Alvin Luther runs a successful window cleaning business with clients in Cortez, Dolores, Mancos, Durango and Silverton. He decided last month to go from client to client on the seat of a bicycle.
Luther is the owner of Kleen Glass, and he recently rode his Trek Transporter long-tail utility bike up and down Main Street to clean windows for local businesses. Hes wanted to convert his business to go greener for quite awhile, he said. He didnt do it sooner because he is recovering from cancer. Luther is still working on regaining his strength, but hes doing better now. He said he has gained a greater appreciation for life, as well as learning how to better take care of himself.
Ive been doing great, and I want to keep it that way. (The bike) helps slow my life down so Im in less of a rush, Luther said, adding that he does use a truck to travel great distances between cities and towns.
The Transporter bike he purchased at a client of his, Kokopelli Bike and Board, is a way to get healthier and cut down on gas usage, Luther said. In addition to saving money on high gas prices by pedaling around town, Luther is also helping the environment.
I wanted to cut back on gas and cut back on the fumes, he said.
In addition to pedal-power, Luther doesnt use harsh chemicals to make windows sparkling bright.
I use magnetic conditioning and purified water, which is a lot better. I try to go as green as possible with my stuff, he said.
Luther carries all of his equipment (cleaning pole, water bucket, etc.) on the cargo bike that is designed to hold up to 200 pounds. The bike has an aluminum frame with folding load racks on the side as well a rack in the front. Luther plans to start carrying sectional ladders on it that reach 22 feet high so he can reach the taller windows better. He said the extra weight and length of the bike takes some getting used to, but he enjoys riding it.
Cargo-laden bicycles are becoming popular in the United States. A Denver woman recently added a cargo bike as a mobile version of her coffee shop. According to The Denver Post, the bike, which holds about 100 cups of coffee, was custom-made by Metrofiets Cargo Bikes in Portland, Ore. According to urban-transportation experts, the cargo-bike business is the next wave in the food-truck movement, the Post reported. Relatively new to the United States and particularly popular in the Pacific Northwest, the cargo bike originated in Holland.
Luther might help pave the way for more pedal-powered jobs in Cortez, besides his window-washing business. For now, hes content to have the strength to power his bike with his own two feet. Now that hes starting to feel better, he wants to use the bike as much as possible.
I plan on using it not only for work, but also to go on trips and to do camping, Luther said.
He hopes hell get in better shape as he rides his bike more and that soon hell be able to pedal to the mountains for some relaxation.
I love (the bike), he said. It has been really good. Im trying to use it as much as possible for transportation, he said.
Reach Paula Bostrom at [email protected].