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Mark Van den Borre


Riga, Latvia has an impressive offering of bicycle courier services.

Kris De Decker


Are they using cargo cycles or normal bicycles?

Mark Van den Borre


Mostly normal bicycles. I guess it has to do with a lack of cycling infrastructure and funding difficulties.

They seem to get used very intensely though.

And on top of that, one sees a lot of rickshaw style bicycle taxis in and around the very center though...

Economically speaking, only minimal investment Riga could make Riga the perfect cycling city. As flat as a pancake, relatively dense, very wide lanes, not much of a parking problem yet.

Attitude wise, convincing the economically stressed locals that owning a car is not necessarily progress would be the hard part. Showing them the Scandinavian examples as something to aspire to might help, especially when contrasted with something easily painted as the Russian/Slavic laissez-faire car jungle.

Doug Haynes


This is not just happening in Europe; here in Chicago there is a company, Chicago Cargo, using a Bullet Harry Vs. Larry cargo bike to do delivery routes and recently a window cleaning and graffiti removal company has started using the same bike in their business.



When I was living in Salt Lake City, Utah, there was a Jimmy Johns (restaurant, sub sandwiches) that used bikes for making deliveries and also a courier service using bikes. The Jimmy Johns was located right in the heart of down town (flat), but the courier was located outside of downtown not far from where the terrain got really steep (I'd guess 6 blocks (3/4 mile) from a hill that Prii can not climb).... so even with hills it should still be doable.



There were no tricycle cargo delivery vehicles pictured. We have been making pedal trucks and cargo trikes for a few years, but we are always open to input as to how best to make the cargo beds.



Hmmm, not really sure that incredibly sustainable technology such as a cycle should be described as low tech. In many ways cycles are much higher tech than internal combustion engines. After all any idiot can burn oil and get some of the energy out, it takes a bit of creativity and care to get the so much out of a human as a source of energy...



I look forward to the time when women will carry cargo on top of their heads. That would be real progress.

Paul - The Kind Cleaner


I run a green cleaning business in Australia using a cargo bike.



It's amazing how advanced China is when it comes to these kinds of technologies.

The 'cargo bike' or sanlunche (three-wheeled cart) as it's known in China never left. Indeed, some poor migrants have no other possessions, and sleep in the bed of their sanlunche. They transport bottled water, seafood, collect recyclables, transport building materials, and even give rides in these pedal-powered bikes. They can be upgraded to electric versions or LPG versions through cannibalization of e-bikes or motor-scooters.

Additionally, most tradesmen use a hybrid electric bike with a steel rungs on the back and a low, study footrest to travel to and fro. On one occasion I even saw a janitor whose bicycle frame incorporated the broom handle - simply slide out to use.

here's one: http://cargocycling.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/furnituretrike.jpg



All over Asia cargo cycles are still in use.There are many roads in rural areas which are only passable by light vehicles. Even whole market stalls are mounted on a cycle. Interesting is that the side car configuration is popular for cargo as well as passengers. While in Europe i never seen a cargo tricycle in side car configuration and motorcycles with a side car are only for enthusiast and not for transport or taxi duties.
On the high tech side we see that electric motorcycles are competitive with I.C.E powered ones. considering that a two stroke motorcycle pollutes the air like ten cars it will be a huge benefit replacing them with electric powered cycles. And the electric powered cargo bike will be the first affordable electric delivery vehicle.

Kris De Decker



"The project is distributing 2,000 cargo cycles free of charge to businesses and municipal services."

has been changed to:

"The project is lending 2,000 cargo cycles to businesses and municipal services so that they can test them out."

CycleLogistics wrote me to tell that "Some of our project partners have been getting requests for these 'free cargo bikes'. But they don’t exist."



Good article however you managed to use a copywrighted photo without asking or crediting, then you forgot to write Cardiff in your list of cities with Couriers using cargo bikes. Please could you at least credit the photo http://krisdedecker.typepad.com/.a/6a00e0099229e88833017ee3b3d119970d-pi with "Big Blue Bike, Cardiff"

Ben Allen - MD Big Blue Bike

Kris De Decker


@ Ben (#13): the picture comes from the CycleLogistics press download page: http://cyclelogistics.eu/index.php?id=39&folder_id=118

None of the pictures there show any further information about credits. So don't blame me. If your picture appears on a press download page, I suppose you gave permission for that.



