21 September, 2008

It's a big step to take

Dee and I have been looking at S.U.B.'s this week- that's Sports Utility Bicycles for those in the dark (as I was until just the other day). The Big Dummy from Surly and the Kona Ute are the two models we have looked at. Dee has been intrigued by the Big Dummy since learning of its existance and versatility through Largefellaonabike's blog .

Why? I hear you ask- well I don't actually hear you asking- somebody has to read this in order to formulate the questions. So I don't actually hear you asking why but I'm sure that anybody who does read this would say, "Why?".

Well, it's the possibility of going carless in our household. Really, how many times do we actually need to use the car?

Holidays? -maybe, but only a couple of times a year so why not rent a vehicle on those occasions. I thought I might need it to chauffeur visiting relatives around when they come to visit- but that happens just slightly more frequently than Halley's Comet ........on my side of the family that is- my siblings have decided (apparently) that there are no airplanes that fly to the Antipodes- they only go the other way making it easy for me to return to the old country on a frequent basis. Dee's sister has made her way here from Nova Scotia 4 times I think.

Going to work?- well both Dee and I have reasonably good end-of-ride facilities and good bikeways and/or roads with designated bike lanes to get there.

Social events?- taxis are relatively reasonably priced.

Weather?- well it never snows here, although the "wet season" can be a bit on the damp side when the monsoonal rains set in.

So why do we need a car? We're having a serious look at this.....by and large the car sits under the house gathering dust and costing us money for registration, insurance and regular servicing. So we're looking at an S.U.B. And these things are versatile, the Big Dummy can be loaded up with an unbelievable amount of stuff with its panniers and racks (more than the Kona) and is supposed to be very rideable across all types of roads and trails.

Last week, friends of ours told us there was a Big Dummy at one of the local bike shops- so on Saturday after our coffee ride, we headed in to have a look. It wasn't a BD but a Kona Ute; same basic design and philosophy but not as well kitted out as the BD. I spent most of today looking at Surly specs on line and I'm pretty sure we can make this work.

It's a big step and I need a bit more time to really weigh up the consequences/options/costs but I'm starting to lean toward an S.U.B.- it will go well with the new solar hot water system!!

Anyhow, ride safely



Anonymous said...

Keep doing comparisons between the Kona and the Surly. I ride a Big Dummy and would never go back (or sideways) to another brand any time soon. The Dummy is everything I want in a car replacement, and built like a tank. AND, it looks like Xtracycle isn't slowing down anytime soon when it comes to building new, great stuff for their platform (to which the Big Dummy subscribes, as you've already seen.)

Here's my Flickr set:

f you have questions, email me at djmenges (--at--) columbus.rr.com.

Dee said...

Fantastic photos from dylster. The big dummy is incredibly beautiful. People who ride them really seem to love them. If we give up the car getting to 6:30am race registrations out at Harvey’s Range will really suck :| . So we may have to keep the car because we cycle… disturbing.