My son’s classical guitar (@ Allentown Music).
If you’ve been to this blog before then you likely know that I have an interest in the history of the bicycle, particularly bicycles that are built to work and carry stuff (to read more about this click here). Anyhow, after reading this excellent article today in Momentum Magazine regarding the quiet rise of the cargo bike in America today, I couldn’t help but think of two things: (1) that cargo bikes really make the most sense, especially in an urban setting, and (2) that they have been around for quite a while. Anyhow, here’s a few vintage adverts..
This story, I believe, is truly inspiring on many levels. That’s Chen Guanming pictured above, who says that he has traveled more than 60,000km/40,000miles in the past 2 years–traversing 16 countries–from his homeland China to London to see the Olympics…and doing it all on his large cargo trike. What’s more, he’s in his late fifties. I wonder if he and Heinz Stücke met each other in passing along the way. To read a couple brief stories about him click here or here, and the below video is interesting as well.
A small cardboard box containing $58.00 in sundries and other staples. A canvas bag containing a book, a journal, and a camera, a cardboard box containing a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor’s, and a 4lb. bag of dog food.
If you’ve been to this blog before you know that I ride a bike as often as I can, not great distances or in races but for my everyday transportation around town…and I also like to carry stuff on my bikes, whatever stuff a person would normally carry in their car. Besides my cargo bike (Yuba Mundo) I also have a few other bikes, most of which are equipped with a hitch for a BicycleR Evolution Trailer. The Mundo’s frame isn’t built to accommodate a trailer and I’ve been trying to figure out how to attach it for a while. Sometimes, I suppose, a 7ft bike is simply not big enough (most cargo bikers will agree, I’m sure) and that one can always carry more things with their own human power. Anyhow, I finally figured out to attach a spare hitch (and it was actually pretty simple). I took it for a test ride tonight while empty…and as usual the Mundo handled exceptionally well; I really could not even tell I was pulling a trailer. I likely won’t use it often but it is nice to know it’s available when I need it. And when I do…I’ll post pictures. I’d enjoy hearing from other cargo bikers regarding their experiences pulling a trailer.
I came across these bikes on east 10th Street last evening while looking for the former residence of Kahlil Gibran (more on that in a later post). For those of you reading this that happen to live in a large metropolis (or a small one that is “bicycle progressive”) seeing bikes like this parked curbside may be no big deal, but to me this is exciting. I believe, for example, I am the only rider in the Western New York area with a Mundo or other form of cargo bike (that I know of); there are a few Xtra-cycles but no other cargo bikes that I am aware of (for the Buffalonians reading this, if I am incorrect please let me know). Anyhow, two days ago I saw a guy ride by (in Mid-Town) on a LongJohn…and I couldn’t help but wonder where he stored it at night. Well this picture above is a good example. I wonder if they store them there when it snows. I’m not sure if they are Dutch or Gemren bikes but they certainly look sturdy. There is hope (for bicycles in the US), I thought to myself when I saw these.
I came across these photos recently at The Daily Beast. They are photographs of cargo trikes in Shanghai by photographer Alain Delorme. Incredible, right? They are so crisp they almost look like paintings. You can see 6 or 7 others by the same photographer at this site. After I saw these I Googled the phrase Cargo Trikes of Shanghai and was surprised how many sites with photos came up. Two of particular interest are the photos of these trikes at Frog Mob, and also the Toronto based bicycle advocacy blog, The Urban Country.