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Monday, February 11, 2013

The Cargo Bike: A Vehicle That Will Change Your Life [Momentum Mag]


Francois Bernaudin and his daughters on a Yuba Mundo
Photo by Kamil Bialous
Francois Bernaudin is ready for a ride on the Yuba Mundo with his daughters Louanne (very back) and Eléa near Vancouver, BC’s Commercial Drive.
I started using a cargo bike when my roommate let me borrow hers for some errands. I had been stuffing incongruous things: bread, hand-tools, potting soil, into a swollen backpack, acting as if it was bottomless. It wasn’t, and the seams burst one day, my possessions erupting all over the street.

I started with short jaunts to the store to fetch feed for my chickens. Initially it was a little awkward. The thing felt as long as a canoe, and its center of gravity was low. Pushing off took some getting used to, but once I got my balance and figured out the gearing, I was fine. Since then, I’ve hauled away curbside furniture and carried plants from a local nursery, as well as trekking my roommate’s daughter to the grocery store and back.
I’ve noticed that they’re becoming more ubiquitous: I see longtails parked outside co-ops or with kids straddling the platform on the back. I sometimes get stuck behind a B-Line, an urban cargo bike delivery service, crossing the Hawthorne Bridge. I get coffee at a farmers market at the specially-designed mobile cafe-bike operated by Trailhead Roasters, which was custom designed by Portland bike-builder Metrofiets.
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