The trip started with the decision to take the Sammamish and Burke Gilman trails around the north end of Lake Washington on the way to get to King Street Station. This is clearly not the straight route to the train station, but it is the flattest of routes. I wanted to try out the Burley Travoy and also check timing overall since this is also my first trip from Redmond – new home – to downtown Seattle and King Street Station. I checked the google times on the trip and the most direct was 2 hours and 7 minutes, and this longer stretch was 2 hours and 23 minutes. With the trip being as long as it is to start with, another 16 minutes didn’t seem like a big deal.
Thus off I went, departing Redmond heading north, up through Woodinville, Bothell, down the west side of the lake into University District, through downtown, and finally to King Street Station.
Upon arriving at the station I had my first *in the field* attempt at breaking down and stowing the Burley Travoy in its included bag. You can see in video, with these two images, that it went quickly and smoothly. It’s a great product and really easy to use.
Boarding Coast Starlight Southbound
Once the ride was complete, Travoy packed, bike loaded on the train, I was ready to board myself.
After boarding, a tradition I have is whipping together a traditional “train coffee”. Yes, it’s commodity beans, yes it is indeed drip, no it is not premium stuff but anything on the train just has an air of leisure to it, thus “train coffee”.
At this point in the video I play an acoustic improv bit that I felt matched the passing scenario.
Train Power Brick: Ankor USB Power Strip Surge Protector!
8:48 – IMPORTANT! Getting an appropriate power strip for the train trip. (Anker USB Power Strip Surge Protector(300J), 5ft Extension Cord, Flat Plug, 331 PowerStrip with 6Outlets & 3USB-A Ports – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09…)
That’s it for this episode. Catch some of the earlier episodes and be sure to subscribe the channel on YouTube. Albeit, if you’re subscribed to this blog, I’ll be posting them here too just a little delayed along with more details about what’s up with each video.
UPDATE April 19th, 2023 – Latest on future meetups can be found here!
A discussion has begun on Bikey Discord about a cargo bike meet up on the east side. Bellevue was mentioned, since it’s somewhat central on the east side. Above I’ve numbered some prospective locations that might be good for a meet up of Cargo Crew.
If you’re interested in joining, leave a comment, or join the Discord and join #eastside-cyclists and we’ll get a location sorted out.
Looking forward to meetup #1, maybe we’ll carry some cargo around! (yeah yeah, such a dad pun)
Anyway, the suggested…
Bellevue Downtown Park.
Hidden Valley Park.
This is the intersection of the cross-Kirkland corridor trail and, whatever the one is that is called in Bellevue, where all the light rail vehicles are stored for the new extensions to Link.
The Spring Blvd west end bike landes @ 120th. It’s where several PBLs come together.
I’m not sure what exactly this area is, Spring Corridor or something, but there’s a brewing company and there seems to be some cool areas to meetup here.
and of course, whatever you might propose, I’m game.
After we finalize a spot, it’s just a matter of picking a time.
f you’re curious about my other rides, I’ve written up a few posts about them under my “All-City Pop Rocket” and “Space Horse Disc“. Today’s post is about the Riese & Müller Load 75 Electric Cargo Bike and the adventures we’ve gone on so far! If you’re curious about the exact specs, I’ll have those at the very end of this post.
Day 1 – Pick Up @ G & O
The first day involved pick up. I only mention this because it wasn’t merely a “go in store, buy bike, take home” type of scenario. With one of these bikes amidst these modern day supply challenges, combined with America’s inferior transportation systems and draconian take on anything but automobile travel, these bikes are kind of hard to get. So on day 1, at pick up, I’d already purchased and waited through shipping from Germany and the final assembly of the bike here in the USA. That’s where I’m happy to highly recommend G & O Family Cyclery in Seattle.
G & O Family Cyclery is a shop that focuses on bikes for people with families, like me, that want to have the extra advantage of a powered bicycle (or non-electric if you want to give that a go, but this is Seattle, land of hills and mountains!) or replace a car outright. In my case, I have no car to replace, so this is merely an addition that my son can ride in or I can just run errands and pick up metric tons of pizzas for game night! Whatever your reason for wanting an electric family focused bike, G & O Family Cyclery is your place in Seattle for the premium options.
Once I had made this decision and purchased the bike, it started it’s route from Darnstadt, Germany to Seattle, Washington, USA. This took well over a month and into the 6+ weeks time frame. To note, I also ordered a bike that was basically ready to be shipped too, another that is ordered custom and still has to be made ready to ship could easily take another 2-4 weeks or more depending on the build queue. Needless to say, if you want a high quality, durable, and capable e-bike of this caliber then you’ll likely have to wait a bit for it to arrive.
Once it arrived G & O assembled the bike and added various accoutrements to the bike. I didn’t get just the base bike, which I’ve included a picture of here for reference of what the “base” bike looks like.
