Cargo bikes, the next hypocritcal mass?

14 03 2009

Cargo bikes.

I am all into cargo bikes. Honestly, I can’t think of a better use of a bicycle. But…..I can’t get into the hypocritical nature of what these really represent for most people. Here is what I mean.

First you have to get a “cargo bike”. What is a cargo bike? I mean I call a cargo bike any bike that you can put a ton of shit on and go from point A to point B. As in millions of flying pigeon bicycles in China or any of the other single speed English type bicycles throughout all of Asia that are routinely loaded to the hilt everyday and turned from bicycle to impromptu fruit stand or chicken stand or TV truck.

My flying Pigeon:

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Various shots:

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Bike shop on a Bike (really a trike) that I ate next to in Beijing….Those were some good noodles BTW.  But I digress.

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No, No, here in America we have to have a “special” vehicle for this so we can go to the stupid Safeway or Wally and pick up three bags of groceries. Was anyone every broke enough here to remember hanging five or six bags on the handlebars of your beater MTB and getting back home at like 10pm?

Today you need a 3k wonder cargo long bike with wood baskets and fenders from some super rare irreplaceable rain forest tree. Worse yet, is getting a Chinese equivalent, stripping the whole thing down and replacing the crappy parts with “good” parts. Then throw all the crappy new parts in the landfill (cause you can’t recycle chrome plated steel or make some “bike art” with it uggh) and ride that thing with a huge smug smile to the coffee shop to pick up a pound of Starbucks French Roast. Repeat at least three times a year. The other 297 trips a year. Complete with your dino sucking Escalade.

So lately I have heard many people talk about wanting one of these cargo bikes. Generally the concept is…..Well if it was cheap enough, I could park it next to my other dozen bicycles and my three cars….but only if it is cheap enough, then I might go to Home Depot and cause I can, buy concrete, and ride home with it.   Funny thing is most of these people don’t know the difference between a nail and a screw.

That is not the idea, people. Even if it costs 5k for a cargo bike, the concept is that you do a large chunk of your trips with it. If that is the case, then it would pay for itself in short order with savings in auto payments, insurance and fuel. Cargo is not some sort of freaking bike accessory. And if you want to be cheap, nobody needs a cargo bike. It is nice for sure but you can load up the simplest of English three speeds and carry most anything reasonable.

If you have to pick up 400lbs of concrete or a new 60’’ television, you know a car is a pretty darn nice thing to have.

Cargo bikes should not be a fashion statement nor a advertisement for green values, but sadly to some, they seem to be.  I like when we don’t give names to things.  I think using your car less is really smart, Going car-less is generally stupid and if you are going to use your bike for cargo hauling either buy something nice, locally made with sustainable materials or use what you got.

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2 responses

15 03 2009
PICKNICK INSURANCE

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16 03 2009
ubrayj02

Dude, if a bike is outfitted to carry cargo, then it is a “cargo bike”, right? Everyone I know that owns a $2k and up cargo bike uses the thing ALL THE TIME (myself included). You need to provide some photos of smug smiles on cargo bike owners using their heavy-duty machines solely for coffee trips – because I have yet to spot a single person in such a situation.

Other than that, Flying Pigeons rock!!

I am a little biased, seeing as how I’m part-owner of Flying Pigeon LA.

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