It takes a grand total of 15 seconds to hitch up the trailer to my bike to be ready for shopping. What could be easier?
By Kevin Love
Published February 20, 2015
There are two basic methods of transporting cargo. The first is with a specialized cargo bike. The second method is to take an ordinary bicycle and add such items as rear racks, panniers, and baskets.
Both methods are commonly used in The Netherlands.
For large, bulky objects, a specialized cargo bicycle is very useful. For example, there is an IKEA store in Groningen that rents out cargo bicycles for its customers to take home IKEA furniture. We see this starting at 9:15 in this video.
Cargo bikes are a useful way of transporting children. For example, here is a video of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands carrying on a cargo bicycle his two oldest daughters, Crown Princess Amelia and Princess Alexia.
As families have more children, the volume of required groceries and supplies goes up. In Copenhagen, 25% of families with two or more children have a cargo bike.
Children can also be transported by ordinary bicycles fitted with child seats. Here is an example of children being picked up at a preschool event in Japan.
I defy anyone to watch my own children's favorite video of babies and bikes and not wind up smiling and happy!
Here in Hamilton, THAAT Co-op is a commercial delivery service that uses cargo bikes and trailers to deliver a wide variety of goods to businesses and homes in Hamilton.
Specialized cargo bike vs. ordinary bike kitted out for cargo? This is, of course, a matter of personal preference. My own preferred solution is to add cargo capacity to my everyday bike.
This bike is a Pashley Roadster Sovereign that comes factory equipped with a Dutch style rack designed to carry a passenger, so even the heaviest groceries are no problem.
To this rack I have added Basil 65 litre panniers. These panniers are so useful that I leave them on all the time. A huge amount of my ordinary travel involves taking stuff with me.
I just finished a normal grocery shopping trip, the sort of trip that I do quite frequently. It began with my wife Nina handing me a shopping list. Then I hitched up my Wike "Cargo Buddy" trailer and headed off to the grocery store.
Soon I had a shopping cart full of groceries.
Shopping cart full of groceries
So I loaded those groceries onto my bike.
Groceries loaded onto bike
The groceries fit nicely onto the trailer.
Groceries fit onto trailer
And my rear rack and panniers.
And here is the grocery receipt showing a list of all the items carried home when I went shopping by bike.
The grocery trip did not use all of my cargo capacity. I did not bother to bring my front basket, as I knew that I was not going to get enough groceries to need it.
My front basket is a "Pluto" animal carrier from Basil in The Netherlands. It does a great job of taking Princess, my Maltese dog, to the dog groomer,
'Master, take me for a ride to the groomer.'
'Now I look all pretty for Master.'
Princess is not alone, as most dogs love going for a bike ride.
My bike trailer is currently being sold brand-new for $390 by its manufacturer Wike. Which is a local manufacturer in Guelph, Ontario.
For those who prefer a specialized cargo bike, Wike also manufactures medium and large cargo bicycles.
But I personally prefer to use a trailer with my everyday bike. It takes a grand total of 15 seconds to hitch up the trailer to my bike to be ready for shopping. What could be easier?
By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 09:03:48
Another great option for panniers is the Basil memories basket, which you can get at mec. It slots on your rear rack with no effort. I usually take it in the store and it also slots on to the grocery cart.
Comment edited by AnjoMan on 2015-02-20 09:04:25
By walter (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:51:40 in reply to Comment 109410
Basil bottle basket, found at bike hounds
By KevinLove (registered) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:18:54 in reply to Comment 109410
I like your bike! Who is the manufacturer? I can't quite make it out on the frame tube.
By Ling (anonymous) | Posted May 27, 2015 at 10:17:58 in reply to Comment 109425
Hi guys! That bike is a Papillionaire Sommer! :)
By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 13:28:00 in reply to Comment 109425
Ah, so funny story, this is the nicest-looking bike I could find when I did a google image search for 'basil memories bottle basket' --- unfortunately its not my bike and I have no idea what the brand is. It sure is a beaut though!
Comment edited by AnjoMan on 2015-02-20 13:28:23
By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:44:37 in reply to Comment 109454
looks very similar to simcoe (which we have at bikehounds btw :-)
By KevinLove (registered) | Posted February 22, 2015 at 01:35:39 in reply to Comment 109492
Yes, it does look very similar. But current Simcoe bikes have a full chaincase, whereas the mystery bike only has a chainguard.
Yes, I'm a bike snob. Yikes!
Perhaps it is an earlier iteration of the Simcoe?
By moylek (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2015 at 10:49:39 in reply to Comment 109509
Yes, it does look very similar. But current Simcoe bikes have a full chaincase, whereas the mystery bike only has a chain guard.
Great to hear that Simcoe has started to enclose the chains. It was the open chain which led to me dismiss Simcoe as an option when I needed to buy a new year-round bike which could handle snow and slush without the chain rusting up.
By seancb (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2015 at 16:43:27 in reply to Comment 109515
you are both kind of right :-) the simcoe chainguard is full only on one side, the frame side is open and they use a zinc chain. It offers full clothing protection from the chain but not full chain protection from the elements.
The back-open chainguard is a compromise that allows much easier access to the wheel for tube changes. Using a galvanized zinc chain prolongs chain life, but not as well as a full chaincase would.
One add-on option for IGH/singlespeed bikes which don't come with full chainguards is to add the hebie chainglider which does not need any frame attachment mounts: http://boltonbicycles.blogspot.ca/2011/1...
