March 22, 2013
Cargo bikes are all the rage these days. Each year more amazing models hit the marketplace. For someone who hasn't owned a car for eight years, a bike with a lot of carrying capacity is high on my list of desires. Hauling a couple of bags of compost, and/or large ceder boards for a garden project is not an easy task with your average bike.
Yet the more I travel the world, the more examples I see of how, with a little ingenuity, every bike can be a cargo bike. Not everyone has the means to own a racing, a commuter, and a utility bike. I have watched people haul a thousand pounds of goods on a bike that looks like it could barely haul the rider.
The above image was taken on the streets of Yangon, Myanmar. Take a simple street bike, add a beefy back rack, lash a bamboo pole to the frame, and attach an old inner tube to the pole and rack. Presto. You've got a vehicle that can transport more cargo across town than most people could imagine.
It may not be as sexy (or as safe) as its more expensive cousins on the market, but it gets the job done.
Photo by Willie Weir
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His latest book Travels with Willie: Adventure Cyclist will inspire you to hit the road and just might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at http://yellowtentadventures.com/.