensity LED taillight and a red Lightman Xenon strobe on the back of my rack. On the front I have both a 2W focused spotlight pointed at the road to see with and a 5W wide angle headlight directed at driver's eye level to be seen.
Support your local bike co-op www.ohiocitycycles.org
Thought you might like this picture of me riding over in Kuwait.
IT2 Gunterman, John
Grace Newhaven, Adelaide, Sth. Australia
G (or “Bicycle Fish”) was born 1951, now “down shifted” (retired). Never interested in car driving & still only learned to ride bike at age 28 (!) but ever since has been enthusiastic cyclist. G. uses this old fashioned bike for general urban transport, especially Market shopping and local area fruit collection ( for his solar food dryer !). Note that the bike has maximum cargo capacity, with fixed plastic boxes front and rear, as well as (home made) fixed panniers, including a central-mounting frame bag, which is good for business papers, wallet, camera etc. The rear panniers carry a permanent load of street map of the city, rain wear, spare shopping bags etc. G says, fixed panniers & boxes, though “open”, save a lot of energy at the destination, as the rider can just leave everything behind when he leaves the bike, confident that the panniers will be there when he gets back ( so far, nothing has been ripped off in quite a few years of use !). Even rain doesn’t matter a lot when you are carrying vegetables or bottles, and “vulnerable” cargoes like personal papers can easily be protected by using tough plastic “courier” bags that come in convenient A3 and A4 sizes. G. also carries a few metres of Utility Cord, and can tie larger loads onto the rear box when necessary, using the Trucker’s or Carrier’s Hitch [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trucker%27s_hitch]. Note that the bike has mudguards ( fenders) and dynamo lights, so it’s an all rounder “24/7” bike – ready for use any time, day or night, rain or shine.
The boxes are explained at : http://www.chariot.net.au/~gloria/plastic_crates.html .
G’s main website is : http://www.chariot.net.au/~gloria/
My name is Andrea, I'm a (new) nurse and I live in central MA. I use my bike for errands around town when the weather is decent; not ready to try riding in snow! I just got the bike last spring and have enjoyed replacing some car trips with bike trips. It's a great way to spend time outdoors, get some exercise, release extra energy (of which I often have quite a bit), save on gas and reduce pollution. A rather impressive list of reasons to take up utility cycling, I think! I also feel that as a nurse, I should strive to set a good example for my patients in terms of having a healthy lifestyle. I sometimes ride on pretty busy roads but do prefer to use quieter ones when possible or at least wider ones since it's just more pleasant that way. I'll get in the middle of the lane at intersections and other situations where it's necessary but because I'm not a very fast rider I ride mostly on the shoulder out of courtesy to other road users. I have been fortunate not to have any real problems with motorists in my travels. My "interesting" stories have mostly involved things like getting flat tires or trying to carry heavy grocery loads up the hills around here on a seatpost-mounted rack (you can see a typical load in the picture; sometimes they're bigger). Here's an equipment tip for those on a budget: To attach a crate to your rack for carrying things, you can tie it on using pieces cut from an old tire tube (like when you've had a flat that wasn't patchable). It actually stays in place quite securely.
New Orleans, LA
I am a 49 year old (2008) Safety Engineer for the largest hospital in New Orleans. I ride 18 miles round trip to work almost every day. I keep some clothes in my office to change into. My employer is open to employees using bikes for work, and since we are a hospital, have plenty of showers to change in. I am in charge of ordering bike racks and placing them around the hospital grounds.
The biking scene in New Orleans is getting better as road improvements since Katrina are including bike lanes and bike paths. I see more and more bikes on the road every day.
I ride a 2006 Trek 7300, which is a new replacement from my 1979 Trek 750 that drowned in the Katrina flood. It's a great bike for a commuter because it has shock absorbers. I carry clothes: underwear, socks, etc., in a backpack and just change when I get to my office.
John and Lisa
I was 35 at the time the photo was taken, within a month of my birthday 2007 (I was born July 1, 1972 :)). I'm from Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. My name is John A. Ardelli; the lady in the trailer with me is my first life partner, Lisa Brewer. She's physically handicapped with one paralyzed leg resulting from a combination of Spina Bifida and a botched back operation. The trailer in this picture allows me to take her from place to place (and she finds it fun to boot ;)).
I do not own a car; my bike is my transportation. As a result, I ride on every kind of road the Cape Breton Regional Municipality has to offer from quiet, two lane country roads to multi-lane heavy traffic corridors and major highways. I generally choose the shortest route between my intended destinations regardless of traffic since dealing with heavy traffic on Kings Road daily (my daily commute to work) has made me pretty comfortable in virtually any traffic conditions.
About the only kind of road I tend to avoid are DIRT roads since my bike (currently a Norco VFR-3 which will be heavily modified with a new drive train, Michelin Pro Race tires and drop handlebars in the spring; it's currently stock with studded tires) is generally optimized for operation on pavement. If my destination happens to BE on a dirt road, though (Lisa's parents live on a dirt road), I'm willing to ride on one if I must, but I'll always choose a paved route if one is available.
Some of my favorite web sites:
Memory Alpha: http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Portal:Main
Velo Cape Breton: http://www.velocapebreton.com
Framework Cycle and Fitness: http://www.frameworkfitness.com
Lisa Brewer's Blog: http://lisa-brewer.blogspot.com
A Happy Fuzzy Blog: http://happyfuzzyyarn.typepad.com
Cheshire Crossing: http://www.cheshirecrossing.net
My blog address: http://pedalingprince.blogspot.com