Custom Cargo and Delivering Hops – A Utility Cycling Roundup

This is the kickoff off roundup post that I’m experimenting with. The plan is that each week I’ll gather interesting stories from the last month or so within one of the 5 cycling niches we cover, Commute by Bike, Family Cycling, Bikepacking, Road Touring or Utility Cycling.

I’ll be keeping notes of interesting stories that I come across. And then I’ll be diving in deep looking under the rocks for less glamorous, but still juicy tidbits. And then I’ll stir it up, saute in some high heat and serve it on a platter for you to enjoy.

So without further ado, I’m kicking this off with a look back at recent utility cycling news.

To kick things off, there was actually quite an moment in the world of utility cycling. The great, wise and infinitely sarcastic BikeSnob did a definitive piece on Utility Cycling, both mocking it and propping it up in the pantheon of cycling niches.

The story was published by Outside Magazine on July 13, 2017, The Importance of Utility Cycling: FAQ

Because why are you even riding if you can’t haul your family, your dog, your friend’s dog, and groceries for the next year on a bike?

Now that I’ve mentioned Bike Snob, I’ve got to follow with this coverage on a new Italian artisanal cargo bicycle manufacturer, REcycle.

This story was published by Design Boom on Aug 22, 2017,  italian workshop REcycle transforms old bike frames into custom cargo bicycles

REcycle is an italian artisanal workshop that since september 2016 is producing cargo bicycles recycling old mountain bike frames. each bicycle is unique, bringing together the story of the recycled bike frame and a new CNC-machined front loading, designed with only three bent tubes to reduce welding and improve robustness.

With an artisinal, Italian, custom cargo bicycle, what would could possibly be the most epicly hipsteriffic thing to do with it?  If the answer wasn’t clear to you already, this story will make it blazingly clear, delivering hops.

This story was published by Bicycle Times on August 19, 2017, Feeling Fresh: Delivering hops by bike

About 15 riders, including nine or 10 aboard Metrofiets cargo bikes, departed Portland under looming rain clouds. By the time we broke free from the urban gridlock to traverse the rolling hills of the Willamette Valley, the skies had cleared like the head on a pilsner.

Staying focused on our cargo bike theme here, its a good time to mention this interesting new category defining bicycle by Tern, the GSD.  What is this new category that they are defining?  None other than compact, utility, electric. aka short-ute-watt.

Bike Rumor published this story on August 24, 2017,  New Tern GSD compact utility e-bike handles fully loaded, compact lifestyles

But enough with the cargo bike already and lets get onto this less glamorous, more contemplative piece on the life of a bicycle courier.

This was published by on August 25, 2017, What it’s like to be a bicycle courier

It’s a really lonely job, “it’s isolated,” says Aaron Wilkins who has worked as a courier for four years. “There are times when you’re in a dark corner of London and you’re cold, hungry, thirsty you name it. You could’ve fallen off your bike earlier in the day, it can be scary.”

Finally to wrap things up and bring it all back home, here is a story about bicycle police being utilized in response to gas shortages following Hurricane Harvey.

This story was published by KXAN on Septemeber 3, 2017, Short-term gas shortage shows need for bicycle cops in small towns

Helm says the bicycles are particularly helpful in situations the city has seen lately with gas stations running out of fuel.  “I always thought just in case a situation of fuel issues and a fast response time to some of the hard to get spots in downtown. Some said it was not needed. Well the last few days it has been a blessing.”

Do you know of any noteworthy, interesting utility cycling stories that we missed from the last month or so?  Please do share them in the comments below.

Or if you have any recent personal utility cycling adventures to share we’d love to hear about those as well.

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