I am always so amazed at how stable the Kona Ute is, even when loaded on one side with a heavy cargo. Yes, yo do have to be cautious, while idle, or when turning, or even when riding in less then perfect terrain. But otherwise, it is a breeze. This morning, I set out on a mission : getting 50 lbs of fresh McIntosh apples to do my annual batch of apple sauce, a batch that will usually last me well into the next summer. A 30 minute ride to my public market - Marché Jean-Talon - and apples apples everywhere. I wasn't in a mood to go around and bargain from various apple growers, I just picked a vendor that looked like they had great apples, at a stand that I could approach WITH bike, and proceeded on to get a good deal for 50 lbs of apples. They typically sell them in small quantities (5-10 pounds). When I said I needed a lot, he made a better price for 20 pounds, then an even better price for 40 pounds, and an even better price for 50 pounds, and shaved some more off given I was not taking any containers or bags, but that we were going to put the apples straight in the big orange bag of the Kona. Of course, showing up anywhere anytime with the Kona Ute, with or without the big orange fluo bag, means that I have to give the full low down on the bike : what is it, why do I have it, what do I do with it, where does it come from, where was it bought, are there more of those in Montreal, etc. Once the full lowdown is done, people are all smiles. I don't know what it is about this bike, it just makes people happy. It has an incredible effect on them, and it appeals tremendously to all, young and old, men and women, that there would be such a bike, that does such a thing, and that a woman like me - not an athlete, not a spring chicken - can actually ride, use, manoeuvre such a workhorse. So, the Kona loaded with 50 pounds of gorgeous McIntosh apples, and off I went. I had forgotten to bring the half bag, which would have unable me to split the load on each side, but I was confident I was going to be ok. Last May, I had carried a bag of 50 pounds of potting soil on one side. Now, the Kona has all the right gears to carry such a load (and much much more), but you still need to pedal your way, going up small inclines, etc. Not difficult. But steady steady effort of those adductor muscles (inner thighs). My ride home was close to blissful, given I came back the same way, by a bikepath that I can access just two blocks from the market, and that leads straight into my neighborhood, and where the whole ride is done while not having to deal with cars. It is the Canadian Pacific bike path, a path that runs along a railway, in the city, and that runs on overpasses, getting over and across most major big streets going south-north, avoiding all city headlights, stops, traffic, etc. Once in my neighborhood, it was a breeze to just cruise along home. Here are some pictures of the Kona with and without the bag, and it's bountyful and precious cargo. We like fresh and organic food, makes just a lot of sense to fetch such food without using two tons of steel and without burning fossil fuels, creating emissions, etc.
Specs : This is the 2009 edition of the Kona Ute. Does not come with : the Abus U lock, nor the Specialized Sonoma saddle, nor the stem post extension, nor the dust everywhere. ;-)
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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Thread: Go Cargo!