Tag Archive | "cargo bike"

Bibliobicicletas: Cargo Bikes Turned Libraries

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Bibliobicicletas: Cargo Bikes Turned Libraries


They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are associated with public libraries or schools, others with community efforts or local book shops. All have one goal: bring the books to the people!Whether they’re called Book Bikes, Library on Wheels, Bibliobicicletas, or another variation on the theme, here is a selection of cargo bikes dedicated to wheeling books around.

Find them at your local park, open streets events, festivals and more.

The idea is not new – as a cheap way to get more bikes into homes, they are a good way to “bandage” poor access to public libraries, and the amount of “book bikes” throughout the world are countless. Oregon’s Street Books, for example, specifically works with the homeless community and rents books out to them for free (read more about Street Books in this article by the New York Times).

As for the bikes that pull them and the varying setup – there is no one right way. Whether a trike, a trailer, or a one-of-a-kind setup, as long as it rolls and can carry and display bikes, it works.

Links to the various websites and builders:

Pima County Book Bike – Haley Tricycles

Oregon Street Books

San Francisco’s BibliobicicletaBikes at Work

Oakland’s Bike Library – Kick Trailer

Berkeley’s Library on Wheels

Posted in Featured, Load Carrying, other topics, special purpose, tricycles, Work CyclingComments (0)

Donky Bike

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Donky Bike


The Donky Bike is a not a new cargo bike – it’s been around for a while, since almost 2006. It could be arguable one of the earliest and, at the time, most innovative cargo bikes.

Donky-Bike

 

What is appealing about the Donky Bike? Its symmetry, its simplicity, and its rideability. Good for anyone looking for a tried and true, smaller-sized bike that will still both fit in a narrow hallway and carry twice as much cargo as the regular bike. It is available in lime green and black and retails around 499 pounds ($785 or 625 euros).

The Donky Bike is a product of Ben Wilson, a London-based Ben 3D Industrial designer working whose work has been extensively published and exhibited worldwide. Many of his projects involve bikes in one way or another, and he has collaborated with Brooks on what seems to be the weirdest, bikey-est seesaw yet:

Brooks-see-saw

Visit their website here for more information.

Featured in:

De Zeen

Design Boom

In Habitat

 

 

Posted in bicycles, City Cycling, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, special purposeComments (0)

Cargo Race: Disaster Relief Trials

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Cargo Race: Disaster Relief Trials


A disaster relief drill in the form of a cargo bike competition, simulating a day 4 supply run. Your neighbors need help, do you have a cargo bike?

Reuben Deumling was the fastest male Citizen rider in DRT PDX 2012 (Picture from Event Facebook page)

Reuben Deumling was the fastest male Citizen rider in DRT PDX 2012 (Picture from Event Facebook page)

This October in San Francisco an unusually well organized, thought out, and well-meaning race will be taking over the Presidio: Participants will be testing the effectiveness of their cargo bikes as a means to respond to an emergency situation, where streets are un-navigable by car and supply lines are cut off.

Mike Cobb, co-founder of Disaster Relief Trials along with Travis Wittwer and Ethan Jewett, has helped local organizers host 6 of these events in 4 cities, starting with Portland in 2012.  He originally came up with the idea of using cargo bikes for targeted relief efforts after witnessing the “inadequate Haiti earthquake recovery efforts during the winter and spring of 2010″.

The San Francisco trials race might ring particularly close to home for locals, as it takes place shortly after a 6.0 quake shook the North Bay in August. It also coincides with the 25th anniversary of Loma Prieta earthquake which crippled the Bay Area and caused widespread damage.

The Race

The race itself takes approximately 3 hours. Competitors can define their own route but must stop at all checkpoints, maneuvering along the way through rough terrain, water features and physical barriers all while carriers 50kg of cargo. First place goes to whomever finishes the fastest, although there is a time penalty for breaking any of the 3 inadequately protected eggs, which represent fragile relief supplies and must remain unscathed. Visit the event’s Facebook page for more information.

The goal of the race, says Cobb, is to “show-off the capabilities of the cargo bike under post-disaster conditions” and thus demonstrate their potential as a creative solution to dealing with infrastructure breakdown and providing citizen-led relief when and if first responders are focused on priority rescue missions. The race format was a conscious choice; “I like that people have fun making a powerful advocacy statement,” Cobb adds.

The video below, which can also be found on Vimeo here, is a short clip from the 2012 Portland Race. “There seems to be a widespread belief and conception”, says a participant, “that all the real problems in the world require a truck.”

Above and Beyond the Finish Line

The event is sponsored by Xtracycle Bikes, a Bay Area cargo bike company, which has been advocating for emergency response by bike since 2002. Mike Cobb, Paul Freedman from Rock the Bike, Ross Evans and Nate Byerly from Xtracycle put their heads together and created “The Life Bike”, which Byerly described as a “cargo bike designed for EMTs”. Equipped with a backboard, oxygen, a defibrillator, and other emergency medical supplies, it was designed to provide 911 responders with a means to respond to any incident, in any way possible.

