28th May, 2015
As enthusiastic proponents of family-friendly cycling holidays, we have organised a fair few trips in our time that cater for both the old (thank you electric bikes!) and the young (thank you tagalongs and trailers!) Trailers were affectionately known as "brat-mobiles" amongst the Carter clan due to the tantrums they sparked when a young family member was told their time was up on the tagalong, and it was their turn to sit in the trailer - which is a lot less fun! They are actually pretty great though, allowing families with children as young as two or three to take a cycling holiday all together. We provide them on a number of our holidays, and they work well on diverse terrains such as cycle paths, bridle ways, towpaths, and roads.
A new star is emerging on the urban cycling scene: the cargo bike. And if you're only going to be cycling on roads, then the cargo bike is a real winner! It's a lot more enjoyable for both small passengers, who can sit up front and see what's going on, and drivers/cyclists, as the structural design of these bikes is specifically geared towards cargo. They are surprisingly light both to lift and to handle on the road. In fact, we tested one only the other week at London Green Cycles.
It's the first specialist cargo bike shop in London, and the guys there really know their stuff about cargo bikes. They told us that the gold standard at the moment in the cargo bike world is the Christiana. These bikes originate from Copenhagen in Denmark, where of course cargo bikes have been part of the lifestyle for years. The idea for these bikes came from a mother in the Christiana community, who wanted a bicycle that could transport her kids to school. Someone got busy building, and these bikes were the result. The standard size can fit four small children in it - amazing!
Whilst we've been a bit slower to catch on here in London, partly because safety and road provision for cyclists just isn't what it should be (but that's another story for another day...), we are starting to see increasing numbers of cargo bikes on the streets. And not just for transporting children - businesses are using them as delivery bikes for everything from flowers to croissants. Check out the London Cycling Campaign's 2015 Cycling Awards, which has a whole category this year for 'business by bike'. Nominees include courier service Deliveroo and E8 Bakehouse. We hope to see more and more cargo bikes on the streets of Britain in the years to come!