Emma Coote got an electric cargo bike big enough to carry both kids, and it’s changed her Auckland family-commuting life. She shares her experience with us here… 

This morning was the first day I have driven to work in around 2 months. I arrived with battle fatigue! Tomorrow I am most definitely back on our bicycle made for 3.

Uphill, no probs.

Being able to pedal the kids and myself to school and work, almost exclusively on bike tracks and without doing myself an injury, is life changing. They love it, I love it, the roads have one less car and we all arrive happy and invigorated.

We have a 4km commute to school along the northwestern bike track (loving that wisteria) before I do the last 3km down Grafton Gully (wheee) and through the Domain to work in Newmarket. Lots of hills, but made so easy with a bit of a boost from the battery. 

Since trialling and then buying the eZee Expedir cargo bike from the Electric Bicycle Hub, I have been amazed at the sheer number of biking commuters. My kids want to talk to them all! They’ve been rating the bikes that pass us then calling their verdicts at the disappearing backs. (Apologies if you’ve received a poor review! The scoring is based mostly on colour.)

I used to cycle-commute from Grey Lynn to Henderson on a regular basis before kids, and would know by sight most of the handful of cyclists I met. When I did the trip the other day I stopped counting the number of people heading into town when I got to 60, and I was probably only halfway there. And so many electric bikes – they have definitely opened up the cycling commute to a wider audience.

I feel really lucky to be able to leave my car at home and enjoy our expanding bike tracks with my family on a daily basis. Look forward to seeing all you other lucky devils out there!

A view from the back seat!
Electric Bikes Family Rides
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3 responses to “A bicycle built for three – how e-bikes changed one family’s commute

  1. Emma, this is brilliant! I note you ride through the Auckland Domain, as I do, and wish there was segregation between the walkers and cyclists. Especially the part in front of the grandstand.

    I have yet to receive a rating from the kids, I’m on a yellow road bike so am expecting a thumbs up ;o)

  2. Cool bike, and it’s great to hear how it works so well for you and your family.
    You go down Grafton Gully to go back up Lower Domain Drive? I guess its less of an issue with motorised assistance, but I find it’s much less of a dip and climb if you cross Grafton Bridge (closed to cars), Park Rd, and Carlton Gore cycleway. (not as pretty, I’ll admit).

    From the end of the NW cycle-way, you get to the bridge by going straight (instead of turning onto Upper Queen) onto Alex Evans (pretty quiet even at peak hour) and Symonds St shared path past the cemetery.

    I head this way to the top of Parnell instead of dipping/climbing… but I do go through the domain so I still get the pretty scenery 🙂

  3. Heh Emma, that’s so awesome. Respect! When I was in Amsterdam I loved seeing the cargo bikes with kids all bouncing around in the cargo part. The folk from the Dutch Cycling Embassy this week saying they had a local authority I think, who had a scheme to give away cargo bikes to Mum’s with kids. The Mum ended up being called a particular name which I didn’t catch – meaning this type of cargo bike Mum. Be great to see you one day but I already have review anxiety. I’ll go bright next time I upgrade.

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