Here we have a growing list that our friend William Robinson is putting together of modifications he is making to his Bike Friday Haul-a-Day cargo E-Bike. It’s like have an Ikea Bike because it’s so modular.
“Love the assist. My 79-year-old knees and other joints value the boost when scampering across an intersection. I weigh 172 lbs. Bike weight of the bike with battery, motor, lock. whoopee deux and front basket is 76 lbs. It is almost evenly divided, front to rear. With grand-toddler on the back, the assist is an invaluable fatigue eliminator…”
“Child seat by Hamax, a good alternative to Yepp. My 17-month-old grand daughter has her helmet; we first need warmer weather. I will add felt to the inner surfaces of the leg shields. That will prevent chafing the paint on the pipes.”
Traveling for the first time with bikes in tow, if I am being honest, is scary…beyond scary.First I was scared to death that I would have a million issues that I would not easily be able to fix, either due to inexperience or having my whole toolkit among other things.I had never folded a cargo bike, taken one apart(cargo bikes don’t normally come apart) let alone dreaming that it might actually fit into a travel bag.With this fear, (and great encouragement from Alan Scholz himself) I jumped in with both feet.
Full disclosure, I am the new Marketing “Guru” at Bike Friday and knew that I would have to bring bikes on this pre-planned trip so I was best able to relate to all of you fine folks reading this.With that let the story move begin…
So when you have a pick of best bikes we make sitting in front of you, that are easy to fold and pack in a bag, being the Papa that I am I really wanted to bring a Haul-A-Day.Mine is set-up with the bottle battery so traveling with my bike was
out of the question. I just assumed no Haul-A-Day on my holiday, until Alan talked me into.Thankfully we had a few stock Haul-A-Day’s here at the factory ready to go(though I did have to add a few family-friendly options to make it easier for family travel).
Taco-Tuesday with a Haul-A-Day
I had no idea how I was going to get this large bike into the bag I bought but the measurements worked out that it “should” work and thanks to so many of you sharing so much of your travel wisdom via blogs and forums I was able to get pool-noodles with a side of patience.
Off we go for a fun family trip which started in Germany to see all the family on my wife’s side and then up to Norway to see all of my family.
I should tell everyone that this was our main focus on this trip, was to see family and riding was really the bonus(we also have a 7-year-old…bike-focused trips are coming soon).It cost me $100 to take an extra bag which had the Haul-A-Day in it but it was a price worth paying(don’t forget to “demand” fragile stickers).
Zoom forward to flying, taking a train out of the Frankfurt airport(which by the way that is the most amazingly great thing about flying into Frankfurt, how easy it is to get around once you are there), then off to my in-laws house to figure out how to put these bikes back together and…the scary part…did they make it in one piece?Great news…better than great and the best part is that the Haul-A-Day took me about 10 minutes to get it back together and on the road while the pakIT took about 3.
Now the real adventure ensues…well kinda.Reality is, again, this was a family trip so we had tons of family events going on while we were there so riding was the bonus but boy was it a bonus.I have been to Germany around 20 times in the last 20 years(missed a few years but traveled back twice a few times)and never had a bike along and have always relied on people to get around.Having a bike is life-changing because if I felt the need I could just jump on my bike and ride…something we all take for granted yet here I was with the means to just go and go we did.My boy jumped on the back and away we went.
Ready to ride!
Our little area in Germany is the Saarland, which is filled with history, some of the oldest in Europe with towns like Trier, Saarbrucken, and St.Wendel, is our little spot where we hang our hats.To be able to just jump on the bike and explore does things that you could never get in a car.You see more, smell more, enjoy more all because the pace of life has slowed to a manageable speed which allows you to enjoy the journey…it is a vacation after all.We had a few days(and a little rain) and then it was time to repack the bikes for the next leg of our journey.
