Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Living Well With Burley's Travoy

My local grocery store is a mile and a half away. Guess I'm a common sight because far fewer people ask about my bike/trailer arrangement. Now, those who ask, are interested to know how it all works as a possible practical application for their lifestyle. The combination of a serviceable bike, inexpensive panniers and a sturdy trailer makes living without a car, at the least, manageable and generally joyful. It is, though, the trailer that makes it a successful arrangement.

For anyone confronting the cost of driving and considering alternatives, the use of a Burley Travoy as your lifestyle companion is a valid option. It'll haul 60 pounds and do so without undue stress. My three mile grocery store round trip includes a quarter-mile of wooded singletrack with a short, steep decline at the end. The Travoy handles the roots, sand and decline flawlessly.
Grocery Shopping

It performs flawlessly, in part, because of the flexible coupling that handles twists and turns and ups and downs.
Travoy Flexible Coupling

The hitch folds downward with no more than a twist of the wrist making the Travoy a very usable, maneuverable shopping cart.
Parking the Bike and Readying the Travoy

The Travoy will handle up to 60 pounds and that amounts to a lot of essential stuff.
Large and sturdy enough to handle bulky essentials

Typically, I visit the nearby Saturday morning Farmers' Market in Haile Village. Some of the residents of the Haile community were vociferous in their resistance to extending Archer Braid Trail though their community. The irony is that there are few places more inviting to bicycles than Haile Village.
Haile Village and the Saturday morning Farmers' Market

 In this period of people working at being "green" and Earth friendly, the majority of the vendors in local, open-air markets are the essence of green. They are, after all, the food chain.

Cypress Point Creamery makes cheese on their farm near Gainesville. I'm certain the decision to do something productive came from Nancy because John clearly spent too many years breathing recycled air aboard submarines. The clear air of north central Florida has allowed him to return to a near full level of competence and together they make damn good stuff. Hardly a weekend passes when I do not pick-up some of their cheeses.
Must acquire my minimum weekly allowance of tasty cheese from Cypress Point

Another local purveyor of good stuff are the good people of Kuma's Playpen Ranch. It is here where I get my fresh goat milk to make bread. It is obvious who makes things work here considering that as a younger man Thomas had no idea that being a Navy Medic meant serving with the Marines. Takes time for those of us from that era to find our way.
Goat milk, cheese, soap and good humor from Kuma's Playpen Ranch

In the South, beans are peas and peas are English Peas. Adding to the mild confusion is the additional fact, that all the wide variety of southern peas are in fact all Southern Peas. They originated in India, found their way to Africa and have become a staple of Southern cooking becoming known as field peas, crowder peas, cowpeas, blackeyes and more than fifty local names. Horticulturists prefer the name Southern Peas for all of 'em. Southern cooks care not at all about their preferred name and KNOW that one does not taste the same as the other. Among the most refined tastes, White Acre Peas are the best.

I've never asked the name of the gentleman who sells White Acres Peas at Haile, but he grows and sells the best . . . no argument.
The place for White Acre Peas.

Grocery stores cater to our desire for convenience. My perspective on what's convenient has changed significantly since putting aside automobiles as a necessary part of daily life. Going a little out of the way isn't actually going out of the way anymore. It's just more time spent riding and that's a good thing.

The produce people are a short distance from the Farmer's Market at 91st and Archer Road every Saturday and Sunday. It may not be as convenient to stop there as a quick trip to the grocery store, but it's a more rewarding experience and they have the best in-season melons.
Melons from the Produce People on 91st and Archer

Obviously, there are limits to what and how much can be hauled using the Travoy, but testing the limits and possibilities is a part of the adventure.

Plants, of course, do not test the weight limit, but can provide potentially useful camouflage.
Horticulture-Flowering Maple

Needed to take my PC to the PC fixer. With lots of packing material and moderately deflated tires to minimize bounce it was easily transported round-trip.
Hauling the PC
Packing the PC for hauling

Other bulky stuff is also manageable and feline approved.
Recycling and repurposing wood with feline assistance

Living without a car in a relatively flat place with moderate winter temperatures is easy, but handling the things that make cars useful requires some planning. Adding the Travoy to my bicycle accessories was a good choice. Few things are as well designed and functional are Burley's Travoy.

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