Totcycle | Family Biking

Tots on bikes, kids as cargo, family cycling, and other high-occupancy velo goodness.

Not caring how much our bikes weigh since 2008.

previous posts

« High Occupancy Velo Manifesto »

This one's for all the SOBs out there. That's right, the single occupancy bicycles. Just 'cause you're fueled by carbohydrates doesn't mean you get to be all complacent about your carbon footprint. Until you start passengering and bike-pooling, you're still wasting valuable resources. And what with bikes being so hot right now, you're contributing to some serious bike traffic.

Think of how much foodstuff it takes to get one cyclist across town, or god forbid, on a recreational ride, riding an unshared bike, swilling the powerade and popping the power gels. Do you think there's an infinite supply of electrolytes? And think of all the leg hair down the drain ... have you seen a salmon cough up a hairball? It's not pretty.

Having a carbon fiber frame doesn't count as a carbon offset. Aluminum frame? They who smelt it dealt a grievous blow to the environment. And do you know how long lycra lasts in a landfill? Tsk tsk.

Yes, the time has come for cyclists to stop the single occupancy madness! Want to be a wheelman? We wheel men and women ride with steel, leather, cork, and wool, carrying kids with just-indie-enough names, a load of Trader Joe's or bootleg raw milk, and ride in the High Occupancy Velo (HOV) lane, fueled by seven flavors of smug righteousness. 

When you roll with people on board, you're just doing that much more for the planet. My stoker runs on mere strips of fruit leather. Think it's cool to pee from your bike during a mountain stage? My girl pees on the bike just about every time we ride. Sometimes it's not just pee. Who's a badass roadie now? Had to change a flat on your club ride? We change flats and diapers when we ride.

Todd may win le maillot jaune if not carefulThink the Chilly Hilly was hard? Try a Chilly Willy (see left). Pride yourself on maintaining a nice straight line? Try that with 2 fighting kids in the back, or one kid making a breakaway for the booty in the shopping bag.

So look for us in the HOV lane. We're a peloton on two wheels, baby. You'll know us by our trail of cheerios, and as you whip by us with a gritted-teeth "on your left" you may hear a delightfully dopplered "No! MYYYYYYYY left!" My toddler's charming like that these days.

High Occupancy Velos - How We Roll ... 

up high                                       down low


in the middle                              too slow


a family tandem                          or something random


long john bike                             or long john silver


in the bak                                   or in the bucket


perhaps an xtracycle                  is how you truck it


PS - The images above (linked to sources) were pilfered from various online sources, but this post is just so virtuous that it's OK.

PPS - I have love in my heart for my roadie brothers and sisters, I truly do.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (11)


you have to work this in sir:

March 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertodd

Great post. Always like your tongue-and-cheek prose. Quite a selection of great BUVs.

March 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTravis A. Wittwer

GREAT POST! Thanks for including one of our "long john" photo's!

March 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMetrofiets

I figured the HOV crowd would be alright with "fair usage" of their photos. We're cool like that. Thanks anyway to all three of you ...

But wow - who knew a Chilly Willy had already been documented? What's next, snapdeck changing pads? Are you listening, xtracycle?

Post updated!

March 26, 2009 | Registered CommenterJulian / Totcycle

oh, this is priceless. the SOBs pass us up the hill with such smart little nods of the head, don't they? such glad little smug smiles? if you think a century is hard, try a single with a three-year-old who's fallen asleep against your back on the xtracycle. didn't think that could happen, did you?

i had a moment today when a man pointed at me, and shouted to his kids, 'LOOK! that baby is riding UPFRONT!' i felt like a zoo animal escaped from the circus. somehow that seems relevant here...

March 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersarah gilbert

Wow, this is an inspired bit of propaganda AND a rich new lexicon! Cheers -- patrick

March 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpatrick

" We wheel men and women ride with steel, leather, cork, and wool, "

Leather and wool exploit animals. Iron mining and refining the steel pollutes. Harvesting cork damages the trees.

The only real way to not have an impact on nature is to renounce civilization and go live naked in the woods. I'm not quite willing to do that

March 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBAW

Love, love, love these photos. I have to admit that I've seen many of these images before because I've been obsessed with looking for cargo bike snaps on the web since we got our bakfiets-- but I do so like your poem that goes along. Children's picture book next, perhaps?

My favorite picture though is definitely the diaper change happening on the xtra. Awesome. Hope you don't mind that I link this post on my facebook page!

March 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersara

Ha, ha. Awesome!!

March 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDottie

...and the trail of cheerios is feeding the native wildlife healthy grains, more score points for HOVs. maybe you're even lowering their cholesterol :)

May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Haha genius! looks at the ground with the shameful demeanour of the SOB I'll have to get me a rickshaw like thingy and transport my friends around in it until I have a child or two, if I am ever to regain my angelic eco-friendly glow.

PS recently learned that the carbon footprint of an SUV driver who is vegan is roughly the same as a meatatarian who bikes. Wonder how HOVing would enter into that equation!

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCamilla

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Textile formatting is allowed.