Friday, January 28, 2011

Steel Pipe Dreams

I've been known to make grandiose plans from time to time and never follow through. Sue me. I get so wrapped up in an idea but as a student, and now a full time working person and student, there isn't a whole lot of time for projects. Not to mention my lack of equipment. But at least now I have money. Well... a little anyway.

As you all know I love the idea of bike chore-ing, doing mandatory chores by bicycle and enjoying it. Yes I did just attempt to create my own name for it. So naturally the idea of long bikes, cargo bikes, and trailers have perked my interest many times in the past. The Surly Big Dummy, the Yuba Mundo, Xtracycle, and various trailers.

They're all so damn expensive... and for what?!

Prime example. The Wandertec Bongo Cargo Trailer.

It's a fabulous design. Comes with a flatbed on top and lots of little spots to mount bungies etc. This trailer costs a whopping $319 from That is a fair price and is in kind with all other trailers, but it's 3 pieces of metal and two cheap 20" wheels for christ sake. And like most other things now-a-days, probably has poor craftsmanship from a small factory in south east asia.

[EDIT]: as Josh Lipton from Wandertec has pointed out below in the comments, the Bongo is actually made in Flagstaff, AZ by skilled metal workers. So my apologies on that as using it as an example.

Personally I'm just not ready to shell out almost $400 for a trailer.

So I've been on the look out in the classifieds for used, cheap, department store child trailers. Thought I found one the other day for $25 but it looks like it went to someone else. I just want one for lugging around groceries, and the occasional cargo.

So then I saw this in the classifieds. $30 for 7 bikes.

But I just want that little red one in the front. I like the look of how the rear triangle just detaches because of the cheap suspension...

I wonder how much I can find someone with a welder to fabricate something up for me...

Think Xtracycle, meets Bobyak.

Tomorrow I'm going to talk to some local bike shop owners in Halifax I've met and see if they know anyone. Going by bike to Bikes by Dave and Halifax Cycle Gallery, then onto check out the chain of lakes trail. Should be a fun 25-30km ride.

View January 29th 2011 in a larger map

PS: I bought a new camera. A Nikon FE2 with a 50mm 1.8 (1978)

and here is a self portrait in my new work shirt taken with my D50.


  1. My man, this is an excellent post!

    Dig on the project, the sketches and the stellar portrait on the end. It's really well lit! What are you using these days?

    Also how is Halifax and all the new camera gear?

    - Matt

  2. Using as in camera gear?
    Same shit pretty much. This was taken in my living room on a bright afternoon with my D50 and 35mm f/1.8. I think the lighting turned out so well because of the huge window with those old see-through style curtains kind of acting like a diffuser.

    As for the camera gear, I love love love the Nikon FE. It is just suck a bitchin camera. I have yet to see a roll be developed from it, but I have no doubts that it will perform well. The body is near mint. The rangefinders have just been sitting as decorations until I can get some batteries for them.

    I'm also thinking of getting some Fuji Velvia 50 film, so vivid for landscape.

  3. Nice post and thanks for the links

    I would like to correct you on the assumption that the Wandertec BONGO Trailer is made with poor craftsmanship in a factory in Asia. The Wandertec BONGO is made in Flagstaff, AZ, USA by an expert metal worker, Stuart Henderson.

    Have a look at this section of our blog for info on its development and manufacturing: