Friday, August 7, 2015

The Art of Carrying Things By Bike

Locking up at the racks for a Costco shop
I'm no stranger to carrying things by bike. It's become second nature to carry children, groceries, home improvement materials, tools, or small furniture on my bike. But I have a cargo bike with a weight capacity of 440 pounds, right? Thing is, I've only had the Yuba Mundo longtail for a year & a bit. Before that we would use the child trailer to haul stuff sometimes, & before that it was just my rear rack & my panniers on my normal bike.

When a member of the Cargo Cyclists group posted a video to the group & asked how we got started carrying stuff by bike, I tried to think back to what it was for me. But after 16+ years of transportation cycling, I can't remember any one thing that spurred me on. I do know that car sharing with Modo was a big part of me choosing bike rather than car most of the time. Because I'm invoiced monthly with a breakdown per trip, I have become very aware of what driving actually costs. Before we go anywhere, I ask myself: is it worth it to add $15 onto the Costco trip? Should we spend an extra $25 to get to Ikea faster? Do we need to spend $50 to get to __'s house?

(By the way, if you think that Modo is really expensive per trip, sit down & add up all the costs of owning a car, including insurance, depreciation, payments, maintenance, gas, parking, tolls, cleaning, etc, then divide by the kms that you drive & your numbers won't be all that different.)

Most of the time, my answer is no, so we bike. & we haul stuff on the bikes. Not only is it fun & empowering to get there on my own steam, but it's good exercise & pretty much free. I love the challenge of figuring out the best way to pack my panniers or secure bulky things to the bike. This video gets that fun across & shows you how you can do it with any bike. If you've never shopped by bike, or carried kids or pets by bike, take a look & you might be inspired to start.

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