All things granola

Why I Switched to a Cargo Bike

I have a new Yuba cargo bike, and I’ve been over-the-top-excited about it ever since I picked it up.

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Meet my Yuba.

Before I explain all that my new bike can carry, allow me to justify why I needed a cargo bike. I’ve described on this blog many times over the years how our family bikes for transportation. I’ve even longed for the Yuba on this blog. I’ve carried up to three kids at a time on my bike, either in the baby seat or in a trailer, and have loaded a week’s worth of groceries onto my bike.

I’ve pulled loads of crazy things on my bike–like the months where my son was strolled across town by my babysitter in a double jogger, and I picked him and the stroller up everyday. On my bike. With a bungee cord.

These days, with all my little chicks old enough to ride, all I haul is a load of groceries. And it gets a little weird when you have an empty trailer on the back of your bike on the way to Trader Joe’s. You wouldn’t believe how frequently people yell out, “You forgot the kid!”

I instead started using just baskets hooked onto my bike this summer, and I managed to load up to four big grocery bags on the bike. Not bad, right? Try balancing those bags and pedaling up hill. Loading and unloading became a constant battle to make sure the heavy bike didn’t topple over–which it pretty much always did.

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Who needs a car?!

I knew there had to be a better option, and I found it at Everyday Cycles and Motion on Chicago in Evanston. I stumbled upon the place in August and found out they specialize in bikes for…wait for it…me! It seems I’m not the only parent out there who wants to use a bike like a minivan. The Yuba Boda Boda V2 carries up to 500 pounds, including humans, dogs, groceries and kayaks. Since I have all of these things, I obviously needed the bike.

I’m not gonna lie–the price wasn’t cheap. But! I had assets to sell. And sell I did. Out went our Bob jogging stroller, a vintage racing bike, a sheitel (doesn’t everyone sell a wig to buy a bike?), and of course my previous bike and trailer.

Now if you’re still reading this post, you’re either my mother or you can appreciate a girl’s enthusiasm for a new bike. So here’s the story on the day I picked it up:

I ordered the bike in late August and expected it to arrive in 5-7 business days. It took longer than that, and then finally when Everyday Cycles and Motion was putting it together, it was last Friday. And of course, the bike wouldn’t be ready until 6PM. Candlelighting was at 6:43. No worries.

I finished all of my Shabbos prep by 5:50PM when my husband walked in from work ready to shower and leave for shul. Then I insisted he drop me off with our 5-year-old at the bike shop instead. And because he totally gets it–and gets me–he dutifully headed out in Friday evening traffic to get there. At 6:15, the bike was still getting its last nuts and bolts as I stared at the minute hand of my watch. Forget the bolts! They used some temporary twist ties on the fender instead and sent us on our way.

We zoomed home on our joy ride, singing, laughing and ringing the bike bell the whole way home. I made it there with six minutes to spare. We made a shehechiyanu on our new bike and pretty much felt gleeful all Shabbos because of it.

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Our maiden voyage. Pajamas and all.

Since the end of Shabbos, I’ve hardly left the bike. Just in these past 24 hours, I rode to our kids’ school and back–four miles away–three times. I wasn’t sure how often I would carry a kid on it, since everyone can ride a bike, but now that we have our cargo bike, I practically have to bat the kids on the block away like flies. Just call me a rickshaw driver.

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My favorite rider on our way home from school today.

Carrying groceries is so much easier to balance and lighter too. And the double kick stand means my bike never falls anymore, regardless of how much weight I’m hauling.

I’d go on, and on, but then you’d think I’m a bike nerd. Oh, wait. I am. Anyone want a ride? I’m available.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Why I Switched to a Cargo Bike

  1. So fun! Use it in good health an of course good weather!! Let me know when you want to ride for fun and go about 20-25 miles sans groceries I would be happy to join you!!

  2. Great article! I remember as a boy, Stephen Margolin was an avid cyclist. I am sure he is proud of his son and daughter in law for carrying on the tradition.

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