Monday, November 14, 2016


Loaded up with clothes to donate to Goodwill
Saturday was the second time I was able to use the Big Dummy in a loaded capacity. Basically it was the same mission as before, a big ol' load of clothing we didn't need anymore that I carted down to Goodwill. This time I took along my son, Jacob, and he got to ride his new to him fat bike.

Once everything was cinched down the ride was pretty easily done. I keep coming back to my previous XtraCycle/Schwinn mountain bike experiences. The Big Dummy just blows me away with how well it rides loaded down. It handles weight easily with no hint of twist or lateral instability at all. The disc brakes are perfect for the job, obviously, so no comparison at all there.

I pumped up the tires more this time though and ran 35psi rear and about 33psi front. That seemed to be perfect. The bike was a bit of a chore to get moving initially, but all that momentum could be utilized to keep the rig moving along with little extra effort if you understand how to conserve momentum. I guess I must understand that, since I never broke a sweat riding to the Goodwill drop off, despite having to climb some hills at an interminably slow speed due to my son's lack of climbing skills.

Rest stop to feed the bonking boy.
I think he was lacking in the horsepower department due to his underestimating me as I warned him that morning about eating enough for breakfast. He didn't heed my advice and was paying the price. I decided to pull into a convenience store along the way and resupply him with something to eat. It was the right thing to do as he came alive not long afterward.

So, the clothes got dumped off and we made it back home okay. The Big Dummy will be getting more calls in the future for hauling duties, but I did do one thing on the ride Saturday that was a bit of an eye-opener.

There is a dike along the Black Hawk Creek that is pretty steep. In fact, it is the dike I have gone sledding with my son on several times in the past. Anyway, I set the crankset to "granny" and climbed right up it without spinning out the rear wheel, which I was not going to be surprised by if it did happen. Then I pointed the sled downhill and it tracked well, but for a slight tendency for the rear wheel to want to lock up. Not surprising there since I was unloaded and the rear wheel is way behind the rider.  So, this bike can do mountain biking! Well, if it weren't for the fact that you pretty much have to crawl up and over any obstacles in your way. You are not going to launch the front end up and over stuff with this rig, especially if it is loaded down.

I'm pretty stoked to have gotten this bicycle now and I think it will become a very useful tool in the stable going forward. I look forward to more "loaded" adventures in the near future!


Exhausted_Auk said...

Same experience here. The Dummy is a pretty stable machine anyway, but handles the best when it is loaded. I have found that up to 100# of kids on the back works the best. :-)

Cory said...

"I think he was lacking in the horsepower department due to his underestimating me"

BWAAHAAAHAAA......Don't ya just love it! My son, Mr athlete, thinks I am some old man who just drinks beer every night and is, well, basically old! He's a track star with an aspiring small college career ahead of him and he told me last spring that since he could run a 3 mile XC race he could EASILY ride the 35 miles I rode that afternoon on gravel. I just looked at him and laughed. Well I got him to ride one leg of RAGBRAI with me this year on my Soma mountain bike with street treads and while I will say he did it on the toughest leg of the trip, he learned really fast how bicycling isn't easier than a brisk 3 mile run. Got to love kids and their arrogance Ted!