Happy to report that it did NOT take an hour to repack Red and she went back into the bag with ease.The pakIT yet again was far easier to pack but the Haul-A-Day was maybe 20 minutes after all was said and done.Packed and ready it was time to explore the land of my ancestors and see how the Haul-A-Day performed as a farm bike.One thing I love about our bikes is the wheel size, easy to climb and actually really comfortable as a gravel grinder.We were staying in the most picturesque setting one could ever dream of which made for the perfect backdrop for our adventures on two wheels.The pakIT was even a champ for gravel grinding around the farm and the kids loved it.
Imagine yourself grinding up some back road then cresting that hill which then opens to mountains for climbing and lakes for swimming…we even found cute little frogs.
Every good trip has to end at some point and ours was nearing its end and it was time for Red to get adopted by another family, and bonus Red got reunited with one of its very own family members back in Oslo.Our friend bought his first Haul-A-Day 3 years ago and his wife wanted her own so we knew it was going to a good home.
New Bike Day!
We spent some time geeking out about the bike and all the little changes that have come as we put these bikes out on the road and received feedback from so many of our users(being a small manufacturer it’s not hard to make a rolling change so yes, through the years we have listened to you all and made adjustments as needed and for this we thank you).It was fun, me being the “new guy” at Bike Friday, to hear about all the fun things that have been done on our bikes first-hand…we are rich with stories of great adventures and even the greatness of day-to-day life on a travel bike because of you all.Goodbye Red…enjoy your journey as we pack for our next leg in adventures back to Germany.
Packed and ready it’s time to get back to our (second) home and a few more adventures on two wheels.Fun was had and simple joys were found because we had the freedom to go, explore and find what we could find.One of the biggest joys of traveling by bike is that you can do just that…explore.Something we never do when we are home no matter how amazing our “backyard” is, we almost never take the time to look at the details and take it all in.This was maybe the biggest lessons learned for me on this trip.I look forward to the next adventure and now have adjusted my list a bit as I have some ideas on where to go next.We will still make our yearly pilgrimage home but now it’s time to explore other places on the globe…which should we do first?Australia is near the top of the list…what say you world travelers?
If you have any questions about this trip please feel free to ask and I hope I can be of assistance if you plan to travel to some of these same areas.
Our friend Matthew has been working on a little project with his creation called Bicimakina for many moons and its tale we set before you about a man on a mission. A life free from flats, no longer having the need for emergency repairs. Find his story below and may your journeys take you to faraway lands, where the streets are littered with smiling faces rolling on two wheels for miles of smiles.
Enter the mind of Bicimakina solutions for changing the world:
For a long time, I had terrible tires, something cheap, I don’t remember. I kept meaning to buy new ones, but I’d forget until I inevitably chanced upon some broken glass.
I could never risk running over the glass, it was a guaranteed flat. So the choice was always either to swerve into traffic or screech to a halt. It was a frequent and frustrating occurrence. Of course, instead of just getting some sturdier tires I concocted the most stupidly elaborate solution possible: put a broom on the front of the bike.
Thankfully, as I had a Haul-a-Day, I could easily build an attachment for a deployable push broom. All I had to do was design it around the convenient headtube mounts, used for the front rack + plate. So, during quiet hours in the shop, I tinkered away until I had a working prototype.
The idea was good in theory: an angled broom, like a snow plow, would push all of the glass off to the curb. Better bike lanes for all. There was only one problem. It doesn’t work. Like at all. Unless you’re sweeping bouncy balls or getting geese out of your way, it’s pretty useless. The glass just rattles around under the bristles and then pops out of the back and you run over it anyway. It’s not even any good for getting leaves or debris out of the lane.
So this is where we call on all our BFF’s(Bike Friday Friends) and encourage you to get involved, help our friend Matthew at Bicimakina bring this solution to life in a truly functional way. Makers of the world unite…with many minds we can change the world one bike at a time. Can you help us with this project? Support our friend and fellow maker who wants to ensure flats are a thing of the past and smiles for miles are a thing of the future. Enjoy the video below and then share with us your ideas…how would you take a Bike Friday Haul-A-Day and adapt a broom to it for clearing the bike paths as needed? Show us your stuff!
