Showing posts with label cargo bike nation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cargo bike nation. Show all posts

12 December 2013

Spectacular Cargo Bike Collection in Italy

Cargo Bike Culture in Ferrara, Italy
Vintage cargo bike fleet in Ferrara, Italy

We love cargo bikes at Copenhagenize, not least for their role in modernising our cities. There are 40,000 of them in Copenhagen, so we see them every day. Copenhagenize Design Co. is also a partner in the three-year Cyclelogistics.eu project aimed at promoting cargo bike use in cities. We've published a book with 725 photos of cargo bikes in Copenhagen and around the world - Cargo Bike Nation. We help organize the Svajerløb - Danish Cargo Bike Championships. It's safe to say that we have cargo bikes on the brain.

Whereas in Copenhagen cargo bikes are an integral part of daily and city life, they are still very much an emerging trend in many parts of the world. I've ridden Bullitts in New York and Tokyo, a Bakfiets in Barcelona and a Triobike in Vancouver and Los Angeles. Every time, people are amazed to see these bikes. They've crossed streets to talk to me about it - non-cyclists, as a rule. They are amazing conversation starters.

Often you find yourself explaining that you know what?... cargo bikes used to be normal transport forms in cities all over the planet. In Russia. In Australia. In America - where IBM repairmen used to ride them. You name it.

Now, the cargo bike is returning to our cities. Even the Wall Street Journal has noticed. People are rediscovering all sorts of uses for them.

It's all good, but it's also important to keep hammering home that all this was normal for decades and decades. Enter our Cyclelogistics partner Gianni Stefanati, from the City of Ferrara, Italy. (amazing city for vintage bikes, by the way) He discovered this fantastic, free e-book written by Felino Tassi for the BikeItalia.it website about a passionate man in Lecco, Italy. Nello Sandrinelli has collected a great number of vintage cargo bikes from the era around the Second World War.

(Correction: in the original text we wrongly credited Gianni Stefanati as author. It is in fact Felino Tassi. Oops! Sorry!)

I've never seen anything like them. Mr Sandrinelli hasn't just gathered up dusty old bicycles. He has collected bicycles that were complete - just as they were the last time they were used. He also collects the stories - as much as possible - about the craftsmen who used them.

Here are some of the cargo bikes in Mr Sandrinelli's museum. Be amazed.


Cargo Bike History: Mosaic Craftsman's Bicycle Cargo Bike History: The Lamp and Stove Seller's Bicycle
Left: A mosaic craftsman's bicycle. Fixing mosaics and tiles damaged by age or storms.
Right: Lamp and stove seller's bicycle.
Cargo Bike History: The Furniture Polisher's Bicycle Cargo Bike History: The Wood Carver's Bicycle
Left: Furniture Polisher's bicycle
Right: Wood Carver's bicycle.
Cargo Bike History: The Coffee Seller's Bicycle The Vineyard and Orchard Grafter's Bicycle
Left: Coffee seller's bicycle, complete with grinder.
Right: Vineyard & orchard grafter's bicycle. Repairing broken vines and trees, grafting the branches back on.
Cargo Bike History: The Beekeeper's Bicycle Cargo Bike History: The Walking Stick/Cane Maker's Bicycle
Left: Beekeeper's bicycle. Complete with hives.
Right: Walking stick maker/seller's bike. The rack on the front is for carrying sticks found in the woods. The rack at the back is for displaying the finished products.
Cargo Bike History: The Cinema Vendor's Bicycle Cargo Bike History: The Plaster Sculptor's Bicycle
Left: Cinema vendor's bicycle. For selling sweets and cigarettes to cinemagoers.
Right: Plaster sculptor's bicycle.
Cargo Bike History: The Cobbler's Bicycle Cargo Bike History: The Wood Carver's Bicycle
Left: Cobbler's bicycle. For all shoe repair.
Right: Wood carver's bicycle.
Cargo Bike History: The Refrigeration Repairman's Bicycle Cargo Bike History: Package Delivery
Left: Refrigeration repairman's bicycle.
Right: Package delivery.
Cargo Bike History: The Midwife's Bicycle Cargo Bike History: The Professor's Bicycle & The Fortune Teller's Bicycle
Left: Midwife's bicycle.
Right, at top: Professor's bicycle from a female professoressa. At bottom: A fortune teller's bicycle.
Cargo Bike History: The Artist's Bicycle Cargo Bike History: Lunch Delivery Bicycle - to Factories
Left: Artist's bicycle.
Right: Lunch delivery bicycle. Wives would bring a hot lunch to men at factories.
Cargo Bike History: The Fireworks Bicycle & The Lumberjack's Bicycle 
Left, at top: A fireworks bicycle. Hired for parties and events. At bottom: A lumberjack bike.

