Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ernest & DIY Cargo Trailer

Yesterday, Bikeyface posted yet-another awesome piece, this one about how bikes simplify your life in the midst of technology and how bike commuting lends itself to real face-to-face contact with all sorts of people.

I've written before about the people whom I meet while bicycling. There are one-time chance encounters and there are people we see daily whom we may have missed when driving. We certainly would have not interacted and chatted with them like we do now.

This spring I have been wondering about Ms. Essie. She lives/d in an apartment building on the corner of a busy-ish intersection where I stop often to wait out the red light. Ms. Essie and I would  greet each other as she sat outside on a folding chair watching the happenings on the street. I saw Ms. Essie for multiple years. She would often say something kind about my boys when they were out riding with me and ask after them when they were not.  These past months when I pass her building now, without her chair and her presence out front, I wonder if she moved or perhaps she's experienced a health issue that's kept her inside....

This morning, I was feeling a bit down. I decided to stop at my favorite coffee place for an iced latte-- so excited to have my mounted coffee ring back on my handlebars! Just when I was unlocking my Yuba Boda Boda, this fellow rode by and suddenly stopped to ask about my bicycle.

We ended up bonding over our bikes and cargo-carrying capabilities. His name is Ernest and he took a kid's bike trailer and turned it into a cargo trailer using heavy-duty plastic bins. He keeps his tools in the bins and anything else he needs throughout the day. He also mounted slim bags, including a neoprene laptop case to the sides of the bins so he can stash smaller stuff more securely.

He loved my Boda Boda and thought that not only could I carry a kid on the back tail but stick one up front in the big Bread Basket. He suggested that I paint my helmet apple green to match my bike.  I shared that my sons would love his Jolly Roger flag.  

After asking permission to take his photo, we shook hands and headed off our separate ways.  I pedaled through downtown feeling far lighter than when I started my commute this morning. An iced latte and a chance encounter making my legs pedal with a bit more zing and my mood lifted.

2 comments:

Andrea said...

Bicycle diplomacy...love it. What barriers are cars our, and we don't even know it.

Daniel bike advocate said...

Great example of a cargo trailer and modification! I have a kid's trailer/stroller like this one and am planning to buy one more built for hauling laundry and groceries than this toddler-carrier for a cyclist with no kids!

This gives me some ideas! We may just have a build-your-own/modify a bicycle cart session with the bike clinic!