The base cargo bike itself is extremely smooth riding, powerful, with one of the more (most?) powerful electric motors from a torque perspective on the market. Which, when you live in a place like I do that torque is crazy important to get up the hills! But I didn’t just purchase the basic bike because I wanted more flexibility. Some of the things I wanted to be able to do with this bike includes:
The ability to pick up food from town, about 1-2 miles away, in the heart of Redmond. Then return with that food while it’s still hot and fresh. Not a single soggy ass hamburger will be allowed, not a single dried out set of soup dumplings, not a single cold kebab!
The ability to safely carry a child with seat belts to keep em’ in the bay, with protection from the wind and rain, because again, I do live in Redmond, Washington where it rains about 8 months of the year!
The ability to load up for outdoor expeditions that trek at least 20+ miles out into the woods in one direction. Then be able to trek back from that location without needing a recharge!
The ability to get into and out of Seattle from way over here in the boonies of Redmond, without using any mode but the bike and without requiring a recharge. In addition, while in Seattle I’d need at least 10-20 miles worth of charge to run errands, pick up equipment, tools, or other things like 1U, 2U, or 4U Rack Servers since I’m a hardware nerd and I pick up things like that sometimes. For those not versed, that’s about 20-80 lbs (9-36 kilograms) of metal computer gear that is about 2-3 feet long (0.6-1 meter deep from the rack perspective) and ~2 foot wide (0.6 meters) and a few inches tall (7-8 cm).
The ability to carry a keg. Not that I’d likely be doing that because these days I generally just fill a growler if I’m going to carry a quantity of beer somewhere or buy a bunch of singles. Which, in that case this bike would also need to carry 24-36 bottles of beer or wine as smoothly as possible so they don’t break.
The ability to carry a propane tank for things like a grill. Ya know, cuz sometimes ya gotta cook veggies for the vegans AND you want to whip out some wicked steaks on the grill. Propane is pretty wicked efficient for that!
Carry 1-2 guitars and a 2×12″ Amp. Weighing in at a solid 100-140 lbs (45-64 kilograms).
That rounds out the tasks this bike needs to achieve for me on a daily basis, so when I ordered it I bumped up the gear, which Riese and Müller are of course more than prepared for! To ensure that this bike would be able to accomplish every single one of those goals I consulted with the G & O Cyclery Crew and they put together a build for me that included the following:
Low Side Walls & Child Cover, along with three child seats (albeit I’ve not got three kids, but YOLO!), footwell, and a luggage shelf for the kiddo.
This took care of several of the tasks, almost 90% of the need around food pick up, and carrying an amp and a guitar in a hardshell case. All those things were check, check, and checked!
There were a few more amenities needed to really round out things and ensure that not 90% of the need was fulfilled but 100% of the need. That included a rear carrier rack, additional lock chain and bag for the lock chain, multicharger, and upgrading form single battery to dual battery! With those additions every single one of those tasks is now met, and beyond day 1 I’ll be providing some coverage right here about the Load 75 adventures!
We come full circle now with full context of new bike pick up day! What did new bike pick up day at G & O Family Cyclery consist of? Well, Davey Oil (Jenna and the rest of the crew that had been helping me pick this out where there too! Hey y’all! 👋🏻) gave a run down of all the bike gear, battery system, engineering, and coverage of maintenance and check ups for the bike. He didn’t just spit it all out to me as an unknown quantity either like happens sometimes in bike shops, he discussed with me my own experience with bikes, took into account that I basically have a bike shop of gear to work on bikes with, albeit often don’t have time to. He also took into account after a little discussion, that I’ve been riding and been car-free – i.e. only used a bike for my primary transportation for over a decade – and then went over those topics.
Davey going over these things with me before going over all of these things allowed him to specifically cater what details I could really use, was able to answer specific questions I had, and really set me up for successful usage of the bike! The TLDR, I was impressed and I’m not usually impressed very often.
With that, day 1 was complete and I set out from G & O for that 17 mile ride back home to Redmond, Washington!
This is the first set of a few short posts I’m writing up detailing the bike gear and rides I currently use on an almost daily basis. This first, part gear and *part* bike, is the Surly Bill Trailer. I purchased this trailer a few years ago and have, over the years I’ve owned it done some of the following.
Moved from a location in Seattle to another location in Seattle. It took about 9 loads but it got done.
In Portland moved from downtown in the Ladd Apartment tower downtown to Precott & Interstate Avenue. Another moving adventure of about 4 loads.
Ikea pickups, ranging from a mere ~30 pounds to almost 260 pounds for the biggest load I picked up. Which, at Ikea, considering much of the stuff is pretty light, 260 pounds is a lot of furniture to assemble!
More MMRs (Midnight Myster Rides), other party rides during pedalpalooza, and related events than I can even count a this point.
About 15-20 different trips to and from the office with computer gear, music gear, and other related things like guitars and whatever as sometimes I want something at the office, and sometimes I want something back at home – or elsewhere.
All in all, it’s been a few tons of actual weight carried to and from all at a mere price of about ~$900 for the trailer, and it still had years, if not a solid decade or more of life to go!
300 lbs load
37 lbs weight
63″ x 24″ (length x width)
16″ load height
Note: I am not sponsored or paid by any of these related companies. I’m merely writing these up out of interest and a desire to log what I use for reference. For more information check out Surly’s link on the trailer.