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Bicycles Southeast Portland Food Project cargo bikes.
Image Credit: SE PDX Cargo Bikes  via Flickr CC

Published on October 8th, 2013 | by James Ayre

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Cargo Bike Trend Taking Off, Displacing Cars And Trucks

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October 8th, 2013 by
 
The cargo bike trend is really starting to take off and gain traction in the US. It seems as though there are cargo bikes nearly everywhere you look in some parts of the country nowadays. What’s been the driving force behind this rapid adoption (or re-adoption) of the technology? Consumer use by everyday people looking to cut down on their bills/reduce their carbon footprint?

Well, according to A.K. Streeter of TreeHugger, the primary driver (metaphorically) — in conjunction with the ones stated above — has been the increased inclusion of electric motors on the bikes, and the fact that the technology/community has now reached a critical mass — there’s now a strong community associated with the use of cargo bikes that can easily answer common questions and devise solutions to common problems.

Southeast Portland Food Project cargo bikes. Image Credit: SE PDX Cargo Bikes  via Flickr CC

Southeast Portland Food Project cargo bikes.
Image Credit: SE PDX Cargo Bikes via Flickr CC


Streeter explains:

From the heavy-hauling B-Line electric trikes that can carry up to 600 pounds of goods from site to site in a city, to volunteers using their cargo bikes to deliver many bags and pounds of foods to folks in need, cargo bikes are getting more deserved recognition for their ability to take cars and trucks out of the traffic stream.

The deepening of the cargo bike trend is due to a couple of factors. One is the ability of basic cargo bikes to be more versatile and climb hills due to the addition of an electric motor that allows both for a little extra oomph on inclines. In some cases, a throttle also lets a cyclist with a heavy load take off from standing still without difficulty. The second factor propelling cargo biking is that of critical mass. With more cyclists choosing a cargo bike in order to haul stuff or haul kids, there’s now more of a collective voice to answer questions and devise solutions to common cargo hauling and kid hauling problems.

For information on some of the many great uses for cargo bikes, see:

1. Cargo Bikes Taking Over Where Ice Cream Trucks Left Off

2. Cargo Bikes Deliver Elderly A Breath Of Fresh Air In Copenhagen

3. Svajerløb 2012 — Danish Cargo Bike Championships.

4. Cargo Bikes, Rio Style

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



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