You can download the e-book on Bike Italia's website. It's in Italian, but the text translates pretty well into English on Google translate.

Follow Cyclelogistics on twitter and on Facebook or visit the website.

19 June 2013

CycleLogistics: Flooding EU Cities with Cargo Bike Goodness



When listening to presentations at this year's Velo City Conference in Vienna, Austria about various city's newly unveiled bicycle strategies, it was easy to see which will be most user-friendly and adaptive to change. Among other criteria of course, the new cycle tracks (or cycle lanes, since some presenters' cities were not onboard with the Copenhagen style...) must boast widths to accommodate cargo bikes.

To promote the cargo bikes' viability as present-day and future transport options for delivery and freight services, we are proud to serve as local partner in the EU project called CycleLogistics. We hope to work with a smorgasbord of nine other cities to replace smelly, antiquated delivery vans with gleaming new cargo bikes. The project is truly a game-changer, pushing the boundaries of bicycles for transportation.

Here's a snapshot of the innovators who represented CycleLogistics' diverse ideas, innovation, and forward thinking via a Velo City 2013 lecture entitled, "Back to the Future: Cycle Logistics and Advanced Sustainability". Their bike enterprises and projects are hitting the ground running. A return to the Dutch or Danish heyday of cycle-led logistics can and will return like a tide.



Outspoken Delivery-- Rob King represents Outspoken Delivery from Cambridge, UK. Why rely on heavy, polluting trucks when this delivery service can pick up goods from city outskirts and deliver them within the city? The service is called "last-mile delivery"-- goods are consolidated, instead of relying on vans that on average are only half full. The goal is to create transit hubs outside the city, where trucks would load cargo onto delivery bicycles instead of vans. But just how much could a bike carry, you ask?...A hefty 250kg with one model and 60kg with another. Check out the presentation slides and don't miss the snazzy video embedded in the Prezi, while you're at it.

Susanne Wrighton of FGM-Amor & Franz Hoelzl of Spar Salzburg, Austria discussed a local initiative from major food retailer, SPAR. Their Bike & Buy campaigns encourage shoppers to do just what the name entails. In total, the 15 Shop by Bike campaigns orchestrated by CycleLogistics will reach up to 3000 people in pilot projects of 1-2 months. Susanne Wrighton and mobility research/ communication company, FGM-Amor in Graz, Austria enlisted 400 participants to shop only by bike. 9 out of 10 said they would continue using their bicycles to return home from shopping after the program's end. Even better, 7 out of 10 said they would cycle for other uses and to other places. Biking is, as we know, infectious.

Retail companies are also jumping on the cargo bike band wagon, as Ton Daggers describes, owner of International Bicycle Consultancy from the Netherlands. His work begins by asking whether bicycles can take the place of conventional traffic vans within cities. His answer, of course, is yes. His company has promoted bicycles for the last 20 years. The bikes he showcases in his presentation are used within the fleet of "big box" retailers and other commercial entities. Some of the bicycles are two-person outfits that enable the transport of even larger quantities of goods. Wouldn't it be cozy to buy a bed from Ikea with your partner and rest assured (no pun intended) that you wouldn't need to get a hold of a car to transport it to your new home?



