What is a Cargo Bike (and how can I use it)?
By: Scott Taylor
In many neighborhoods around the world, people just like you take a little extra time to plan their day. They consider things like travel time, routes and weather, and of course snacks. Then they set out on an adventure… and it pays off in lots of ways.
Cargo bikes are simply bikes that are specially made to carry more than just their rider. And people choose to use them because it brings a richness to their everyday life. They ride to work, get stuff done, take their kids to school all while enjoying their communities and neighbors. We think the main usage for cargo bikes would be carrying children, errands, carrying dogs, and for business.
Many children around the world are cargo bike fans. The benefits of riding with your kids start to show right away. They smile ear to ear. They giggle. They notice EVERYTHING. And the best part is that these kids are seeing their parents as the reason they are having a great time.
It builds trust and teaches them to connect to their world. It build curiosity and connection all around them.
Many cargo bikes are made to easily carry children, with safety harnesses and benches built right in. We will go in depth on this in the future.
The cargo bike makes errands more fun. Let’s not call them errands, let’s call them outings. Running to the grocery store is fun with a cargo bike because people will look at you like you are crazy when you pack up a week’s worth of groceries while holding a bike helmet. But, that doesn’t define you as crazy, don’t worry. We won’t go through all of the outings you can have with a cargo bike. But here is a list of fun ideas:
- Deliver water to volunteers at the local running race
- Pick up food to deliver to the local soup kitchen
- Bring everything you ever wanted to Jazz in the Park (grill, food, chairs, blanket)
- Surprise the whole office with breakfast or lunch
- Help your kid’s school by loaning it to them for field day. Or better yet VOLUNTEER
- Bring it just in case you find something cool to bring back home with you
Just like Children, Dogs love cargo bikes. They beg, plead and whimper just like children when they don’t get to ride. Little dogs and big dogs, young and old, smart and super smart all love riding in a bakfiets (front loading cargo bike). The trick is getting them to associate the cargo bike with something else they love, besides you of course.
To make sure your dog is safe and secure, we recommend using a short leash and attach it in a way that restricts movement a little. Many dogs will end up not needing it after they associate the cargo bike with relaxing.
And for you, in addition to your dog being happier, you will get a little exercise. You’ll be recognized more often. And you won’t get your car all gross when your dog finds its favorite thing to roll in.
We will have lots more on this in the future.
Business Cargo Bike
Immediately, entrepreneurs either jump on one of three ideas for a cargo bike with their business: 1. DELIVERY!!! 2. Advertising 3. No, thank you. Well, we will ignore number 3, but let’s talk about the benefits of 1 and 2.
For delivery, a cargo bike can be much faster. Traffic will be much less of an issue and finding a parking space will never be a problem. For the right scenario, a cargo bike will outpace a car or motorcycle for efficiency in delivery. You will have to use your entrepreneurial mind to figure that out for yourself.
And for advertising (maybe while delivering), the cargo bike is fantastic. Many cargo bikes have the space to not only carry things, but also have a message and contact information on their box. But, this message is not just the words you are using, a cargo bike says that you are connected to your community. So everywhere your cargo bike goes, you are communicating with your prospects. This includes when your family goes to the little league game, when you are grocery shopping and when you leave your cargo bike outside of your competitors. Just kidding… or am I? For one on one businesses, like real estate, dog trainers, business coaches, etc, this is a great opportunity. Oh yeah, and it can be written off taxes as advertising*.
*Please see your CPA to confirm that this is true. It should be, dammit.
Cargo bikes connect people with their community, their family and their surroundings. It brings life to daily activities that could otherwise be mundane. I hope you are convinced, I hope you are inspired, I hope you have ideas and mostly I hope you are excited!