“BE THE CHANGE THAT YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD” Mahatma Gandi
My quest for an alternative mode of transportation arose from a practical standpoint more than an environmental one. I needed a way that I could easily transport my children to school pick-up and drop off. Of course I cold drive my big SUV but it felt like such a waste of fuel and unnecessary wear-and-tear on the car doing this simple errand twice a day every school day. Walking took too long, biking however would be perfect, but how to bike with three small children? After searching online I stumbled across this picture of an intense looking woman riding the strangest bike with six, (yes six) children on-board. What was this strange contraption? Where did she get it? I quickly learned that her odd bike is actually very common, just not in America. These cargo bikes, called “Bakfiets” are super popular in parts of Europe, and are so popular that they even outnumber cars in many cities! Of course the Europeans figured out how to ride bikes with their children, the United States is far behind in this aspect at least. Having never been to Europe myself this was all new to me, but I knew from the moment I saw one that this is what I had been searching for, the thing that had the potential to change my life for the better. Now my task was to find the right bike and in the United States. My husband volunteered to build me cargo bike that we could put our children on, and I know he had the capability of doing it; but bless his heart, I did not want to load more work onto his plate. He heart is in the right place for wanting to do something so sweet for me, but as a small business owner he doesn’t have much free time, and I would like to have the bike while my children are still small enough to fit in it, they would be in college by the time he finished this project. During my research I came across this video by Practical Cycle:
I was sold. After seeing this video, I was Nihola or Bust- I had to have one. There are at least a dozen other companies who make cargo bikes and they come in many different styles, but Nihola seemed to just blow them out of the water. My husband was surprisingly very supportive, and supported my decision to purchase one, which I have to say I was very surprised because his renown for his extremely frugal nature. That being said, we have an understanding that this bike is my Christmas, anniversary, mother’s day, and birthday gift for the next five years or so. I ordered some special features directly from the manufacturer in Copenhagen, Denmark and 2 months later it showed up in a huge crate on my doorstep.