I had to build my own utility bicycle because no one made one that fit all my needs.

Dr Randy Rzewnicki


2012/10/16 Randy Rzewnicki wrote

Dear Kris De Decker
I want to thank you very much for your fine article “Cargo cyclists replace truck drivers on European city streets”.
There is one error that is causing a few headaches:
“the project is distributing 2,000 cargo cycles free of charge to businesses and municipal services.”

Some of our project partners have been getting requests for these “free cargo bikes”. But they don’t exist.

In het nederlandstalig artikel is alles oke: “Tegen 2014 moeten er op die manier 2.000 nieuwe vrachtfietsen verschijnen in Europese steden.” (TRANSLATION: In the Dutch language article it's OK: "By 2014 as a result of the project there will be 2000 new cargo bikes in European cities")

So,It is a project goal to see that 2000 new bikes get onto European streets by 2014. And project partners are lending different models of cargo bikes free of charge in cities like Graz, Utrecht, Ferrara, Brussels, Alba Julia, and others.
They are available to businesses and municipal services for some days or weeks so they can test them out.

2012/10/16 Randy Rzewnicki WROTE
Thanks Kris
BUT we are not “lending 2,000 cargo cycles to businesses and municipal services so that they can test them out”

“lending cargo cycles to businesses and municipal services so that they can test them out”

Kris -
In closing I repeat, speaking for the project and the project partners all over Europe, we are very happy with the work that was put into these articles in English & Dutch. If the EU gave us money to buy and distrbute 2000 cargo bikes, our job would be much easier. We need to motivate people to do this - and websites like yours are a great place to make the case.

Readers - please feel free to contact me by email - or any of the project partners that are listed on the www.CycleLogistics.eu website.

PS: about the pictures - we will get the credits posted on our press download page.

Kris De Decker


Randy, I think you have to make some more changes to the website in that case. It says that CycleLogistics *will* put 2,000 cargo cycles on European streets. I have reproduced the information I found on your website and now you tell me it is wrong.

Could I ask you how many cycles are available to businesses and municipalities? And what the number of 2,000 cycles is based upon?

Dr Randy Rzewnicki


Thank you for letting us share your platform to do the promotion needed in this area. We hear that one of the main problems is that business people simply do not consider the idea of moving goods by cycle.

CycleLogistics will put 2,000 cargo cycles on European streets. This will be achieved by:

- Communicating with the transport sector in order to shift more goods transport from cars to cargo bikes. Existing cycle couriers will also be encouraged to transport heavier loads by utilising electric assist.
- Motivating municipalities to create a favorable regulatory framework and policies for cycle logistics, to analyze the internal potential to employ cargo bikes for municipal services, and to encourage business services to take advantage of cycle logistics.
- Encouraging private individuals to use cargo bikes, trailers and baskets to transport shopping and leisure time equipment, while at the same time ensuring that retailers provide customers with incentives and necessary infrastructure.
- Testing and reporting on various cargo bike transport products (cargo bikes, trailers, electric motors and bags & baskets), and therefore promoting their uptake by providing potential consumers – private, business and government – across Europe with access to valuable information.

In this way CycleLogistics will put 2,000 cargo cycles on European streets.

Dr Randy Rzewnicki


Cycling is good for the economy / Europe’s Wonderful World Of Bike-Based Deliveries
Check out this http://www.eltis.org/index.php?ID1=5&id=60&news_id=3788



In my country Argentina are similar bikes that use the ice cream, people selling ice cream and walk around town on bicycles very similar. For me the bike is a very good means of transportation and healthy, even good to advertise for a company or product.

David Anderson


I think that cargo bikes are great. But so are bicycle trailers. I have been using my self-designed and built bicycle trailers for our theatre company for many years. http://www.clayandpapertheatre.org/index.php/main-content/diy-bicycle-trailer.html With the top on its about a fifth of a cubic metre. It's box measures 61x45x76cm, and, with the top removed, you can carry your best friend dressed in a tophat and trumpet to announce your presence to the world. With the top on, it will easily take 48 bottles of wine. And, best of all, when not needed you can park your trailer in a minute and cycle free as a bird.

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