Chorlton Green Festival – the day after

Well, despite the sun being rather shy yesterday, a real good time was had by all.

A few of us (about 10) cycled from Oxford Road to the Green Festival, we arrived at 12pm just in time for the cycling parade around Chorlton. A nice selection of bikes! Bemused Chorlton residents, smiled as we went pass and rang our variety of bells. It always amazes me (I know, it shouldn’t) how nice it is to see a big group of bikes, riding together, chatting and usually smiling. For example compare a bicycle jam with a traffic (car) jam and tell me which one is pleasant and which one isn’t!

From left, the Black 10 (the cargo bike with big wicker basket), the Babbooe and then slightly hidden DrC and Suz on the Circe tandem.

My highlight of the day was a mini test ride of the gorgeous cargo bikes by Practical Cycles… and it’s official, I am in love with the Nihola… now I need a real reason for it (give me few more years) and a hefty saving account. I enjoyed the Babbooe which I liked very much (smooth and sturdy) also thanks to the much lower price tag, but my arms aren’t long enough for its turning circle… while the Nihola was just… perfect, just an extra £1000 extra (worth every penny by the way)! And I was really, really taken by the Zigo though, I also feel it would sell (if you ever wanted to sell it off) really well and easily too. Although a cargo bike is much more than just ferrying kids around, I reckon you get a cargo bike and you keep it forever. But the Zigo may allow you to avoid having to get a pram etc… but hey I don’t have kids, so I am just speculating. Perhaps some cycling parents out there could give us their view.

Practical Cycles stands, nice to see plenty of families interested in cargo bikes!

Nihola to the left, Zigo to the right

Jonathan demonstrating the fun of the Babboe 🙂

[vimeo vimeo.com/6486233]

This the promo video for Zigo, a rather nice, clear view of how it works.

I had a conversation a long while ago about why I am getting rather obsessed with cargo bikes and my reason is simple, I am getting rather fed up of people saying “oh, I guess it’s ok you not having a car now, but perhaps when you have kids you’ll get one, because you know, how are you going to get around without one?”… I will get around without a car just fine thank you very much!

Gladly we live in a great city, public transport could be improved but I am still a great fan of our well integrated buses, trains and yes even trams (if they allowed bikes, we would like them even more!). Looking at a Nihola, for example, with a price of just shy of £2500, I could get a very little, thoroughly used, second hand car, which would syphon off so much money every single year (while the Nihola or any bikes for that matter, pay themselves off) that I seriously cannot bring myself to understand why more people don’t give cargo bikes a go!

The Nihola and the Babbooe that I tried, and no doubt the Bakfiets, are geared (pardon my pun) to make carrying loads easily and doable. Their gearing system is different from standard one-person bikes, they are slower, yes, but I think we’ve got to curb this love of ours to go fast… plus when I say slow, I mean adding an extra 5 minutes to your normal cycling journey.

So that’s why I am becoming mildly obsessed with cargo bikes. I am determined to do everything I can to support change for a healthier environment for my future kids and future generations. I refuse to think that I will have to give them an apology, I like to believe that I will pass on a healthy dose of positivism towards our future, our environment and our responsibilities as city dwellers.

Anyhow, on lighter note ;), I look forward to next years’ CGBF!

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One response to “Chorlton Green Festival – the day after

  1. Thanks for the write up – personally, I rather fancy a Yuba, or a Circe tandem. They’d cut out a lot of the short journeys we do taking the youngest to and from gymnastics, and be handy for the odd shopping run &c. Obviously, with the Circe, she could help pedal, something she’s slightly less keen on than me 🙂

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