Like Manna from heaven the next dimension of Bike Friday bikes has finally hit the ground and hit the ground with rocket boosters. Going E-Assist has been life-changing for our test crew and loyal customers who were the early adopters of this technology so this is a big moment for us here at Bike Friday.
The Haul-A-Day is no longer just a cargo bike…it is so much more.
When on your commute to work, have you ever wished you could cut a few minutes off your time or climbing that hill wishing you could keep pace with the guy in biking shorts, but the full load of groceries keeps holding you back or you are a bike family but need to haul a load of 2X4’s from the hardware store? Well guess what, it’s possible. It’s even more than possible due to E-Assist.
Our team here has worked hard, invested countless hours not only building but also testing system after system, all to ensure we offer the same quality E-Bike as we do classic bike. We are able to officially replace your daily driver vehicle without skipping a beat. No joke…we are there and we are now able to work together and reach the goal of less cars on the road, less emissions, less carbon footprint, less sedentary life and a better world for future generations.
It’s time to spread your wings and fly down the bike trails.
This is huge…HUGE! We are excited to bring you along for the ride and know that together we are making a difference. Keep following our journey and as you join the movement we hope you share you stories with us as well.
Huge chunks of weathered gray rock jut skyward from the gentle tumbling waters of Fall Creek as I roll over the bridge, about to disappear under a thicker canopy of trees as the scenery changes ever so subtly. Those rocks are more submerged during the wetter months, and show why the creek makes a dramatic turn at this very spot.
Big Fall Creek Road narrows at this point where I could call it a day and roll into Cascara State Park to set up camp along the reservoir that reflects the rather dry winter we endured. We camped there 10 years ago, one of our last stops before driving into Eugene permanently to make it our home. I know there are vacancies, which make it tempting.
The feeling of “Been There, Done That” triumphs over any nostalgia rippling in my head. That was then, this is now.
Instead of our popup camper and the SUV filled with gear and my girls, I’m gliding across the bridge effortlessly on a Bike Friday Haul-a-Day cargo bike loaded down to get me through a night of camping.
Up the road a number of small campgrounds dot the edges of Fall Creek, and my heart is set on the solitude they offer. The softening of the afternoon light reminds me that, this being Friday, camping sites get snatched up in a hurry. This could be a lot of extra pedaling for naught.
Yet I’m in no hurry. The images of Fall Creek that pop in and out of view behind the lush green forest calm me. They also make me wonder why this has taken so long.
The last time I packed up camping gear on a bike and headed out with my buddy Jack, we were just hitting high school back in Wisconsin and didn’t have driver’s licenses to accommodate such desires. We had to load up backpacks with our gear, and wobble our way out to Eagle.
I’m thinking back to that because it is exactly why our cargo bike has been so popular. There are a lot of people out there who want to leave their cars behind. A cargo bike offers that type of freedom.
That type of freedom delivers peace on a number of levels. That’s the overwhelming feel on this day. What, Me Worry?
More than anything, this is my personal quest to know the Haul-a-Day better so I can do my job better. That’s just the reason for this adventure. The satisfaction is an added, pleasant bonus.
I’ve got the Haul-a-Day packed up with about 50 pounds of gear which, if you attempt to pick up the bike, feels like quite a significant load. I’m not the biggest dude on the block, running about 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, so having the Haul-a-Day itself start out at 33 pounds is a true benefit.
Having tested my strapping skills to make sure my cargo stays put and felt the weight of the full-loaded bike, the time had come to see how challenging this effort might be. With a solid push on the pedal, the Haul-a-Day responded quickly with a straight launch. No wobbling left and right to get it under control. It zipped forward, like an arrow.
As I’ve done more than few times in my five years of personally testing Bike Friday gear, I find myself shaking my head thinking, “Can it really be this easy?”
