We have known for awhile that our current way of transporting children was at best a short term solution. Bike trailers, even the best ones, have certain drawbacks, the biggest being a 100 pound limit. We have been fast approaching that limit, not mention that the boys were very tired of being smooshed into a very small space whenever we wanted to go anywhere as a family. Also, our trailer, which we bought long before we were car-free, was not designed for the demands that we were putting on it. So, we went searching for a solution.
If it was just me and the Artist who were going car-free, there would be actually quite easy in our flat town with mild climate. But when there are kids involved, there are certain challenges. There were things that we were looking for in our new bike. Space and weight capacity were huge. Durability was a close second. And safety is always important. We also wanted something that we could use not only for the children, but could transport stuff easily. Essentially we wanted a bike that we could use as a car.
After much research, we were pulled to the capital of biking as transportation, Holland, where they have made biking not only practical, but also fun. So on Tuesday, I emailed one of the few suppliers of Dutch bikes in the United States, My Dutch Bike in San Francisco and found out they had just gotten a shipment and these bikes, called Bakfiets, were selling quickly. Not wanting to miss an opportunity, we borrowed a truck and headed for the city to see one in person and, yes, test drive it. Two hours later, we were strapping our new vehicle in to the back of the truck.
Never before have I ridden a bike like this. It is 8 feet long and about 90 pounds and rides like a dream. It can carry up to 200 pounds in the front and over 100 pounds in the back. And did I say that it rides like a dream. It cost way more than any bike we own, but is so much cheaper than any car we could have bought with no insurance cost or gas to put in it other than the extra food we have to eat to keep our motors going.
Another biking challenge solved. I never knew it would be this fun. Want to join us?