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#330daysofbiking Days 95 & 96: Xtracycle weekend

heavenly (Day 95)

The best recipe for summer weekend adventure-fun?  An Xtracycle … and everything and anything your imagination can add.

Saturday night at the drive-in

Saturday (Day 95) was only a brief out and back on our road on the Xtracycle; one of those days filled with kids, watching the Tour, yardwork, and just general around-the-house stuff.  In the evening, we decided to head over to the drive-in theater in Etowah.  When was the last time you watched a movie at a drive-in?  Seems like there are very few around any more, but this place is great – clean, family-friendly, and a bargain (on car-load nights).  We did not ride bikes there I am sorry to say; distance, darkness, and our typical giant crew of kids and friends and girlfriends made it a little impossible.  So, it was our gang, including a bunch of college-age kids, all watching Toy Story 3 at the drive-in on a summer night — good times! 😉

On Sunday (Day 96) I finally got to give the scupper-hole kayak trailer a trial run on the Xtracycle.  Mark had engineered a great little removable hitch-type of contraption that attaches to the back of the Xtracycle frame; the tow-strap hole slips over the “hitch” pin.  Loaded up the boat and headed to the river.  It worked beautifully!

About a month ago I had tried loading the boat on the Xtracycle’s Wide-Loader – which was ok, but with the shape of this boat’s hull, the pedal clearance was a little marginal.  Hauling the boat with this trailer seems a little heavier and slower-going, especially on inclines, but also more stable and pedal-safe over the distance.  And very easy for me to load and secure for hauling.

Mark and I had a beautiful paddle, exploring some side channels that we had never visited before.  They seemed to go on endlessly – we never did reach the end.  The lush, green tree-cover and shoreline foliage made it feel almost like the Amazon, we joked.  Spotted a beautiful Little Green Heron, a couple of Great Blue Herons, a King Fisher and some swallowtail butterflies.  Mark said he was waiting for a snake to drop out of one of the overhanging branches (thankfully, we were spared such a treat).

Rode home in the early evening.  End of a wonderful summer weekend; loving all of the “living outside”.  (And as my friend Darryl says, “loving the bike”!)

Xtracycle + kayak

hmmmm ... (envisioning hauling pontoon boat next time...? 😉

at the river

on the river

Posted by savaconta on July 11, 2010
  1. 07/11/2010

    Oh man….I’m jealous once again. Yes, you are definitely Loving the Bike and a pretty much all of life in general. You’ve totally got the essence of life and good times all together. The more I read your posts, the more I know we have to connect soon.


  2. 07/12/2010

    Looks like fun. Love the photo of you and the LHT pulling the kayak. Excellent!

    • 07/13/2010

      Heh heh … thanks, M! It’s a pretty easy haul; probably lighter than a trailer full of kids, anyway. 😀

  3. 07/12/2010

    Towing a kayak with a bike…that’s fantastic! It’s so empowering each time you find a new way to get a job done without a car.

    I really need to get a kayak. I’ve had a few outings on Lake Tahoe, and it’s such a great way to see the lake! Maybe after we sell a few bikes…

    • 07/13/2010

      Aw, thanks Jeff – and I always love your mtn pictures. Boy, I’ll trade my kayak for a trip to those trails!

  4. 07/12/2010

    Excellent! I’m obsessed with bike trailers and cargo bikes lately thanks to your posts. I have a pretty decent stockpile of parts/pieces in my garage for winter projects — colorful kid’s bike wheels for trailers, some wood leftover from the treefort build, etc… but waiting for the xtracycle freerad kit. It will happen one day. Thanks for the ideas and inspiration. Jim

    • 07/13/2010

      J – I can only wait to see what amazing things you do with your creativity and nice supply of parts! I hope you get your Xtracycle kit soon … oh the fun that is in store for you! 😀

  5. 07/13/2010

    Hey Cassi,

    A few questions:

    1. Do you have a pictorial about how your boat hitch is made?
    2. What do you do with your bike while you’re out on the river?
    3. Sounds like Mark brought his kayak on this trip, too. How did he transport it?


    • 07/13/2010

      Hey Sue … I will get you a picture of the hitch; a home-made contraption that Mark built. Removable. I took a couple of chain locks along to lock up my bike (to roadside guardrail), as well as to lock up the scupper-hole trailer. Mark did go by car – mostly because this was the trial run, and he figured if something broke/went wrong, it would be easier to deal with. That and the fact we don’t have a trailer for the other boat (no scupper holes in that one). Only word of caution: I bought the scupper-hole trailer from Key West Paddle Sports (, and I WOULD NOT recommend them. Very slow in delivery, and the end product was basically worthless/poorly constructed. I would have returned the thing, but decided we could re-engineer it using the parts (wheels, etc.). Mark virtually entirely rebuilt it; the Key West guy had the wheels held on, loosely, with bolts – it definitely needed a real axle.

      One thing I’d also advise, if you’re considering towing one of the propelled Hobie’s – I don’t have a lot of clearance underneath the boat, which you’d really need with the paddle-things underneath. Could require a custom/home-made trailer for that one, to give you enough clearance. Figure you are crafty/capable enough to get that done, though! 😀 Lemme know when you get your boat and do this – you will LOVE it!

      • 07/13/2010

        Oh, it could be years before I get a boat! Also, the flippers come off easily I think – they could just sit in the boat while it’s being towed. Hobie makes a scupper-hole trailer for their boats.

        Ideally, I’d love to be able to pull a kayak with my Brompton, then fold up the Brompton and fit it into a waterproof compartment of the kayak. Or maybe tow a floating Pelican case for the Brompton? Hmm.

      • 07/13/2010

        Makes me wonder if they will ever come up with a folding Xtracycle … lol! 😉 Towing a Brompton in a Pelican case – now that is something I would pay to see! Neat to know the flippers come off, that would be helpful. I think you really need to get one, pal!

  6. 07/13/2010

    I bought a lotto ticket…

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