Although the Life Bike was never commercially produced and sold, the team has continued to collaborate with the WorldBike.org project, “a non-profit” Byerly wrote, “that innovates and advocates for bikes in developing world settings.”

As to which bike he would recommend in case of a large scale collapse – Byerly pointed to the Edge Runner, citing “low center of gravity, virtually indestructible small rear wheel, extensive climbing gear range, and quality components” as advantageous benefits in the Disaster Relief Trials race. Xtracycle has donated two bikes which Mike Cobb will optimize for disaster response ahead of the Disaster Relief Trials event.

edge_runner_xtracycle

Integrating Cargo Bikes in Disaster Relief Plans

In a recent blog post, FEMA underlined the need for teamwork in creating a successful emergency plan. The creative addition of cargo bikes to a plan’s toolkit seems to be an easy sell so far. As the Disaster Relief Trials event grows, and the idea of cargo bikes as an tool in times of emergency spreads, the partnership and integration of cargo bikes could become more institutionalized.

And once the value of applying cargo bikes to disaster relief is demonstrated, says Mike Cobb “the discussion of ‘how’ can take place.” Most cities have a program for citizen-led disaster response (see below for links to find one near you), which “allocate basic equipment and training to volunteer citizens who are willing to provide neighborhood-scale disaster recovery leadership and assistance. These small networks,” says Cobb, “could provide the best opportunity for cargo bike response management. I can imagine a registry of cargo bike owners who receive basic training and are willing to be pressed into service during times of need.”

Related links:

Disaster Relief Trials Website

Disaster Relief Trials bring cargo-bike heroism back to Portland – Bike Portland

Going Green: Cargo Bikes Empower Portland Communities in Disaster Preparedness – FEMA

Portland’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team page

FEMA’s Community Emergency Response page

Find a CERT near you

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Lightfoot Cycles

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Lightfoot Cycles


Lightfoot Cycles designs and builds custom bicycles and tricycles in Darby, Montana, USA. Their website has a large and diverse selection of very interesting bikes of all shapes and sizes, such as custom bikes for the “big & tall” (they can fit a person up to 7′ tall!). They also have recumbent bicycles, tricycles, quadracycles, two-rider recumbents, special-needs bikes, hand-cycles, power assist bikes, industrial work vehicles and all weather velomobiles.

What I thought was most interesting however was the history of the company, its founder, and their One World Design Project. Back in 1995, Earl Miner designed and built the PET handcycle, at the request of missionaries working in war-torn rural areas of Africa. Earl witnessed a large number of persons in their communities who sustained disabling injuries and who could not walk, many from land-mine encounters.

The walking-speed, cargo-carrying PET handcycle.

These people were consigned to dragging themselves along in the dust, through a land that had no handicap-access laws, little pavement, and not nearly enough money to afford doctors, protheses or wheelchairs. The concept of a simplified hand-cycle was proven by Earl, and then the prototype was redesigned by Rod Miner.  It was produced in increasing amounts for several years at what would become the Lightfoot Cycles shop. From there, Rod Miner began designing cycles for the domestic market. However, design for the less-developed nations continues still with the One World Design Project.” – http://lightfootcycles.com

Their goal is to create highly capable and affordable working vehicles for persons in any part of the world. Within this project, they even sell a cargo-adapter kit which can be attached to a regular mountain bike, turning it into a fully-functional cargo bike!

TCX extension used to transport bales of hay

TCX extension used to transport bales of hay

TCX Custom Box

TCX Custom Box

Marty Stomberg and Rod Miner together created a business model to underpin the production of Lightfoot cycles, starting as custom builders in a converted horse barn, and building slowly and tenaciously over a decade and a half toward the goal of larger-scale lean manufacture.

Check out their diverse array of products!

The Duo is a fast, efficient two-seat recumbent cycle.

The Duo is a fast, efficient two-seat recumbent cycle.

Posted in Load Carrying, tricyclesComments (4)

Mobile Graffiti Trike

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Mobile Graffiti Trike


A really cool platform for projection or laser graffiti artists. If you don’t know what projection graffiti is check out Graffiti Research Lab’s Blog. It’s really cool.

Link:
Graffiti Research Lab

Posted in City Cycling, DIY, Load Carrying, special purpose, Work CyclingComments (0)

San Francisco’s Finest – Sycip Bikes

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San Francisco’s Finest – Sycip Bikes


 Sycip Bikes is a custom bicycle builder that was established in 1992 by Jay & Jeremy Sycip. If you ride regularly on the US West Coast, you’ll occasionally run into a lucky someone riding a Sycip Bicycle. Every time I see one of their bicycles, I’m always amazed to see the innovative design and quality of construction.

I was especially impressed by two bicycles they’ve built, a long bike and a custom delivery bicycle for Boccalone Salumeria (specialty meat company).

They’re definitely one of the finest bicycle builders on the planet and if you’re in the market for a custom bike, it’s worth giving them a call.

Posted in Load Carrying, long bikesComments (2)