Three hours later, as I leave Cascara behind and continue into the Oregon wilderness, I know the answer is a resounding yes.
Although I tend to spend most of my riding these days on bike paths, trails and protected lanes, this venture brought me back to the reality of riding along a busy road with nary much of a shoulder. The feeling of complete control of the Haul-a-Day eased my mind when a logging truck would zoom past.
The gearing on this Haul-a-Day (it’s the same Haul-a-Day that Adam Newman used for his review inBicycle Times) has 24 speeds and more than enough on each end for me. The two-mile climb from the dam wasn’t too steep, instead long and steady. I handled it with no problem.
As I roll into Broken Bowl campground and see open spots, I think that I should be more tired than I am. I’m lugging around an extra load, yet I could probably continue on if I had to. I see one spot still available on the creek, and realize I don’t need to go any farther. This will do just fine.
Jeff Linder on his Bike Friday Haul-a-Day Cargo Bike with BionX electric pedal assist
By Jeff Linder
Bike Friday Angel Investor
I really don’t know where to begin …
The new Bike Friday Haul-a-Day has so captured my imagination, making it difficult to prioritize the long list of things I truly like about this bike.
The global view is that this bike has the potential of freeing the up the younger families from dependence on the second car. At least that’s the way it presents itself to me.
A car can be, and most frequently is an essential tool in today’s family experience but just as commonly the use case for the second car is not quite so compelling and if you can be offered an alternative that can help you do those collateral essentials then hey, fantastic. AND if you can make it fun too — holy Toledo, Batman, what a score.
I’ve been riding the Haul-a-Day now for a few months and have had just the best time. It’s so versatile and delightful and it brings a smile to my face every time.
My Haul-a-Day has the BionX electric assist installed and I’m nothing short of a convert. Full disclosure — I’m the kind of guy who likes to ride with the assist at full tilt-boogie, allowing me to cruise at 20-plus mph in virtually all conditions that include some pretty significant hills.
I really enjoy loading up with the Costco goods or packages from local retail outlets to the bewilderment of many onlookers. I’m quite certain that I’m often pushing 75-100 pounds worth of bike and cargo, and have passed my local litmus test of getting up my 22-degree driveway, which is borderline insanity.
This is easily one of the best things to ever come out of the skunk works at Bike Friday and I’m pleased and honored to have one of the first production bikes to test and enjoy. Here are a couple of pictures of yours truly and the Haul-a-Day in action.
A Bike Friday Haul-a-Day Cargo Bike with BionX Electric Assist loaded with supplies from Costco.
A Bike Friday Haul-a-Day Cargo Bike loaded down with Propane tanks.
Bike Friday owner Erica Stevenson spent three weeks touring Ireland on her Pocket Llama, and she shares her tales.
By Erica Stevenson
The title of this journal was inspired by a comment from a man on my last long bike tour. He called out: “Y’all know over here, you can’t be peddling your ass around here!” – or something like that.
Anyway, our interactions with the local people in each town were the funniest and most memorable experiences of the trip. Meeting some good Irish people (and especially seeing my family) is what has encouraged me to ride my bicycle around this beautiful little island.
So, this is my first solo bike tour and sort of my first solo vacation, though I’ve traveled on my own quite a bit for new jobs.
In the last year, everywhere I’ve traveled by car has just made me think: “Hmmm, this would be so cool on a bicycle.” The speed of biking is a great way to see local life as it is and still actually go places.
Since moving back to the Bay Area, I’ve been thinking about what it would be like to tour just about everywhere in the world, but Ireland seems like the next logical place to go … I can visit family, it’s somewhat familiar, English, island (can’t get too lost!!) — perfect for a three-week time frame and my first solo bike tour. I’d love to have longer to tour, but I also have a rather cool job, so a crazy chunk-of-year(s) tour will have to wait.
About five months ago I booked a flight and started telling people, I’m going to Ireland!!, and that got the ball rolling.
