What type of cargo bike caught your fancy?
We started with a cargo trike, a model that looked safer because it was very stable when it was standing still. There aren’t many cycle lanes in our neighbourhood, and we often have to stop. That was also the most comfortable solution for our children, who tend to wriggle all over the place.
It wasn’t long at all before we bought a second one. That meant the two of us could take turns taking the children to school. For our second bike, we decided on a longtail that feels almost like a traditional bicycle, which is more pleasant for travelling longer distances.
The combination of the two cargo bikes is absolutely ideal for us. We choose the one that is best for what we have to do that day.
What motivated you to take the plunge?
The birth of our children! We’d had it with cars, and it’s a bit difficult to transport a newborn on an ordinary bicycle. So we started using public transport again, but that is so damned inefficient. That’s why the idea of a cargo bike that you can attach a baby carrier or a carrycot to immediately won us over. It’s practical and reassuring all at once.
How long have you been using your cargo bike?
We started using the cargo bike a few months after our first child was born, just over four years ago. We really do use it every day, at least to take our children to crèche or school, but also to go to work or meetings, to do the shopping, to go to the park with the kids’ bikes or for a day trip and so on.
What has the cargo bike changed about your daily life?
A cargo bike was the obvious choice for us because buying a car wasn’t an option: there is the expense to consider, the difficulty of parking, traffic jams etc. And we’re convinced that bikes are still the fastest and most efficient way to get around the city. Having a cargo bike has allowed us to keep a great freedom of movement, even with children. And they love it!
Is it difficult to ride?
Our longtail is only about 10 cm longer than an ordinary bike, so it’s pretty similar to ride. To begin with, we did have to get used to the weight and movement of the children behind us. But you soon get the hang of it, to be honest. After a few hundred metres, you hit your stride and adjust your movements accordingly.
Then you have to consider the manoeuvres where you need to slow right down: turning into a side street, for example. But even then, you soon get the hang of it once you’ve done it a few times. In fact it’s like learning to ride an ordinary bike: once you can do it, you never forget.
What advice would you give people who don’t dare embark on this adventure?
Go for it, it’s really fun! The kids love it: they see their friends in the street, they learn the way to school, to the park and so on... They recognise places in Brussels and start making connections. In fact you experience the city in a completely different way on a cargo bike.