Last week I was finally able to convert my beloved 11-year old Raleigh M-trax into an Xtracycle, as I was getting tired of carrying textbooks, shopping and whatever else I needed in a backpack and arriving with a damp shirt.

I’m getting better with a bike spanner but I’m still pretty cackhanded and about to go touring next week, so I took the converted bike to our local bike shop to fine tune the indexing and brakes. I’m picking it up tomorrow afternoon and I’m getting withdrawal symptoms already. I’ve only been able to have a brief test ride, but the impression is that it’s converted a very fun bike into a very fun bike that can carry a load of stuff, the kids, and anything I’ll need for touring. In short, it removes any need we may have had for a car in our present situation. It also looks really cool.