Back in May 2011, representatives from NGOs, the government, private sector business and industry analysis firms met in Copenhagen, Denmark to share different ideas for advancing the shift of goods and services transportation to non-motorized modes in European cities. This meeting also lies within the context of the CYCLE Logistics project, whose ultimate goal for 2014 is to save 1,300 tons (465,000 gallons) of fuel, put2,000 more cargo cycles into use in European Union (EU) cities, and shift 10,000 trips to inter-modal transport chains (bicycles and tricycles used with other modes of transportation).
They are trying to encourage CYCLE Logistics under the European Cycling Federation to promote the benefits of cargo cycling. Businesses who use cargo cycling give customers an image of environmental responsibility, they also have a better chance of delivering their goods on time without having to deal with traffic and road infrastructures.
Accessibility is also increased for those business who use cargo tricycles to reach out to people, where stores cannot. As a result, replacing motorized transportation with cargo cycles does not contribute to air quality degradation and pollution.
This is not the first time Europe tries to really encourage the use of cargo cycling as a real means of transport. In the United States, we often regard cargo cycling as a fun weekend pastime or leisurely activity. We don’t really see cargo scooters as being used for professional use – but it’s coming! What really needs to happen, which is what the CYCLE Logistics project strives to do, is promote a behavioral change within a culture. They try pushing Europeans to transport goods and services with cargo cycles—among all individuals, organizations, businesses and levels of government.
In China actually, this has already been the case for a long time. In large cities with dense populations, millions of bicycles and cargo tricycles are being employed for daily transportation of people and goods. Whether it transports garbage, fruit, a mini barbecue, stacks of chairs or hay, the Chinese have been very creative in using cargo scooters in any way to help them with their business or wherever they need to go.
The population density of Chinese cities has resulted in hundreds of millions of bicycles and tricycles being employed for daily transportation, many of which are utilized in the cargo fashions that the CYCLE Logistics project desires to produce.
Yuba Bicycles is a long bike company based in Northern California. From the looks of it, their quality is solid with modern components. We’ve seen some of their complete bicycles for as low as $800 at some budget bicycle dealers. On Yuba’s website, they start at $1100 with Shimano Acera components and go up from there depending on features. Their electric version is available for $2600. OUCH!!!!
We really love long bikes as a category and they’re great for families with older kids. If you’re buying a long bike for the first time, make sure to budget an extra $200 for some waterproof saddlebags (panniers), running boards for extra riders, and dual arm kickstand when loading kids. That way you can get the most out of your long bike.
Update: Yuba now sells their Mundo V4 for $1299 with SRAM components, including super stable double kickstand, bamboo deck and integrated wheelskirts. The elMundo with BionX goes for $3199.
It was great to see that some of the large manufacturers are heading into the cargo bicycle market. Hopefully it’ll bring cargo bicycles into the mainstream and make a dent in car traffic.
Check out the Kona Ute. They’ve added this great new longbike to their huge lineup. Longbikes are great for anyone who wants an all around bicycle that they can use for commuting, getting groceries, camping, and to transport small adults or older kids.
I ran into this video about New Urbanism, which is the trend in urban planning which promotes walkable livable cities. This video is a really cool intro to the whole idea. Hopefully the idea of using bicycles for transport in these new cities will take off.
German manufacturer, Fine Mobile GmBH, builds a fantastic pedal powered human electric hybrid car. It has a top speed of 53 mph (85 kmph) and a range of 80 miles (130 km) per charge. With it’s fully enclosed body and luxury features, it might just be the all weather solution that you’re looking for. The only catch, with a starting price of $26,000 USD (20,000 €) this beauty will be in the hands of a lucky few.
Stoke Monkey is a electric power-assist unit that fits on a extra long chain-stay bike, such as a bike equipped with an Xtracycle setup. It works by a variable-speed throttle on the handlebar and a tandem-like drivetrain setup. Once the motor is on, the rider would have to pedal along (like a tandem stoker). They claim a cruising speed of 30 mph on the flats.
Electra, a bike company that specializes in cruisers and townies, have came out with a new line of commuter bikes called, Amsterdam. The bikes have the look of the Dutch bikes at an affordable price. Amsterdam is retailing for $550 and comes in classic and sport model.
I edited some video of the Shanghai Maglev Train from a recent business trip to China. We covered the 40 km distance from downtown Shanghai to the airport in 8 minutes. Top speed 430 kph (267 mph).
It’s not directly related to cargo bicycles, but more so with hybrid commuting (using a bicycle locally and a train between cities). Imagine if a high density region like the US West Coast corridor (Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LA, and San Diego) were connected with a high speed rail line like this.
It would definitely make hybrid commuting a more viable and enjoyable option. Plus imagine all the fun bicycle tours that become a realistic option. The rail lines wouldn’t have to be magnetic.
A German company called Beyss Leichtfahrzeuge makes a totally cool human powered zero emission vehicle called Go-One³. Designed by a designer from Daimler Chrysler that helped bring us the Smart Car, the Go-One³ is a fully enclosed weatherproof pedal powered tricycle. With features like it’s carbon fiber shell, turn signals, and electric assist this is like no other bicycle you’ve ridden before.
Looks so hot, it’s been used as a prop for TV commercials and magazine ads for companies like Puma.
Now if they can only do something about the price tag… $7689 US Dollars with shipping.
Recumbent trikes with full fairings came from human powered vehicle (HPV) racing. One was Mike Burrow’s Windcheetah, originally intended as a stable HPV trainer for HPV racers. Recumbent enthusiasts soon discover the advantanges of a fully faired trike for commuting compared to a full faired recumbent bike. There is no need to balance the vehicle at stops, no worries of side wind blowing the vehicle around.
Velomobile became the term used to describe these fully faired recumbent trikes built for commuting in traffic and offering all-weather protection.
One of the most well know is the Leitra, with a flip-forward front section that allows entry and exit of the rider.
Rivendell, is a bike company specializing in quality bikes for cyclists looking for a bike with lightweight, durability and practicality in mind. Grant Peterson of Bridgestone fame with bikes like RB-1, MB-1, XO-1 started Rivendell and continue the philosophy of simplicity and practicality combine with classic lug contruction. All bikes comes with fender clearance and rack mountings. Their bikes strike a nice balance between specialized racing bikes and overweight hybrids.
The bike pictured to the right is their Atlantis model.
I just posted my photos from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show at the San Jose Convention Center. There was a huge number of custom bicycle builders from all over the world attending the show. The variety of bikes ranged from all out velomobiles to rat bikes built with found materials. It was great talking with the builders who went out of their way to be friendly and answer any questions.