European cyclists take children, groceries

by Raymond Parker on October 25, 2010

in Advocacy, Cycling, Video

Tim Auger rides cargo Fairfield Bicycle Shop co-owner Tim Unger cycles his recycling

(click to enlarge)

Letters griping about traffic congestion and demanding bigger and better roads turn up often in the newspaper. Yesterday, the Victoria Times Colonist printed my response to one of them.

Victoria Times Colonist, October 24, 2009—Pg. D3

Re: “Congestion a result of bad decisions,” Letters, Oct. 17.

The writer who claimed “Bicycles do not carry couches, or even large loads of groceries or laundry” might look to those European cites he dismissed as positive models, where the cargo bike is common.

You don’t have to be an athlete to use one of these machines (though Victoria’s Simon Whitfield can be seen carrying his children and groceries in such a vehicle); gearing is appropriate to moving loads.

On the streets of Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Eindhoven, mothers transport their children to school and laundry to the laundromat. Delivery companies move everything from produce to kegs of beer.

Though pedal power might not be appropriate for large industrial transport (still, never say never!) there is absolutely no reason, other than lack of imagination and will, that the human powered vehicle cannot become an important method of escaping gridlock and, yes, the blight of urban sprawl.

Meanwhile, for ideas on crossing the “vast distances” of this continent, we might also look to Europe where, fast, efficient and clean rail transport whisks passengers to their destination speedily and in comfort.

CargoBike.ca | WorkCycles | CargoCycling

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