A few months ago, I received a big box full of CargoCycle. I had opted to put it together myself. I’m no bike mechanic, but I do have an array of tools and generally know what to do with them, and I got it together myself in half a day without too much grief – just the odd thing needed ‘persuading’. Riding is easy, with nicely spaced gears (I rarely use anything above 6th) and it becomes even more stable with a load. Many friends have given it a try, and are impressed with how easy it is. They all remarked how much it is like riding a normal bike.
Since its arrival, it has become a big part of our regular transport options. The hub gears take a few weeks of breaking in, and the rear hub brake also takes a while to reach its optimum. (The front V-brake stops the bike well from the get go). Generally three days per week I’ll drop off our 2.5 yr old to childcare, and then ride it the 4.5km into work. It is a ‘happy’ bike to ride. Provided you’re not in a hurry, it’s just so comfortable and enjoyable. My daughter is rapt every time we take it, and sometimes quite disappointed when she learns that we have to take the car. We use it for shopping, and for the odd errand (picking up a mail-order esky from the Post Office for example). We live around 5km from Melbourne Zoo, so that has been, and will increasingly be, a common trip. There’s a few hills, but none that are too arduous. I’m also quite impressed by the dyno-hub. So much so, that I’m considering one for my other regular commuter bicycle. It puts out quite a lot of light, even at low speeds.
I rode it (with daughter) in this year’s 50km route of the Around the Bay in a Day. It was first time I’d been on long, flat routes with it. I was amazed how quickly you could get along. Pedal a bit, up a gear, pedal a bit, up a gear. Soon I was passing many of the riders, with no real effort (I was pacing myself). The bit that did require some effort… well, let’s say I was happy to see the top of Westgate Bridge… but the gearing certainly made it very achievable.
On the whole… if you are looking for a viable alternative to a car for many of your shorter trips about your neighbourhood, with the prospect of some longer trips, I think it’s a great option.