ParisCargoBikesMeeting.org and TransportLand.org have shared a few emails and photos. We have similar goals and a passion for cargo bikes. PCBM is our cargo bike cousin across the water. Our plan is to guest post on each other’s web site, introducing ourselves if you will. Here is our post for Paris Cargo Bikes Meeting, not yet translated to French.
A warm greeting to our fellow cargo bike riders in beautiful Paris, care of Paris Cargo Bike Meeting. We look forward to learning about your cargo bike scene.
In Portland, bicycle use has been on the rise for some time now. More and more people are using bikes to get around, and in some cases, you will see more bicycles than cars on certain streets. A newer trend, however, is using bicycles to carry things. Many of the bicycles seen everyday in Portland are really only useful for moving yourself from one place to another. If you need to take something with you, you must either carry it on yourself, or find some interesting way to hang it from your handlebars. In recent years, though, this is changing.
These days in Portland, you might see anything from a person carrying their laundry on an English or Dutch city bicycle, to someone carrying their two children with groceries in the front box of a Bullitt, a Work Cycles bakfiets, a Yuba, or an Oregon-built Metrofiets. Businesses are delivering anything from soup to pizzas, and coffee to mattresses, using alternate types of bicycles designed to carry things. We even have delivery companies, set up to deliver large quantities of goods within city limits, using electric-assisted tricycles which can carry up to 600lbs of goods per tricycle.
It has taken Portland many years to get to this point—the point to where, nationally, Portland is called a cargo bike capital. There were a few odd cargo bikes (possibly even a single one) in the area before 2007. However, the opening of Clever Cycles in the summer of 2007 helped to spawn our cargo bike culture.
2012 will be the year of the cargo bike for Portland. Yes, people still do look as a cargo bike zooms by, but this more to see which cargo bike it is, rather than the wondering, what kind of bike is that?
New avenues for creativity have popped up due to the increased interest in cargo bikes. Whether it is a made-in-Oregon cargo bike, cargo bike accessories, or custom cargo bike platforms, you will see it about the streets. The above bike, by the way, is a Travois: a joint venture between Todd Fahrner, Clever Cycles, and Johnathan Reed, Quixote Cycles.
During the summer, Portland’s cargo bike culture likes to get together to hang out, show off the variety of bikes, and to drink beer. It is like a hot rod car show, but our hot rods rarely have four wheels. This is a time to share ideas and marvel at just what a cargo bike can do. It is this culture and want of exploration that gave rise to our web site, TRANSPORTLAND.org. In the above photo, you can see the diversity of cargo bikes, and trailers.
At TRANSPORTLAND.org, we want to organize and harness the creativity and thirst for fun. Cargo bike companies were on full display in our city’s Starlight Parade. This summer, we had the Disaster Relief Trials. In this trial, cargo bike riders will race a 30+ mile course, carrying 100 pounds, with several challenge spots. The idea behind the race is preparation for how to use cargo bikes after a disaster has hit our region. When disaster hits, bikes, especially cargo bikes, will be a way to access resources and supplies. Enjoy some photos.
We are also working with The Oregon Food Bank to find ways to use cargo bikes to distribute emergency food boxes to individuals and families in need.
Great ideas are being carried out in Portland by cargo bikes. We wish you well and look forward to your post. Cheers!