If you live in Maynooth you may have seen me trundling around town on my big blue cargo bike. We bought it a couple of years ago and since then it’s replaced 90% of my car journeys. Let me tell you about it, and why I have found it to be a far more useful urban vehicle than any car I ever owned.
Our town has a wealth of amenities, but accessing them can be difficult in a car since the town centre is often congested with traffic. A bicycle cuts through the traffic with ease, but how then do you carry your purchases, kids, or raincoats? That’s where a cargo bike comes in, being a bicycle with room for shopping, passengers, and even cover against the rain!
Let’s dive into the top five benefits of cargo bikes, and why you should consider getting one today.
One of the most significant advantages of a cargo bike is its practicality. No longer do you need to worry about fitting everything into a small car boot or pannier bags on a regular bike. With a cargo bike, you can easily carry kids, pets, groceries, and even awkward loads like furniture. The versatility of cargo bikes makes them ideal for families in Maynooth, as they provide ample space and support for your daily needs.
- Fun and Enjoyable
Who doesn’t love a good bike ride? Cargo bikes add an extra layer of enjoyment to your trips. They beat sitting in Maynooth’s notorious traffic, and kids love them! Whether you’re riding to school, work, or just exploring our lovely town, a cargo bike can turn a mundane trip into a fun, memorable experience. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your family and enjoy the outdoors.
- Health Benefits
Incorporating a cargo bike into your daily routine is an excellent way to get regular exercise without even noticing it. Instead of driving, you’ll be actively engaging in physical activity while running errands or commuting in Maynooth. You’ll also be contributing to a cleaner environment by reducing your carbon footprint, which is a win-win situation for both your health and our town.
- Fast and Efficient
For short urban journeys in Maynooth, cargo bikes are often faster than driving, as they can navigate traffic more easily. With a cargo bike, you’ll never have to worry about finding a parking spot, which can be a real time-saver in our busy town. Additionally, cargo bikes allow you to explore Maynooth in a whole new way, discovering shortcuts and hidden gems along the way.
While the initial investment in a cargo bike can be pricey, there are ways to offset the cost, such as the €3000 Bike to Work scheme. Furthermore, cargo bikes are far cheaper to maintain and run than a car. There’s no need for fuel, insurance, or parking fees, and they require minimal maintenance. Over time, the savings can add up, making cargo bikes a cost-effective and practical alternative to using a car in Maynooth.
Models To Choose From
Mine is a Larry vs Harry Bullitt, made in Copenhagen and imported by Thinkbike of Ranelagh. The Bullitt is a type of “bakfiets” (box bike), with the cargo area situated low and in front of the rider – think MTB with a shopping trolley out front. It’s an arrangement that enormously versatile and surprisingly graceful, but it can be difficult to store.
For those with less space, or who prefer a more traditional riding style, there also exist rear-loading “longtail” cargo bikes like the Tern GSD.
To Electrify Or Not ⚡️
Most all cargo bikes are available with an electric motor. I opted for a non-electric model, and in the flatlands of Kildare that’s been enough for me. If you anticipate regularly carrying heavy loads or commuting to neighbouring towns, an electric motor would be a worthwhile upgrade, flattening hills and shortening journey times.
The cargo bike life has provided me with countless benefits and transformed my daily routines in ways I never imagined. From the practicality and versatility they offer to the fun, healthy, and efficient nature of their use, cargo bikes are truly an investment worth considering for Maynooth residents. If you’re looking for a more enjoyable, eco-friendly, and cost-effective way to navigate our charming town, it’s time to take a closer look at the world of cargo bikes. Who knows, you might just fall in love with the cargo bike life as much as I have!
Great article, Ross! We got rid of one car and replaced it with an electric cargo bike -keep an eye out for refurbished and second hand cargo bikes from retailers to keep costs down. We’ve saved so much money on petrol, insurance and tax since selling the car even with buying our cargo bike new.
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