Cargo bikes might not pollute the air, but they often don’t work particularly well. The bikes tend to be heavy, difficult to steer, and prone to tipping over. Students at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán aimed to reinvent the bikes without adding a motor.
The result was Mocan, a simple vehicle that looks like a scooter, with extra room in front to carry boxes or other goods. Designed as part of the Biomimicry Student Design Challenge, which asks students to look for inspiration in nature, the Mocan imitates the squiggle movement of centipedes and snakes. Instead of pedaling, you move a handle back and forth to move quickly down the street.
known for its bicycle-friendly streets and bike paths, so you’d probably think that bicycle infrastructure in the sky would be completely unnecessary there. But even this bike leader has intersections that are excessively large and centered too much around cars. In the case of one such intersection between Eindhoven and Veldhoven, planners and designers created the Hovenring, a beautiful bicycle and pedestrian roundabout elevated above the roadway.
There’s a unique version of the cargo bike available from Xtracycle, which can not only carry bags or boxes with ease, but can also accommodate a passenger or two as well. Xtracycle’s EdgeRunner model combines a passenger seat, a bike rack, a bike bag, and more, into a “long-tail” cargo bike that is efficient to ride, handles responsively, and is lighter than a lot of other cargo bike options on the market.
Velogistics has the plan figured out with a straight-forward mapping system. People who want to rent or share their cargo bikes post photos and short descriptions of their bikes on the Velogistics website. Bikes can be shared for free or rented at a set price. The location of the bikes is easily found using pins on the Google Maps system. The Velogistics team also has members that scout out broken and abandoned bikes, and refurbishes them to be used as cargo bikes. Additionally, they are building an open-source wiki dedicated to care and maintenance of cargo bikes.
Cyclists are pushing the limits of what they can put carry on cargo bikes — sturdy two-wheelers built to haul lots of stuff. The so-called SUV of bicycles is increasingly popular in pedal-friendly communities, from Washington to Massachusetts.
Families are using the bikes to do everything they did on four wheels — schlepping kids to school, hauling groceries or running errands — without the hassle of finding parking. Some do it to help the environment in a small way or to get exercise, while others say it is an easier, more fun way to get around.
The Companion Bike Seat is a brand new, and pretty handy, extra that hooks up to your bike, allowing you to cart around, at the very least, a 200-pound passenger — or for parents a lot of kids. This week, the San Francisco-based company began its Kickstarter campaign, hoping to raise just enough money to produce 1,000 companion seats.
The Companion Bike Seat costs $125 in Kickstarter guise and includes a lockable stash box, pegs, a comfy padded vinyl seat, and the tubular steel frame. While the Companion isn’t going to give you as much carrying capacity as an Xtracycle or a purpose built cargo bike, it gives you a lot more than you have now.
Bicycle sales outpaced new-car sales last year in all of the 27 member countries of the European Union, except Belgium and Luxembourg, NPR reported on Oct. 24. One reason is that car sales have slumped in the midst of the euro-zone crisis, NPR points out. But there are signs that this slump isn’t temporary. It’s a reflection, perhaps, of a larger change in how people are traveling.
There are a couple of reasons for the shift. The cost of fuel and insurance in many countries has gone up. And perhaps more importantly, cars have become less of a badge of prestige or money—at least in developed markets.
In Europe, predictably, countries hit by the economic slowdown have been the first to jump on their bikes. In Italy, in both 2011 and 2012, more bikes were sold than cars. In Spain, last year marked the first time the two-wheeled vehicles had ever outpaced cars since the country started compiling the related data.