Cycling from A to B in London can be so easy and that doesn’t have to stop even with the kids in tow. So, why not give a cargo bike a try? 🚲
All about cargo bikes
Cargo bikes have been around for quite a while now – as early as 1885, in fact! Whilst they might not be a common sight here in the UK just yet, they‘re a fantastic way to transport you, your kids and your shopping! 👨👩👧👧
The bikes are really easy to ride and their size means you can’t go too fast. Plus, you’ll have a good road presence so cars can give you enough space. 🚙
They also have plenty of storage underneath the seat which is great for keeping helmets in, packing a picnic or for shopping. 👍
Types of cargo bikes
🚲 Two wheeled: With just a single wheel at the front and back, these bikes provide steering similar to that of a standard cycle.
🚲 Three wheeled: Two wheels at the front, either side of the cargo, and one at the back. This bike is more stable when you travel slowly but makes cornering and sharp movements a little trickier.
Some of the bikes are electronic so give you some help when pedalling to make your journey easier. 🙌
Hiring or buying a cargo bike
It goes without saying that cargo bikes are much larger and heavier than the cycles most of us are used to. Which is why hiring one to begin with is a great idea. 💡
They’re also a big investment (from £400), so it’s worth testing a few out to make sure it’s right for you! 💰 You can hire bikes from 👉 London Green Cycles.
Top tip – get started by riding the cargo bike around the block a few times and try out a few trips that you could use the bike for regularly. Also, get the family involved – kids will love seeing London in a whole new way! 🔎
Let us know about your journeys – share your stories in the comments! 👇
Great to see TfL illustrate that not all cycles are you standard two thin wheels! Just a little correction if I may: not all cargo bikes have a door, but most will have some steps on the side to assist the children with getting in. Also there is a great variety: two wheels, three wheels, with box in the front or long rear rack at the back (longtails) where regular child seats can be fitted. Some even are foldable or have a frame that splits, so you can take it with you on holidays. They can carry up to six children for the bigger models. They all have belts, either across laps for older children or over the head for younger children who can safely enjoy their regular naps when on the go. They are also great for doing the grocery run and carrying the odd bulk items. Most models will also have an e-version available for when those hills get too much. Cargo bikes all have one thing in common though: they leave a trail of people smiling wherever they go!
We’ve had our bakfiets for five years (a workcycles KR8, highly recommend). The kids started out at six months in a car seat secured in the box, and then graduated to the bench (with built in straps). We use it daily for the school run, heading to parks and shopping (it holds a LOT of groceries!). The kids love it, and it’s nice to have them in front where we can chat. It’s basically a lifesaver!
We cycle an urban arrow family e-cargo bike in Fulham, we sold our car nearly a year ago and have not looked back.
School runs with the children is far safer than them scooting or cycling themselves and far quicker than a car or any other mode of transport available to us. Generally London’s drivers are very diligent around the cargo bike.
We have a tent cover for heavy wind/rain/snow and I wear a big poncho.
My wife has an e-bike so together we travel long distances all over london at the weekends and often stumble across new places that we’ve never visited before. London’s architecture and built environment is the best in the world, we all love absorbing it as we explore.
So please get out of your polluting car and into a cargo bike. It’s fun, practical and zero emissions.
Love to hear this, thanks for sharing Jonathan!