I have great interest in using bikes to carry cargo, however I also live in a 500 square foot apartment on the fourth floor of a building with no elevator. Someday if I live on a ground floor and have some space, I can certainly see myself getting a trailer or something like an Xtracycle.
Reader Andy submitted an awesome hack he came up with for carrying cargo. I will let Andy speak/write for himself:
In looking for ways to increase my carrying capacity without the use of
a trailer, I came up with the notion of using a tandem frame--replacing
the stoker with a home-made rack and panniers. My particular
application was a tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway, but this hack could
also serve any "cargo-minded" cyclists.
The build required a few "creative" solutions, some of which are home-brewed, while others are off-the-shelf (but unique) components. I'm not sure when it occurred to me to use a tandem frame, but when the idea hit me, it seemed like a dead-simple solution for making a cargo bike.
The result is a thing of beauty, check out Sydney Elizabeth Nightengale Rothschild:
And if you are curious as to how it performs, check out the sign . . .
In my exchange with Andy I mentioned that I wished to be able to one day use hot fire in my hacks and he mentioned that he took a welding class at a local community college. I am filing that idea in my "totally awesome" file right now.
The pretty red panniers were also custom made with the help of a friend with mad seamtress skills.
I am sure that if you have questions you can post them in comments and Andy can offer answers. Thanks Andy!