Bikes and Boats, Better Together

Metabiking, or how to transport your drowned bicycle to the bike doctor.

I have only sporadically owned and used a car for much of my life. Even when I owned a car, I generally preferred other modes of transportation for all the reasons. I never really wanted my driver's license in the first place.

Bicycles and boats are a match made in heaven. For starters, parking in marinas is painful on so many levels. Bremerton Marina, while an excellent marina and community, is doubly painful because they recently shut down the parking lot for construction. For at least two years. Parking has been moved two blocks away to the second floor of a municipal garage. Using a car for boat projects is literally painful because hauling supplies by hand is zero fun. Even when the parking was at the marina, it was a slog to move stuff from the lot to the boat. With a bicycle, parking becomes (mostly) a non-issue.

Another win is the convenience of bringing along your own transportation when sailing. On a weekend sail to quaint port towns, the bicycle is guaranteed usable transportation for exploring all that quaintness. It's tricky to keep a car or motorcycle on the boat. Farther afield, bicycles provide the means for provisioning the boat and seeing more of the places we sail.

But how do you get boat tasks done without a car or truck?

A cargo bike is a magical chariot of freedom and wonder. All the convenience of a bicycle with the carrying capacity of a small car. Throw in a bicycle trailer and all the errands can be run.

Hauling canvas supplies

The magical orange freedom wonder chariot is a Larry vs Harry Bullitt. It carries 400 pounds, is only 18 inches wide (fits through any door!), and is almost as fast as my road bicycle. For in-town trips, it easily replaces cars, is a lot more fun, and much cheaper to own.

Sails, laundry, groceries, scuba gear... it pretty much all fits on a Bullitt.
A month's worth of laundry? Yup, that fits. 
Two HP120 scuba tanks? Also a fit.

The Bullitt kinda fits on our boat with some finagling. The build on my bike weighs in at 48 pounds. That is light enough to hoist by myself over the lifelines onto the deck, but at 8 feet long, the bike is awkward to maneuver. Once on the deck, it does not really fit anywhere well. The aft deck is just big enough to kinda place it there. If you need to do anything on the aft deck, the bike will be in the way.

In future posts, I will discuss the other bicycle-y ways we handle cargo and errands without resorting to a car.

But how do you go on dates without a car?

A cargo bike is a magical chariot of freedom and wonder. On our third date, I took Emily sailing. Then I took her by bicycle to the local pizza joint for a stromboli. The cargo platform on the Bullitt is large enough for an adult to sit on semi-comfortably. Commuting together suddenly become a fun mini-date. I hear that riding on the front is a magic carpet ride. There is also something to be said for being able to haul one's companion using only one's own horsepower. If your date is unimpressed by pedaling them up a hill on a bike, I daresay further dates are suspect. Go by bike; it's more fun.
Best friend and co-captain fits, too.

Gratuitous nudi: Hermissenda opalescens, these are very common on our dock.


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