Cargo bikes also work in rural areas!
Christina is a mother of two small children. She and her husband live in a rather rural area, about 5 kilometers from the center of the 10,000-inhabitant town Gleisdorf. The region is quite hilly, and gravel paths instead of paved roads are not uncommon. Nevertheless, the family bought a cargo bike about a year ago and has been using it regularly ever since. Read more!
You live relatively isolated and quiet, a good distance away from the center. How does that work with a cargo bike?
We lived in a big city for a long time before and enjoyed the short distances there very much. We did almost everything we needed on a daily basis on foot, by bike or by public transport. Then we moved to the countryside with the children and our mobility behaviour changed abruptly. For professional reasons we both have a car, but we also wanted to switch back to cycling because of the children. After much deliberation and an extensive test phase, we decided on a cargo bike. We also tried a bicycle trailer - but we just felt safer with the cargo bike. We can see the children and always communicate with them.
What can I say - we can't imagine life without the cargo bike. Our cars are used much less and we really do a lot of trips with the cargo bike. You just have to make sure that the cargo bike fits the purpose of your trip. For example, we don't need one that can make tight turns. But it has to be very stable and keep on track, and it has to be safe on bumpy roads.
Have you had a lot of encouragement from family and friends?
No. I mean, almost everyone advised us against it because we live remotely, have almost no cycling infrastructure and everybody thought it wouldn't work without an electric motor. The price was also always an argument "You can buy a small car for this money. But we did not want another car!" The people we discussed it with did not understand at all what we were talking about. We wanted more exercise and fresh air - for us and our children.
What contributed to the fact that you bought a cargo bike despite all the contradictions?
Our lucky strike was that we saw someone in town with a cargo bike. Then we found out that the cargo bike belonged to a friend of ours whose daughter goes to kindergarten with one of our sons. We talked about the cargo bike and she was so enthusiastic about it. We were able to borrow the cargo bike from the family to try it out - and we loved it from the first moment on that we used it. It is so much fun and the kids love riding in the cargo bike. We are convinced that if you are thinking about buying a cargo bike, you need to try different models. We are now also a test family for the retailer where we bought the cargo bike. In the meantime, 4 families have tested our bike and 3 of them bought one for themselves. With such a big investment you really want to be sure that it fits. That is why I always say when someone asks me about our cargo bike: "just try it out".
And now? Do you use the cargo bike often?
Yes, we travel a lot with it. On many trips in everyday life. I have also often used the cargo bike for the 5 kilometers into town and it only takes a few minutes longer than by car. My husband has also done the test and cycled into Graz a few times on the cargo bike [note: 25 kilometers one way]. He is just as fast through rush hour traffic as by car. With the funding we got for the bike, it wasn't that expensive in the end. We are so glad that we have made this decision.