OK, so I slacked again. Whoops.
I have still just been averaging 3 days a week biking to work....the My Cycling Log sidebar tells me that that's been enough to save close to $50 in gas costs, though. So I guess that's still pretty good.
I have biked to the grocery store a couple times as well. The first trip I carried 4 bags of groceries plus a 24 pack of Coke Zero in my rear panniers--and two bags that had to hang from my handlebars. Ortlieb Back Rollers are surprisingly roomy, but two panniers aren't enough for serious grocery shopping.
Keeping this in mind, I set off for the grocery store again today. I had my Burley Nomad attached, so capacity would not be my problem today. I loaded it down with quite a bit of stuff...4 12 packs of Coke, one 2 liter (they only had Cherry Coke Zero in 2 liter form), a couple quarts of ice cream, a bunch of Crystal Light, and some other small things. Pulling the trailer wasn't as bad as expected....the Long Haul Trucker has super low gearing, so my acceleration was crappy and speed up hills was not great, but I ran into zero problems actually getting back to my apartment.
Funny story, though...It was hard to get to my apartment. I elected for a unit on the ground floor because I didn't want to carry my bikes up stairs all the time, but I still have a small staircase to climb to get to my door. I tried to push the bike and trailer up the stairs.....wasn't gonna happen. When the trailer wheels hit the bottom step, it was made clear to me that they would NOT go any further willingly. "OK," I thought, "I'll just push it up the steep grass near the steps!" I made it a couple steps before my shoes informed methat they were not going to grip the grass. Down I went, bringing the bike with me. I ended up having to brace myself, push the bike forward, grab the brakes, re-brace myself, and repeat. Not an ideal situation, I need to find a better way to get there.
The trailer itself hauled a big load for the first time....it handled kinda funny. It never felt like I was going to lose the load, but going over cracks in the asphalt was odd. I think the boom has some flex to it, because every bump caused a "push/pull" sensation, like the trailer was attached with an elastic band. Tolerable and probably not dangerous, but weird.
I have deicded that I am going to use the trailer for now, but when I get a bit more money, I will sell it and get an Xtracycle. I am not sure if I want to put the Xtracycle on the Long Haul Trucker, or build a up a hardtail MTB to use it on. Maybe I can do the LHT first and then move it to the MTB when I get one.
Speaking of MTB, I discovered a mountain bike trail only about 7 miles from my apartment. Considering I had to drive at least an hour north or south to find anything when I lived in KY, I would have been happy if it had just been a crappy oval in the dirt. Luckily though, it is no such thing. The trail is called MoMBA (I believe it stands for Metroparks outdoor Mountain Bike Area). It is an 8 mile system of beginner to advanced trails, built on land the city provided just for that purpose. It is all built to IMBA standards, and it one of the sweetest trail systems I've ever ridden. If you live in the Dayton area and like your trails tight and twisty, come ride it, you will have no regrets.
I really need to get some batteries in my camera, this thing looks kinda dull.
Edit: Looks like I caused some confusion. I do have a mountain bike already, a Santa Cruz Heckler, but I was thinking of purchasing a hardtail mountain bike and then putting an Xtracycle on that. Full suspension is the enemy of the Xtracycle.