Thursday, May 04, 2006

Dutch Cargo Bike


I had the luck of riding up behind Rianne Taylor as she transported Luc and Cecilia to school yesterday morning in that fabulous Dutch contraption. After landing it in front of the school yard and unloading the kids from it, she offered to let me take it for a spin!

First thing I tried to do was lift it off the ground. I couldn’t budge it, not a millimeter. It felt like trying to lift a car. Imagine my surprise, then, when driving it felt like floating in a hot air balloon, except with steering control. So smooth! You don’t feel the weight at all. How they could make such a hunk of machinery glide like that, Idon’t know. And the steering is easy, too. The handlebars connect below the box to an extender that reaches
forward to turn the front wheel, and you’d expect it to feel sort of like steering “by proxy,” but no. At least for the short distance I rode, it felt effortless.

I didn’t try out the thumb-shifter and I forgot to ask how many gears it has. Rianne says forget about hills. The slight incline of the route to the kids’ doctor is the most she’ll take on. She welcomes the exercise, but this bike has its limits. We’re not likely to see one tooling around Portland’s West Hills.

Remember that Holland, where she brought this over from, is flat as a pancake. In Holland, this is a car. You can see the website for this amazing unit at http://www.bakfiets.nl/. It’s all in Dutch, but if you contacted them I bet they’d reply in English. (I’ve never met a Dutch person in my life who wasn’t completely fluent in English and probably a few other languages.) It comes with a built-in lock, a generator headlight, a custom-fitted zip-up plastic rain shield, and seatbelts for the passengers. Makes me want to move to Holland.

4 Comments:

At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

English site is
here.

 
At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Kimmy said...

Where can i get a bike for 3 toddlers in tow in Porland?

 
At 1:16 PM, Blogger kate gawf said...

Kimmy, you are in SUCH LUCK with your timing, I can't even believe it. JUST YESTERDAY (June 7, 2007) Girl Reporter Kate Gawf interviewed the sellers of family bikes of all kinds, for an article which will appear in the Portland Tribune soon. They are Clever Cycles, and just for you they opened A FEW DAYS AGO! I am not kidding. Talk to Rachel, their family transportation specialist. She and her husband Dean have four kids and NO CAR. But any of the four owners can help you. They are totally into this. They are at 1516 SE 9th Ave. and their number is 503-334-1560.

 
At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

these bikes are GREAT, I have just ordered myself a cargo bike much like this one right here in NYC for $2100 and cant wait to head out to Central park!

 

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