Surly Big Dummy reporting for duty

In the summer of 2008, Patrick and I had to sell our Tacoma pickup truck back to Toyota due to a recall.  Knowing we would not want to jump into purchasing another truck right away, and also knowing that we had a new bike in mind, we took some of the money and invested in a Surly Big Dummy.  If you are not familiar with this bike, it is the pickup truck of bicycles. Originally Xtracycle sold components to give a regular bicycle the ability to extend it’s wheelbase, therefore giving it the capability to haul heavier loads.  Surly took this concept and ran with it to build a complete bike.  The Big Dummy is able to carry 400 pounds including the rider.  With it’s elongated frame, snapdeck, and accessories such as side pannier bags, wide loaders, bicycle mounts…the list goes on, one can haul quite a load.

Last summer Patrick used this bike almost everyday, hauling yard waste to the drop-off site, and hauling fixtures for our backyard gardens.

The most difficult to date were the two 10×4’s he hauled from Menards, and the heaviest were two four foot long railroad ties from a friend’s house.

Hauling lit jack'o'lanterns to Halloween Party

Some may think a bike like this would be frivolous or just for show, but there is no way we could have fit these two rain barrels in our Accord!

We take it to buy groceries on nearly every trip to our local neighborhood grocery store.  Recently I went by myself on my day off and hauled a cartful of groceries home.

We have also taken a few camping trips with it as well, no light camping here!

Similarly, a trailer could be used for the same purposes, although an adult would probably not be able to ride on the back!

Utility bicycles have been used for years in Europe and especially Asia for carrying various loads.  Recently this use of a bicycle has been growing in the U.S., and is expected to continue to grow.  Utility bicycles give the commuter a chance to challenge their hauling potential as well as leaving the car/truck at home.  As of today I know of three other LaCrosse residents who also own Dummys.

If you ever see one of us on the street, feel free to shout out “Hey Dummy”!  I promise we won’t take offense.

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