On 12 April 2014, the third edition of International Cargo Bike Festival was held in Nijmegen in the Netherlands. It was attended by 250 delegates and around 1,000 people turned up (almost all on bicycles of course, so no parking hassles) on the open day to try out all the different bikes.
My family recently purchased a Christiania cargo bike. It got a lot of use over the summer transporting my daughter to the beach which is about 1km away. It will get even more as she gets older. To deal with the Auckland hills (not such an issue in Copenhagen) we had an electric motor put on the bike making hills a non-issue.
Cargo bikes are the solution to a lot of the objections people have about bicycles. People need to move around more than just themselves. They have groceries, children, pets and all kinds of other stuff to carry around. A cargo bike can deal with all that. In Copenhagen you will see Christiania bikes carrying children with grandmothers, groceries, dogs and TVs. In Berlin, we saw a musician off to a gig with his guitar and amplifier in the front.
In the city of Groningen, with a 60% bicycle modal share in the central city (and aiming to get that higher), IKEA offers cargo bikes for moving house. In Portland, Oregon, a new company, B-line, has opened offering courier services by cargo bike and it is growing fast. Portlanders are also finding many novel uses for cargo bikes and saving time and money in the process.
We bought a tricycle cargo bike because my wife is not a very confident cyclist. However, the trend now is towards two wheeled cargo bikes which are faster and can carry just as much weight.
I haven’t seen too many other cargo bikes around New Zealand, but I am sure as cycling grows we will see more and more.