Here are a couple more reasons why the Cycle Truck is still one of my favorite bikes. Basically because it's so useful.Carrying a frame to Fedex
People I pass always double-take when I've got something large on the front of my Cycle Truck. People often point, and laugh, or nod their heads. I like the head-nodders because I think they're saying to themselves, "That makes sense. I want to do that!"
Cycle Truck and Chop Saw
If I didn't have this bike, I'd have to drive the half mile to the shipping office, or I wouldn't be able to carry my chop saw home to work on the house. I've ridden people on the front, to take them or pick them up from the train. I even had to deliver my shop mate, Chris Igleheart, to the hospital after he was hit by a car. Cycle Truck as gurney. Fortunately, he's back in action now.
Countless times, countless uses, it's so liberating not to have to drive.
If you haven't seen the article by Tom Clynes in this months' Bicycling Magazine, you ought to check it out. The article is titled, Cargo Bikes: Is This The Coolest Bike Ever Made? It's a perspective on the growing interest in -- you guessed it -- cargo bikes. It's a pretty comprehensive article, covering a variety of facets of interest, and he checks in with manufacturers both large and small.
I quote here the final paragraph, which gives insight into the rest of the article:
It's then that I see, in the parents' faces, what Dave Cohen calls "the politics of possibility." I could tell them all how green my bike is, how cost-effective and healthy. But in the end, what they see—and take away—is how much fun it is to carry people and things around under your own power. In the delighted faces that surround me, I can see the possibilities opening up. In practicality, it seems, there is joy.
Also, there is a somewhat breathless quote in the article by yours truly:
For eco-conscious cyclists like Joseph Ahearne, a Portland bike builder, part of the allure is making a statement. "Every time I'm on my bike with a big load of stuff on it," Ahearne says, "I can only hope that some people in cars see me and are already so frustrated with traffic and the costs of fuel and car payments and the roll of fat falling over their belts that they look at me taking care of business on my bike and feel something like envy. It plants a seed."
Here are a few more pictures of bikes I saw in Thailand. These photos are of cargo trikes, both the pedal kind and motorized. There are a lot of different types of vehicles with two and three wheels that are used for hauling stuff. Some of the most burly are the motorized cargo trikes, which are seen all over the place.
Just down the road from one guesthouse where we stayed in Bangkok was an ice factory. There was a fleet of motorized cargo trikes that hauled giant bags of crushed ice to the street vendors. The bags were fifty kilos each (about 110 pounds) , and I saw these cargo trikes loaded with at least 8 to 10 bags, possibly more, as they left the factory. They ran ice around the city all throughout the day.
If you've ever been to Bangkok you know how many markets there are, and how many food vendors, fruit sellers, beverage makers, etc. are out there. Most of them have no electricity for refrigeration, so they need ice to keep their stuff cold. It must be a big business for the ice factory. Bangkok is hot as hell. Without ice people would be pretty miserable.
I wish I could say that I saw a lot of pedal powered cargo trikes, but I fear its a dying breed in the city. Everybody wants a motor to push them around. I saw a few cargo trikes, but not many. It makes me wonder what it was like thirty, or even fifty years ago. How did people get around the city? How did they move their stuff around to the markets?
The last group of photos in this session are of vintage Indian tuk-tuks. They are such elegant rides. These are pictures of a type that is no longer in use. I hope you enjoy them.
Bicycle Times The most recent Bicycle Times reviewed the Ahearne Cycle Truck. All in all it's favorable: they seemed to enjoy the bike, and they clearly got the point of what its intended uses are. I won't say too much here; you ought to read the article.