My brother is visiting from Flagstaff AZ this week. He is Mr. Bike, a daily commuter and a multimodal transportation planner by day.
So just 10 hours after his 5AM arrival here in the Twin Cities, I had him hauling dirt with me! Here he is with a trailer full of dirt. That's two old Minneapolis recycling containers fill, and two 5 gallon pails. And this dirt was heavy, full of water from a few days of rain.
While he was here, I outfitted him with my new winter commuter bike, an Trek 4300 mtn bike converted to a 29er with a Sturmey Archer X-RD8(W) 8 speed hub. I had just set up the bike, and set the drivetrain with a 25 tooth rear cog and the large front chainring of 46. The X-RD8 is different from the Shimano Alphine 8 that I ride on the Wyggy, the 1:1 drive is the first gear. That means your LOWEST gear is the 1:1 gear. On the Alfine, the 1:1 gear is 4th gear, so you get 3 lower gears and 4 higher gears.
Hauling 300 lbs of dirt is not easy when your lowest gear is in the mid-range! We had a few modest hills, but Martin suffered the whole ride, and had to walk the steepest hill!