Ridin’ the Bettie

Bettie I took the bus to Byron’s house last week. It’s pretty convenient from downtown, but there’s a 4 block slog up-hill to get to his house. Knowing I’m lazy when it comes to walking, he offered to pick me up…on the Bettie! I really like the idea of the Sport Utility Bike as it relates to running to the store and hauling stuff, but I just didn’t expect it to act as a lazy-man’s taxi. Bettie with the Stokemonkey had no problems griding up the steep hills. Sure, Byron was hoofing it pretty good in his Flip-Flops, but we made it. Even with cautious estimates it was probably 450+lb going up those grades. Way cool. What do you use your SUB for?

From Xtracycle.com:

From carfreedays.wordpress.com:

Emailed from Matt in Tacoma, WA - The “Monkey Bus”:

Emailed from Seabiscuit - hauling daughter’s bike to the park:


I keep thinking I should sell my car and get something that I would use more - like a little pick-up.  And then I keep seeing these cool articles about SUBs. 
How big of stuff can I haul with one?  Lumber?  Its is a fairly flat 4 turn trip from my house to the wood store - weight capacity is not my concern, I need to know about sheer volume.

how about three neighborhood kids (standing four-year-old not endorsed by the mom, xtracycle or this blog): http://carfreedays.wordpress.com/2007/09/13/how-many-passengers-can-you-fit-on-your-xtracycle/


Look here for an example of an Xtracycle hauling wood.

I use mine for everything! I take my daughter to school on it every school day, and use it for groceries and going to the beach (I live on Oahu, Hawaii). I have often thought about getting a Stoke Monkey, and even had the pleasure of riding Todd’s while in Portland. My only concern is that I would get lazy and always be “on the juice”. Then again I would arrive to work without having to shower. Hmmm…......

Ok - how about some “reader pics” of SUB’s in action.  Send me an email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and I’ll extend the entry and embed all the responses there (might not be up until tonight).  Time to brag folks!

used mine to haul my 5 year old out to last month’s Critical Mass—she had a blast. Got the big yellow SUB on the Bus down to Westlake too!

Usually it’s just trips home the grocery store with her and 45 bsl of groceries on board.

I checked out the Xtracycle a while ago, nice design but I’m perfectly happy with my BoB.

My girlfriend has her Worksman folding trike.

We’ve been going carless for about six years now.

My wife and I lived carless in the UK for a while and we still call it the healthiest points in our lives.  I would have loved and Xtracycle back then.  We walked 2 miles to the store 3-4 times a week and schlepped back our groceries in backpacks.  A “Bettie” would have been perfect for that.

Hi Andrew,

I, too, was really interested in Todd’s Super Monkey design and,  after seeing the results of the Bettie project, I built one of my own: The Monkey Bus.  It’s essentially the same rig as Bettie, but without the StokeMonkey.  I wasn’t sure that I would need a StokeMonkey, and after a month of riding solely on the Monkey Bus, I am now convinced that I don’t.

I recently hauled a houseguest with a broken leg about half a mile to the bar so that we could all have a good time (gross weight: around 400 lbs.)  I also have a Bobike Maxi (aka Peapod) seat for my toddler, so we can run errands and get to activities.  This is now my preferred bike for my 14 mile commute from Tacoma to Federal Way,  mostly because I can bring along the laptop, clothes, food, or whatever and whenever the need arises.  The longest ride so far was 30 miles with a few roadies from the Harmon Bike Club.  I wasn’t leading the pack by any means, but they all grinned broadly when I hauled home a growler of beer post-ride.

Pictured is a friend piloting the Monkey Bus for the first time with me in-tow.  He hasn’t ridden a bike in years and I’d never been a passenger on the Bus.  There are so many great things to say about this setup, but the fun-factor tops the list.  It is impossible to ride this bike without a smile on your face. I built the Monkey Bus as a car replacement and my family of 3 (soon to be 4) will be happily car-lite in a few weeks. 

Thanks for sharing the Bettie project and encouraging the rest of us to get out there and ride.

Matt NewportTacoma, WA

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