Originally working from the angle of positive health and movement promotion, Dr. Randy Rzewnicki now works on several projects with the European Cyclists' Federation, based in Belgium. With pure joy and enormous enthusiasm he documented the diverse array of cargo bikes he's seen during his first couple days at Velo City--at the bicycle fashion show, in city streets, and represented in media. He described how DHL now uses cargo bikes to deliver mail and packages. When they buy these bikes, they make a corporate promise to use the bicycle to actually replace one of their vans. Additionally, the FahrRADhaus or "Bicycle House" (play on the word: rathaus or City Hall) was transported to the festival site entirely by bicycle, making it the largest structure moved by cargo bicycle.

Photo by: Sebastian Philipp -- http://www.fahrradwien.at/fahrradhaus/
Their work shows what I wrote earlier: that a city's bicycle plan is only as good as their provisions to accommodate the growth of cargo bike-based business endeavors. The bikes are as eye-catching as they are useful and their business models will stand the test of time and the test of a world switching to non-carbon sources. They will do so with simplicity and ease of use.

CycleLogistics works across borders for cargo bike promotion. For more information, you can like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, watch their videos on Vimeo, or read more on their official website. You can also learn more about our partner cities and the passionate people who make it all possible.

22 April 2013

Cargo Bike Nation - The Book

Cargo Bike Nation - The Book - Front Cover
So what do you do when you have several thousand photos of cargo bikes in your archives? Well, it's 2013... you slap them into a Blurb book, of course.

Cargo Bike Nation - The Book Cargo Bike Nation - The Book
We just published Cargo Bike Nation on Blurb if anyone is interested. Here's the introduction from the book:

There are two reasons for producing this book. Firstly, the rise of the cargo bike as a transport solution in cities continues unabated. Secondly, out of the 15,000 or so photos I have taken while documenting bicycle culture in Copenhagen and other cities around the world, easily 3000 are of cargo bikes.

While I'd like nothing more than putting them into old school photo albums and inviting you all over for coffee while we leaf through the photos together, this book is probably a more logical solution.

What you'll find in these pages is photo after photo of cargo bikes, as well as bicycles with cargo.

There are 725 photos on offer. 615 of them are from Copenhagen. Not surprising considering that is where I live and that Copenhagen is easily the cargo bike capital of the world, with 40,000 cargo bikes in action.

There are, however, photos from 33 other cities on every continent that I've taken on my travels as CEO for Copenhagenize Design Co.. A large number are from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, where the cargo bike still serves the citizens for deliveries of goods.

In the Copacabana neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro alone there are 11,000 cargo bike deliveries a day. Where in Copenhagen the cargo bike is primarily used by families, in Rio it is pure logistics.

The number of cargo bikes in cities has dwindled since the mid-20th century, but there are an impressive number to be found. With the growing popularity of the cargo bike we can expect the armada to swell in size. Which is a good thing.

At the end of the book there is a list of the brands featured in this book. I've counted 23 recognizable brands and easily 20 cargo bikes that are undefinable because they are vintage or customised. Add to that the postal service bikes, pedicabs and the no-name Chinese bikes that some shops sell in Copenhagen.

Fourteen of the brands are Danish. Hey, it's a big market in Denmark. It's worth stating, however, that there are a great many other brands out there in the world. I don't have photos of all of them - although I wish I did. In particular, the United States is experiencing fantastic growth in the number of companies producing cargo bikes. It's all good.

It was a maddening process selecting photos for this book. At the end of the day I just wanted to produce the ultimate cargo bike photo book. Nothing sells cargo bikes like a long line of photos showing Citizen Cyclists and others using a cargo bike in their daily lives. As a vital tool for urban living.


The book is divided up into these chapters:
- The Cargo Bike & I - photos from my own life with cargo bikes.
- La Famiglia - how families use cargo bikes.
- You've Got Mail - postal service by bicycle.
- Municipal Services - city maintenence on wheels.
- Heavy Petting - pet transport on cargo bikes
- Musical Ride - musical instruments transported on bikes.
- