My Two-kid Cargo Bike Setup
My rockin' two-kid setup for my new Radish Xtracycle cargo bike.
I bought two canoe seats from REI (http://www.rei.com/product/754619 ) and used three cam straps from Xtracycle to secure them onto the snapdeck of my bike.
The canoe seats have buckled straps underneath as well, so those secured the seats onto the snapdeck and frame nicely. Then I used a cam strap to go all the way around the perimeter of the seats and tighten down the edges that were hanging over.
The final touch was using two more cam straps to go under the frame beneath each seat and act as seat belts.
You can click on the above photo and go to the Flickr page for it, them mouse over to see notes where I point out how I attached the seats. Frankly, I'm thrilled and somewhat amazed that I was able to do all this without tools, just with the canoe seats themselves and a few very secure straps.
It took me about two hours of fiddling around to come up with this configuration, this was probably my fifth attempt. But it works GREAT. It's super secure, I didn't have to drill through my snapdeck or create a second snapdeck. I didn't have to do anything fancy or complicated at all.
We have been on three rides since I rigged this up yesterday... two short five mile rides and then a 10 mile ride today with some hills (nothing major).
With two kids totaling 70 pounds on back, my ass feels like I've had a severe spanking. Then again, it's good exercise and great fun. The kids and I LOVE it. I can barely keep them off the bike and they sing and point things out the whole way.
I don't have to pay childcare fees ($12/hr minimum) to go get a workout, I can run errands, I get to be outside in the fresh air, I don't pay for gas, I don't pollute, and I can carry stuff.
I have not been riding my regular bike at all, so I'm sorely out of biking shape, though I'm in fairly decent shape overall. I can imagine that the hills will get a whole lot easier once my biking muscles start kicking in.
I can carry 4-6 bags of groceries in those expandable pannier bags. Luckily it's TOTALLY flat between here and Trader Joe's, and only about 1.5 miles away. The other stores I regularly go to are the same distance away, or even closer, and all on flat terrain. Our club is the farthest place that I go regularly, and that's about 5 miles away max. There is one hill. A steep one near Jack Fischer Park. But I can walk it for now, and my new fitness goal will be to get up it without getting off the bike. We'll see....