Carrier Bikes for 2018
'The tradesman's carrier cycle is one that no sensible business man who delivers moderate size parcels and goods within a limited distance should be without...the tradesman reaps a big profit from every cycle he can employ and use.' Thomas W. Girling, The Cycle, Cycling and the Cycle Trade (London: Iliffe & Son, 1898)
It's a fast trend unfolding in front of us. Cargobikes are blazing a trail in urban freight, and the Bakfiets child-hauler type rig on the school run. So suddenly we've got squared front racks popping up everywhere. It's the carrier bike look. This is nothing new. In fact the carrier bike had come of age before the sun rose on the twentieth century, as the quotation above makes plain. But it's partly or mostly fashion right now, at least in London. And the bikes are typically called Brixton, Shoreditch or Camden, or whatnot. Fad or the halo effect of something truly deeply cool, the reduction of often poorly load-factored white vans for something a bit quieter and lovelier (and cleaner, obviously), but no less efficient for the 51% of cargo delivered in our cities accommodated by a cargo bike?*
*Strategies to increase uptake of cycling freight in London, 8th December, 2017, by Element Energy, for Transport for London.