I don’t know if I am the first, I’ve not seen one yet, it was an ambition of mine in any case. I’ve borrowed a cargo bike for a week from The Schoolrun Centre in Cambridge – I wanted to see how I can use the bike in Ely, I have sometimes up to six children to get around and the bigger ones like to cycle and having three little ones in front of me where I can see them instead of on the back behind me in down in a wide trailer where I can’t see what they are up to! It arrived in the back of an MPV yesterday (Friday). The main thing is the cargo bike is so easy to ride, the low centre of gravity means that it’s incredibly stable, even with just two wheels, it’s almost as if the more kids I have in there, the more stable it feels. It really is a joy to ride. The gearing is also very good, there are some really low gears for getting going and climbing up hills, so far in Ely I’ve not had any problems, I’ve done Clay Way/Larkfield Road and Lisle Lane with two kids in there so far. I’ve yet to try Forehill.
Today, it was raining so I got to try out the rain cover, my eldest is a tall 6 year old (possibly the height of the average 8 year old) and he had plenty of head room. Getting in and out is fine for a kid, it’s a bit of a squeeze but kids like climbing and squeezing through gaps, there’s a foot hole to assist with the climbing in. They did need a bit of help but I think with practice it will be easy for them.
I dropped my five year old off at his friends in Stour Green then rode down to the market with the eldest to pick up some marmalade and a present for a friend who was doing lunch for us. Cycling down Lynn Road, it was nice to get some smiles from people walking and on bikes. There were quite a few slack jaws too, that was interesting too. Having ridden the same model of bike in the Netherlands a few weeks ago where I saw dozens of them to Ely where I am quite likely the first, it feels like the first motorcar drivers must have felt. The bike is so lovely to ride, so easy and it’s no wider than a normal bike – the handlebars are the widest point, so nobody can accuse me of taking up more road space either.