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Cargo Tales, Pt. 1: Captain Najork and the Hired Sportsmen

March 22, 2021

During February, we offered families from five different schools around Wellington the opportunity to take the Yuba Spicy Curry bike home for an extended test ride, to give the cargo lifestyle a go.

We thought it would be fun to share some of the stories that we received from the families who took part. We hope that these may inspire some of you who have been considering making the jump to two wheels to come in and take a bike home for an extended test ride of your own.

We're kicking off this series with the winner of the lucky draw, Amy Barratt-Boyes and the submission from her team "Captain Najork and the Hired Sportsmen".

 

In 250 words or less tell us the most important ways riding a cargobike made a positive difference to your family.

Oh, where to start? We are a one car/one licensed driver family with 3 adults and two young children in the house (and two extremely old dogs, bless). Here are some of the positive differences riding a cargo bike made to us:

  • The glorious freedom of having another adult run errands or take the littles out for activities was probably the most profound effect of having the cargo bike.
  • Not having to worry about parking.
  • Finding more time in our day as travelling times were substantially reduced. This allowed us to have some adventures enroute to school or the supermarket!
  • It was the ONLY time I have made it to playcentre with Maude on time for duty day after dropping Ernest off at school.
  • Errands and little trips became genuinely exciting.
  • Using our car only twice during the trial.
  • NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT PARKING.
  • Occupying space in our city differently. Seeing Newtown and the surrounding suburbs from a different perspective - we walk a lot but being even slightly elevated and still ‘outside’ while travelling allowed us to interact with people and the landscape in a fresh and intimate way. Maude(2 year old) became chief navigator yelling out the street names as we turned into them :D.
  • Getting all the lovely waves and smiles from other cyclists, especially the cargo bikers. Pretty sure it made us better people.

 

 

Tell us a fun story from your time riding the cargobike.

Picking Ernest up from school on Friday afternoon we decided to head to Maranui for fries and milkshakes. We threw his schoolbag over our fence after breaking the landspeed record up Mein St and flew over the hill to the sea. Ernest and Maude were whooping and doing mexican wave arms. After the cafe we spent an hour on the beach helping the seagulls get enough exercise and still made it home by 5pm.

Also, I will never forget Maude yelling out street names as we traversed Newtown. Mein St! Owen St! Harper St! Loved it. And finding her randomly sitting on the bike during the day, she found the seat very comfortable.

 

What surprised you the most about riding the cargobike?

I think the sheer efficiency of biking with the family on board. I hadn't realised the extra time walking and driving (and parking yuck) were taking. I was quite nervous about taking the children into traffic, but the size of the bike and its upright riding stance made me feel safe and visible. Knowing that I could easily keep up with city traffic, especially the fast starts at the lights was super comforting. I also really enjoyed being able to choose the level of physical exertion. I love being active and feeling my body work, I was worried that the cargobike wouldn't provide enough exercise but it was brilliant! I could work as hard as I liked, tailoring the assistance for comfort.

 

 

In your childrens own words, how do they describe riding the cargobike.

Ernest (5): I only wanted to go on the footpath at first but Mum went straight on the road. It was fast and my seat was bouncy over the speedbumps. I had to tell Mum when I was going to get off the bike. I miss having the bike.

Maude (2): I liked the bike. Other Mums turn now*. FAST. My bike to centre(playcentre). Maude's one.

*Maude was quite upset at handover time, we'd spoken about it being another families turn but she really wasn't keen to let it go. She's still recovering, I think we may have created a speed demon.

 

Any further comments or feedback regarding the trial?

From our perspective the trial was a great success. I had sore cheeks after every ride from smiling so much. All the other families trialling the bikes seemed to be just as delighted and there was a real buzz around school especially with other parents and teachers asking questions and expressing interest.

 

 

Thanks for your story Amy! We hope that you and your family love the bike, and can't wait to see you cruising around Wellington on it.

If you enjoyed this post, keep an eye out as there are plenty more to come.