A Day in the Suburbs With A Cargo Bike

This is Rob and Edwin. They live in Bendigo, Victoria, and you’ll often find the duo exploring the city together on a Cargo Bike. 
Cargo Bikes in Australia
I first became aware of these bikes from a BAFM reader, Emmy, who founded Dutch Cargo Bikes, the number one seller of European urban bikes in Australia. I adore the concept; it reminded me of when my dad (a builder) used to take me for rides around in his wheelbarrow, although the cargo bike is much more sophisticated! Emmy also had special memories from her childhood in Holland and being ferried around on a beautiful cargo bike. After moving to Australia, she wanted the same experience for her own children. I was interested to see how these bikes added value to family life, and that is how I found Rob and Edwin. They shared with me what a day looks like on a weekday/weekend with a cargo bike.
I asked Rob about how the urban bike added value to family life.
“The bike has added a lot to family life for us,” he said. “It adds another option for travel, riding is super reliable, and I get my daily physical activity. But the best part is the time Edwin and I get to spend together. We talk about our day, sing songs (or he tells me to stop singing…), and observe and explore our city together. I decorate the bike every so often with painted ply wood cut outs inspired by his imagination or events like his birthday or cultural events. The bike has been a pirate ship, a mobile library (for readings with children at the Botanic Gardens at our monthly community ride), a tram and the batmobile (for Halloween). I like to think we’re creating memories he’ll keep with him for a long time, and we’re getting the shopping or kinder pick up done at the same time!”
cargo bike fun Australia Victoria

I like to think we’re creating memories he’ll keep with him for a long time. 

The model Rob and Edwin use the Bakfiets Cruiser Cargo Bike which is electric so you can even get up hills with ease. It’s designed to be a car-replacement option for urban living. Below are some of the features.
Along with the connection and exercise benefits, Rob also acknowledges the bike has been a valuable asset for fostering sustainable living in every day life. Rob’s educational background is in urban planning and community development, and this has influenced how he sees the world.  I’m always fascinated by people who seek to live intentional lives, and I asked Rob to share a key factor in fostering sustainable living in family life. Where do you start?
“Try things that add to family life; involve your children in the process; have great conversations about things going on around you. It can start with growing some veggies together or walking/riding to school or shops once a week.”

Have great conversations about things going on around you. 

I appreciate that focus: the focus on value — relationship and connection — and then allowing the flow from there rather than centering on a big list of things to tackle. Rob started with walking/riding to work, then growing veggies, raising chickens and installing solar in the home. When his son was born, it added an entire new dimension to enjoying and living life. 
“We all have that nostalgic feeling from childhood about riding to school and playing outside with your imagination,” Rob said. “And I wanted to share that spirit of adventure and exploring with him, and create memories he’ll keep, and we’ll share forever.”
Rob and Edwin enjoy riding the cargo bike to Bush Kinder along Spring Gully Creek Trail, finding playgrounds in every corner, and visiting the Bendigo Botanic Gardens and Farmers Market. They also appreciate joining the monthly community ride and stopping for lunch or a ‘cino’ at Cafe Cortille or Bendigo Wholefoods Kitchen in town.

Share the spirit of adventure and exploring with your kids, and create memories they will keep. 

On a weekday

Ride to school.

Cargo Bike

Then ride to work.

Cargo Bike

Get jobs done.

cargo bike

Pick up a few things…then ride home!

cargo bike

Adventures on the Weekend

When the weekend comes…the adventures begin!

Head out take a ride in the bush, spot some animals.

cargo bike

cargo bike

Pick up a few things at the farmer’s market and have a cargo bike picnic.

cargo bike

Have some lunch.

cargo bike

Find a festival, play in the streets and a hunt around for garage sale.

See the sites.

Be a superhero!

cargo bike

Grab some dinner, head to a party in the park.

Head home!

But most importantly, pass on the habit!

If you want to know more or try out a cargo bike, just head to Dutch Cargo Bikes and drop Emmy an email. 

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