The bike: I bought a folding bike a couple of months ago through a local Bike Friday dealer, Chain Reaction Bicycles in Redwood City, with the dream of easily flying and riding my own bike in far flung places.
I researched these cute little bikes to death and I was able to pretty much custom choose all of my components (without having the worry or cost of them not working out, which was nice!)
I chose dropbars, bar-end shifters, V-brakes, and I upgraded from their standard headset, seat post, and chain. I’ve put a few hundred miles on my Pocket Llama over the summer and he is AMAZING (and adorable).
Except for being a bit unsure when confronted with rocks, he feels very much like my full sized bikes, nimbly climbs up the steepest of hills, and is quite confident when loaded down.
The Haul-a-Day is Bike Friday’s addition to the growing cargo bike market. Bike Friday is an Oregon-based bike building company who use words like local, organic, community, and handcraft to describe what they do. They specialize in custom folding and travel bikes, which means the Haul-a-Day has many of the inventive conveniences of those types of bikes and can be customized to your desire.
The Haul-a-Day is a mid-tail cargo bike so it has a smaller footprint but can still carry huge loads without being ‘tippy’ thanks to the 20” wheels giving it a low center of gravity. It adjusts to fit riders 4-foot to 6-foot-4 (1.2-1.9 m) and has a low step-over height which is immensely helpful when hopping on and off with kids aboard. Disc brakes front and back, a stabilizing two-leg kickstand, huge front basket and a plate-deck rear rack round out the specs, while you’ve got the choice of 8 or 24 speeds. The Haul-a-Day is light and agile and rides like a real bike while doing 10x the work. One can customize everything from the rear rack, the front basket, saddlebags, colour, and kid-attachments – Bike Friday loves to work with their customers to create the best bike for your lifestyle.
TELL YOUR FRIENDS You know that classic scene from E.T. that every cyclist loves to reference? Elliot on his bicycle flying through the sky, red hoodie up, E.T. tucked in the front basket. I feel like Elliot in that scene when I ride the Haul-a-Day. Maybe it’s the big basket in the front, or the upright riding position, or the fun, red colour of this model. It just feels like flying on this beautiful bicycle. I get compliments on it ALL the time, and the girls I nanny used to always ask why people were staring & waving at them all the time. I’ve had to explain that we just look so cool & unique, so that’s why all the attention!
I find the basket and 2 huge saddle bags handle all my loads perfectly. The basket is so solidly attached to the bike frame itself – and the wheel turns freely below it – which allows the bike to turn smoothly even in tight places. I don’t think I could handle the loads I do without such a low step-through and the small wheels. This makes it super sturdy and stable when loaded to the brim with cargo or kids or both! I am a small person and manage the bike just fine; I’ve even read an older child could use this cargo bike, which I believe is the only one on the market able to adjust for such a wide variety of people. Great disc brakes ensure I can stop no matter what and the SRAM dual drive 24-speed lets me gear down if I get stopped suddenly and really tackle those hills with ease.
WISH LIST There isn’t much I would change on this bike, it’s pretty darn awesome as is. But hey, we may as well try to get it perfect. So here’s what I’d like to see:
An option between the open-back hoop and the full hoop-la. Kids want independence when getting on & off but need the security to not fall off the back. Maybe a gate would help?
Stronger internal front shifter. I ride bikes hard it seems and needed to get it readjusted twice over six months.
More high gears for speed! I often topped out when riding on my own.
Built-in lights. When I attached a light on the back where it could be seen while carrying kids meant it got stepped on while the kids got on and off. Built-in lights are ideal for commuting bicycles!
SUMMARY A light, easy and fun mid-tail cargo bike. Having tried a lot of other load-hauling contraptions, getting on the Haul-a-Day was a pure delight! To not feel like the bike is out of your control or struggle much on any sort of incline, I really appreciated all the thought that went in to this beautiful bicycle. If you’re looking for a bike that can haul big loads safely and easily without being a huge presence, then the Haul-a-day is for you.