I just ended up with a cargo bike.
It all started a couple of months ago when my wife was out of town for a week. There were a lot of places I’d have taken the kids by bike, but taking the trailer many of these places didn’t seem like a good idea. (Note to Chapel Hill: Putting a gigantic bike rack at the library doesn’t matter one bit if Estes and Franklin are both poor for cycling.) I reckoned a cargo bike might work better for these situations, but the price is obviously the rub there. My wife returned, we discussed it, I casually mentioned it to a couple of people, and forgot about the whole thing.
Until Thursday, that is, when a certain CBC staffer sent me a link to a 13-minute-old Craigslist ad. Someone in Durham was selling a short-model Bakfiets for one-fourth the price of a new one. It didn’t take long before I was pulling cash out at the bank and arranging for pickup.
Saturday morning, we got the kids in the car and trucked out to pick it up. We met, we talked, our kids played in the yard, and then it was time to go. Now, one cannot simply throw a Bakfiets in the car and take it home (when all one has is a CR-V, anyway). So the plan was for me to ride it back home to Carrobro and rejoin my family there. What an experience. Twenty-five miles in the hottest weather of the year on a Dutch cargo bike.
The route was simple: Through downtown Durham to the ATT, down to Southpoint, across to Chapel Hill, and on to home in Carrboro. I got stares. I got smiles. Two people asked if I was selling ice cream on the trail (I’d have eaten it all, it was so hot that day). Someone asked if there was a baby sleeping in there (with a lid on it? I hope not!). But three hours, two liters of water, 20 ounces of Icee, and a stop at Harris Teeter later, and we were home.
Next, I get to make a new bench, order some seatbelts, and readjust the Sturmey-Archer hub. I am looking forward to our new addition.