Seems that in the “Gas and Food Prices” post, one of the key points was transportation and how to move around or go to the city, carry whatever needs to be carried or purchased and doing so spending a minimum amount of money, time and energy.
Here are a couple comments I’d like to address;
Anonymous said…Even in cities and close packed towns you can only do so much with a bike or scooter.You can’t take home a lot of groceries on a bike or scooter. Can’t make stops at 3-4 stores to pick this & that up, I don’t see how you’re going to take a child or two to school or day care…and forget about it in the winter.
Don’t bet the farm on a bike or scooter. Without a car American life changes dramatically!
Exactly, the point being it WILL change dramatically if there’s no other choice left. Your points are correct, of course you can carry lots of stuff and people in a big car, and off course we’d all love to drive around a big fancy pickup truck, or even an old one. But what if you can’t afford it anymore? What if you can’t even afford the price to fuel it? That’s the point of this discussion, we already know that its nicer to carry a hundred pound of goods and several people in your car, have AC during summer, but at some point there will be people that simply wont be able to do so, that’s the issue some people may eventually have to deal with, and they will if they don’t have any other option.
Darryll Anderson said…back when scooters or under 100cc motorcycles cost $300 new and $50 used (1970′s), they were great…now spending $1000 for a 20 year old junker to $13,000 for a vespa is kinda pointless. my car gets 36mpg and new it was only $13k (toyota yaris) new. i see them for $3000 used with 50k miles and a toyota is just getting going at 50k miles….!unless you get a small motobike for cheap/free..i dont see the point…?
also…if you want a real laugh, look at the prices for electric bicycles…LOL!
March 29, 2011 11:54 AM
Scooters, mopeds and such only make sense when affordable. Around here you do see a good amount of mopeds but its not crazy as in Asian countries.
People that just can’t afford any better mostly stick to these two, and there may be something to be learned about these typical 3rd world alternatives.
1) Horse and cart. Its usually the choice of the extreme poor. The poor horses are sometimes kept in awful conditions, only to die soon and be replaced by another one, often stolen. You see these horses pulling carts full of paper and cardboard, sometimes picking glass, metal, anything they can sell, therefore their slang name “botelleros” (something like bottle scavengers) The carts are made from anything, from wood, to metal, I’ve even seen large fridges being used. They often include a scavenged car axis for wheels.
2) The bicycle is a classic for the poor around here. Its used so much that trains have special wagons for people with bikes so they can hook them up and stand next to them. And yes, I’ve seen parents take one, even two kids to school on a bike, one seated on the knees, the other seated in the back structure intended to hold a small package. In spite of this, the bicycle, while relatively fast and practical, it still has a very limited cargo capability. I’ve done the 7 lakes trail in Patagonia with my bike and used side saddles. In spite of this I see its not practical for when you need to carry grocery bags and such.
Still, there’s an alternative that I’ve seen a lot here and mentioned it before in the blog because I really like the idea. I’ve seen it used a good amount, people carrying considerable loads, including mowing machines and more. The good old 3-wheel bicycle. Locally its often custom made, but it can be bought directly from some bicycle manufacturers as well.
Schwinn Meridian Adult 26-Inch 3-Wheel Bike (Blue)
The advantages? A lot more cargo space. The ability to carry heavy stuff, not only more volume. The tricycle is much more stable too. Some of the comments I read on Amazon are by people that have some sort of injury, age or disability, and can’t move around a bicycle or have trouble keeping balance, but can handle one of these 3 wheelers all right.
Its really isn’t a bad idea for short distances. Yes, I understand you cant carry half a ton of stuff like with a pickup. That’s where you have to compensate for the limitation with creativity and just cope with it. Since you’re also working out, it could be part of a daily or 3 time a week routine, getting groceries with it or whatever, compensating for the lack of space with more trips combined with the exercise. Anyway, just think its and interesting concept and see it used here often enough.
Take care folks and see you around.