Cambridgeshire cyclist keeps cool as he balances fridge on back of bike (+ video)

Age-old problem of how to keep your water bottle cool on hot day in the saddle solved

by Simon_MacMichael   February 18, 2011  

Cyclist with fridge.png

In an image reminiscent of a picture from Hans Kemps’ wonderful book Bikes of Burden, full of photos of the frankly insane loads that some in South East Asia carry on their motorcycles, a cyclist in Cambridge amazed onlookers and brought traffic to a halt as he pedalled past with a fridge – and not a small fridge, at that – balanced on his rear rack.

One driver, John Hicks from Sawston, who was travelling with his two daughters, stopped and managed to capture the intrepid cyclist on video managed to take a picture of the intrepid cyclist, who was also caught on video.

“It was all very exciting,” said Mr Hicks. “Other cars stopped too. We just couldn’t believe it. It was the most bizarre sight.

“I don’t know how he managed to balance the fridge on the bike,” he continued.

“It caused no end of laughs. It just looked so strange. We heard he was heading to Linton which is a pretty long cycle, especially if you’re carrying a fridge on the back of a bike.”

Cambridge News, which reported the story, is trying to find out the identity of the cyclist and their newsdesk can be contacted on 01223 434439.

21 user comments

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Oh dear, that really does nothing to help our cause. Sad

Wonder how long before the story appears in the Daily Fail and it accuses us all of doing the same thing.

Must say though that he had a fair amount of speed on which obviously helped with the balance. Big Grin

Did Nightrider 2013 and 2014 for Parkinson's UK. Might just have one last go in 2015.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [637 posts]
18th February 2011 - 12:26


you wouldn't want to be hit by a cross wind with that on the back Surprise

posted by fretters [32 posts]
18th February 2011 - 13:52


When I lived in Nigeria I used to see things like this on a regular basis. I've a photo somewhere of a bloke pedalling along with a tree balanced on his head. I remember seeing one bloke riding his moped with one hand while using the other to reach back and steady the heavy pillar drill he had balanced on the carrier.


posted by OldRidgeback [2407 posts]
18th February 2011 - 14:05


I've a photo somewhere of a bloke pedalling along with a tree balanced on his head

I would very much like to see that picture...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7596 posts]
18th February 2011 - 15:40


The traffic on the Cambridge to Linton road (A1307) is awful. I avoid it even when cycling without a fridge.

Actually, having more weight higher up makes a bike less wobbly. High wheel "ordinary" bicycles are more stable than low slung recumbents.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1391 posts]
18th February 2011 - 15:57


I'm very familiar with "fridge suck" when critical small parts are dropped and go missing while working on a bike but I've never seen a whole bike sucked under the fridge in this way before Smile

posted by Tony [89 posts]
18th February 2011 - 16:51


I'm not sure what loads I've been photographed with - at least 3 settees, a fridge, 2 single mattresses in 1 load, single and double mattresses, single beds, 2 flatpack wardrobes, 4.2m lengths of timber, biggest was 5.1m. 6 x 6ft Christmas trees one year bike with train Inverness-Derby-London.

Weighed in on Dover ferry weighbridge 180Kg and have been over 250Kg

Must get a proper cargo bike......

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [513 posts]
18th February 2011 - 16:52


My best has to be the espresso machine and grinder! (A serious, commercial, 1-group machine, weighing around 30kg).

It was in my trailer though, not on the rack. I may be mad but I'm not that mad.

I don't much fancy the overtaking in that 6 second video, either!

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [591 posts]
18th February 2011 - 17:38


In Nigeria we actually moved house by bicycle come to think of it. I also have a photo of that somewhere. Basically we put the kitchen table upside down on top of my mate's bicycle and tied it on. Then we loaded all our stuff on, living room suite, kitchen stuff, kerosene stove and so on. We had four people holding each leg of the table for stability and another steering the bicycle using the bars - had to go backwards as it was easiest. It only took two runs to move everything in the entire house including the beds (and they had heavy hardwood frames) and mattresses.


posted by OldRidgeback [2407 posts]
18th February 2011 - 18:29


I saw a bloke in Cairo cycling the wrong direction on a 3 lane highway with a set of stepladders on his head.

posted by neslon [51 posts]
18th February 2011 - 18:32


I'll see if I can find it Dave - while the traffic levels thru the village where I lived were pretty low it's worth remembering that the road was extremely potholed and didn't have an asphalt surface for the first year I was there. The locals had some pretty amazing riding skills.

The issue of stability is to do with inertia - same reason why sailing vessels with all that rigging can be so stable actually.

A trick worth trying - if you're standing on the train/bus/tube with heavy shopping in your hand try not holding on as the train/bus/tube brakes for a stop. The trick is to let the heavy bags swing freely in your arms. Their inertia will push you in the other direction, in the other direction from the usual forces exerted that you'd expect caused by the braking motion. It seems strange but the heavy bags will actually make you more stable rather than less in other words.


posted by OldRidgeback [2407 posts]
18th February 2011 - 18:33


I did see a bloke cycling up the hard shoulder of the M23 a few years ago with large bags swinging from his handlebars. he was just crossing the M25 bridge at the time - couldn't believe it and this is one of the busiest junctions on the M23 - but I was by myself in the car and couldn't call the cops on my mobile.


posted by OldRidgeback [2407 posts]
18th February 2011 - 18:35


Look out for a real cool competitor at the olympics.


antonio's picture

posted by antonio [1051 posts]
19th February 2011 - 7:56


ppf. How fantastic to see that live! You do see a lot of that in rural europe. I saw a man with a telegraph pole on his vespa in a village near Salerno in Italy. The heaviest thing I took on my trailer was a whole mini engine & g/box unit to the scrap yard many years ago.The largest upright fridge freezer! That was hard enough! have to admire the balls of the guy carrying one on a cycle rack! I wonder if we could trawl the net for more video's?


posted by peasantpigfarmer [46 posts]
19th February 2011 - 12:19


I notice the wobble right at the end of the clip: the overtaking car has the whole road width but chooses not to pull right out properly to the RH lane Sad

posted by zoxed [63 posts]
19th February 2011 - 14:44


It was Ricardo Ricco- he's learned his lesson and now makes sure his blood bags are stored at the correct temperature.

posted by wild man [288 posts]
19th February 2011 - 18:32


He must be on his way to the Madison Ice Bike show at Milton Keynes!

The best I've managed was four Morris Minor suspension uprights in one pannier bag. It was very difficult to avoid cycling in circles. But I did it! Nerd

Argon Welder

posted by Argon Welder [15 posts]
20th February 2011 - 14:19


surprisingly, most of the comments in the daily mail were positive or humorous. Those that were critical were heavily red-arrowed. Maybe times are changing?

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
20th February 2011 - 14:37


@zoxed - You're not wrong - that Silver Bora looks pretty close... Normally when I'm carrying something bulky and unusual, people give me acres of room. Almost as if I'm carrying a bomb...

Perhaps the dude is using it as some sort of insurance.. "Drive into me and you'll know about it"!

posted by creepymonkey [31 posts]
21st February 2011 - 12:23


I know this man, He lives In Haverhill About an hour on the bus drive, He likes to collect uneeded things Big Grin

posted by MarcinGnyla (not verified) [132 posts]
21st February 2011 - 22:45


londonplayer wrote:
surprisingly, most of the comments in the daily mail were positive or humorous. Those that were critical were heavily red-arrowed. Maybe times are changing?

This guy is the ideal cyclist for many motorists. He evokes conscious feelings of either pity or amusement, rather than subconscious feelings of guilt or physical inadequacy.

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
22nd February 2011 - 8:07