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Meet Joe’s Lawnmower Bike Cart

It’s a sight you don’t see everyday- A guy riding a Walmart mountain bike, with an oversized, lopsided cart strapped to the back of his bike. He’s hauling a lawnmower, a weedwacker a broom, a big red cooler, a 5-gallon bucket, a couple of gas cans and a backpack.

Joe pedals his bike and handmade cart to his next lawn job in Ocean View, Virginia.
Joe pedals his bike and handmade cart to his next lawn job in Ocean View, Virginia.

Joe rides his bike from one yard to the next and cuts grass in Ocean View, a neighborhood of Norfolk, Virginia. Joe’s license has been suspended since his last DUI, but you gotta be real drunk to get pulled over on a bike, Joe says. Since he couldn’t drive his truck, Joe downsized to a bike. Now he rides the streets through muggy summers and wet winters, cutting lawns wherever he can.

Ocean View Avenue stretches for nearly ten miles through the southern sand dunes of the Chesapeake Bay. OV Ave is long, flat and straight. It offers the perfect setting for riding a utility bike. While the summers can be brutally muggy and hot in Norfolk, the winters are mild. Which is good for the crabgrass, and good for Joe.

Joe’s cart is a testament to backyard engineering on a Walmart budget. It may have once been a baby trailer, but only the axle and wheels now remain. The pop-up trailer frame was replaced by part of a wooden fence. A two by four trailer tongue is suspended from the saddle by a dog chain. The saddle is high enough to keep the tongue off the rear tire, but is too high for Joe to sit on, and forcing him to constantly pump the pedals standing up. “Just like a beach cruiser,” Joe says.

Joe doesn’t wear bike shorts or a helmet. He doesn’t clip in. He rides in the same clothes that he wears to work: grass-stained sneakers, white socks, cut-off jeans, a sleeveless t-shirt and a boonie hat that was once white. The guys out for the weekly A-pace ride blow past Joe on carbon fiber bikes that would fold in half if they had to pull half of what Joe’s bike moves every day.

Well, we all got somewhere to get to, Joe says.

Wesley Cheney is married to a midwife in Norfolk, Virginia. He writes about bikes and kilts at Foto by Wes, builds bamboo bikes at 757 Makerspace and reposts The Onion on Facebook.

 

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Open Forum : DIY Projects

Photo from anyMeta
Photo from anyMeta

Every so often I’ll be coming to you, the readers, to learn what exactly you want to covered.. Hopefully this will keep you all engaged and excited about the Commute By Bike content. If you see the words “Open Forum” in the title, stop in and give your feedback!

The Open Forum this week is what type of do it yourself (DIY) projects you would like to see covered.. It could be as basic as changing a flat, setting up your in home mechanic stand or making your bike reflective.

The microphone is on and let us know what you want to learn!

Photo from anyMeta.net

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DIY bike tire chains

This is cool: Homebrew tire chains for your mountain bike involves less than $20 in chain, cabling, and ferrules, not counting the tools you might need to get if you don’t already own them. Via.

That reminds me of this tip in which you can use zip ties to improve traction a little. Both the chain and zip ties go across the rims so you’ll either need a disc brakes, hub brakes or go brakeless (like on a fixed gear bike) for these to work.