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Cargo Bikes: Human-Powered SUVs

20 May

I have a peculiar fascination with cargo bikes, from the ubiquitous Dutch cargo bike to the custom-built beauties I saw at the North American Handmade Bike Show last March. Given what I can carry on my standard city bikes, I don’t see myself owning one. But I find them very intriguing.

Beyond the practical aspects of the cargo bike, I like the idea of fashioning a bike purpose-built for something other than speed or agility. Like the Alcohauler, a bike built for carrying kegs of beer I saw at the NAHBS. The builder rode it the 90+ miles from Oakland to Sacramento for the show. In the rain. I hope he chose a flat route.

Another favorite at the show was a custom bike + trailer built for restaurant owner Jason French from Portland. He wanted a bike for his commute to his restaurant, including stops at various markets for his locally sourced ingredients. Built by Ira Ryan, the bike won the “Best City Bike” category–no surprise to me given its level of detail and its extraordinary workmanship.

Even though I’m a big fan of cargo bikes, I was surprised read in Gizmodo that my friend Harper’s “weight weenie” husband is in love with their cargo bike. He says you should be riding one too.

What do you think? Can you see yourself on a cargo bike? What would you be hauling?

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3 Comments

Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Around Town

 

3 responses to “Cargo Bikes: Human-Powered SUVs

  1. Kaytea

    May 23, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I commute 2-3 days a week 10 miles each way on my Yuba Mundo in the SF Bay Area. Yeah, it’s hilly, yeah, I’m a little slower than the other commuters, but I can also stop and pick up groceries, dry cleaning, whatever after work, or bring whatever I want to work (like a bike I found to donate to the bike shop down the street’s Africa Bike Drive).

    I have other bikes, but the Yuba is what I ride.

     
    • ladyfleur

      May 23, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      Yeah, I’m not the fastest commuter either. I get passed a lot more than I pass others.

      How do you like the Yuba? I’ve seen them for sales at my local bike shop.

       

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