By KevinLove (registered) | Posted February 22, 2015 at 18:47:21 in reply to Comment 109524
Yes, a full chaincase makes it more difficult to change the tube. But the solution to that is to get a Kevlar puncture-resistant tire such as the Schwalbe Marathon Plus.
As one sees from the videos, and here is another example, most Dutch bicycles use a full chaincase. I don't know the percentage of puncture resistant tires used. But it is only common sense. Puncture resistant tires are cheap and getting a flat is a real nuisance.
By RobRombouts (registered) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 09:58:11
We have a Bakfiets, which is the bike King Willem-Alexander is shown riding at the beginning of the video.
Our kids love it and it is great for getting around. I ride it to work most days (although I took a pass today). It's a bit of a pricey option, but it has replaced a car, so it was worth it.
By KevinLove (registered) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:27:08 in reply to Comment 109414
A Bakfiets is a wonderful cargo bike. Bakfietsen are currently being sold at Urkai in Burlington
The genuine article, imported from The Netherlands, has prices "starting at $3,095." Yes, a bit pricy, but it will last the rest of one's life.
Comment edited by KevinLove on 2015-02-20 11:27:19
By Crispy (registered) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 10:30:09
Comment edited by Crispy on 2015-02-20 10:42:09
By Crunchy (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:15:00 in reply to Comment 109419
Oooo, a real gotcha. You're SO right, eating some pretzels and nachos with your fresh fruits and vegetables is just as bad as spewing air pollution that everyone has to breathe and TOTALLY invalidates the authors point about choosing to ride a bike to do errands, thanks for your important contribution.
By Chewy (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 18:12:30 in reply to Comment 109424
By Crispy (registered) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 15:34:38 in reply to Comment 109424
By stiefhaus (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:37:18
That dog bike basket is awesome... where did you buy it?
By KevinLove (registered) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 13:34:49 in reply to Comment 109429
I got it at Curbside Cycle in Toronto. I just took a look at Curbside's Basil stuff and they do not have it in stock.
The dog bike basket is the "Pluto" model. It is still currently manufactured by Basil. Their North American distributer is Fourth Floor Distribution, which is showing the "Pasja" model as in-stock. But they may be willing to order in the Pluto. I would suggest contacting them if you want one.
By stiefhaus (anonymous) | Posted February 23, 2015 at 10:51:57 in reply to Comment 109455
Thanks KevinLove, i'll look into that.
By KevinLove (registered) | Posted February 20, 2015 at 19:11:28
Canada is currently referred to as a Dominion by the first sentence of our constitution.
Whereas the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have expressed their Desire to be federally united into One Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom:
And in Section II as well:
It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council, to declare by Proclamation that, on and after a Day therein appointed, not being more than Six Months after the passing of this Act, the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick shall form and be One Dominion under the Name of Canada; and on and after that Day those Three Provinces shall form and be One Dominion under that Name accordingly.
Perhaps you wish to amend Canada's constitution. Good luck with that.
It's surprising how quickly and cheaply you can add carrying capacity to any bike. Here's my old hybrid with two collapsing wire baskets (about $15 each from Pierik's in Westdale) attached to a rat-trap rack (about $15 from Canadian Tire in Dundas).
The mess of straps on the rack was for holding my briefcase.
Opened up, each basket holds two full-but-not-stuffed cloth Fortino's shopping bags, or two six packs. Or one large Yorkie.
My next bike, a Dutch city bike with a front rack and sturdy rear rack, expanded the possibilities - I could take two propane tanks to Canadian Tire for refills, for example (the second would be bungeed to the rear rack). And dropping my vinyl panniers ($40 from Bike Hounds) on the rear rack would have allowed me to pick up the hamburgers, buns, and some beer on the same trip.
Here are the panniers I mentioned above: cheap, sturdy, capacious, and easy to take on and off:
Comment edited by moylek on 2015-02-22 10:47:12
By moylek (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2015 at 19:11:36 in reply to Comment 109514
By the way - the keen-eyed might recognize the red bike above as being the same type which Prince Klaus is riding in Kevin's second video. The average person might not be able to drive like royalty, but cycling like royalty is quite affordable.
By KevinLove (registered) | Posted February 22, 2015 at 18:59:06 in reply to Comment 109514
I like your bike! The front rack looks particularly useful. And the kickstand!
By moylek (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2015 at 19:17:48 in reply to Comment 109528
Thanks :) The front rack with a large box or basket made quite a difference to my daily commute and shopping: I could just drop my briefcase, library books, some groceries, and/or a bottle or two of wine onto the front of my bike without worrying about carrying anything special. That particular model of rack will fit on pretty much any bike, I believe.
By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted April 25, 2015 at 23:08:39 in reply to Comment 111086
It is fascinating that you think one positive lifestyle change obligates one to do everything perfectly, forever, in the opinion of someone who suffered lack of oxygen at birth.
Wanna know what the beauty of diversity is? There is more than one way to lower your carbon footprint. One person lives outside the city and burns 7 cords of wood per winter. Another lives in the city and burns little energy. One person drives because they love to. Another bikes because they love to. By embracing the diversity, we can all do what is best for us
Was wondering, could you write a blog post and tell us how it's done? I'm sure your house is geothermally heated, everything grown in your backyard and preserved for winter, I'm absolutely certain you don't smoke or do drugs or drink (naaah, no signs of that).
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