I can’t help but look enviously upon those people with front-bucket cargo bikes – especially the electric assist ones!
I’d love to be able to post a photo of me carrying a Christmas tree on my bike – even though we have a fake tree that lives in the attic – or perhaps showing an unfeasibly large amount of shopping filling my cargo bike to the brim.
I’d love to turn up to a cycle protest ride with a big battery-powered music system, and lots of flashing lights.
I’d love to see other cargo bike owners on the road, and give them a knowing nod as we pass each other.
I just love the look of them, and the sheer practicality of them, even though – strictly speaking – I don’t actually need one.
I don’t have small children that I need to haul around. And if I want to do a large supermarket shop I can always use the car to transport it home. The only real use I might have is to transport my two dogs around the city, to get to dog-friendly walking places.
I suppose my ebike is already a cargo bike of sorts. It has a plastic crate on the front rack – big enough for one of the dogs, or two bags of supermarket shopping. And if I added some pannier bags on the back I’d be able to haul even more.
However I still long for one of those proper cargo bikes with a big box on the front. It’s the bike that I aspire to own one day.
I sometimes wonder if I’ve fallen for the same idealised image of myself that lures quite ordinary people to lust over massive SUVs and trucks. They like the idea of being able to drive off-road up the side of a mountain, even if 99% of their journeys involve the school run or navigating the Tesco carpark.
I’ve fallen for the idea of needing a cargo bike. I like the idea of being able to transport lots of stuff, even if I don’t have that much stuff to transport.
There’s also the consideration of where to keep it, because I’m not sure I’d be comfortable leaving it in the front driveway overnight – even though that’s where the car lives. I suppose if I invested in a strong ground anchor and a big chain I could leave it outside, but I’d still worry about it being stolen.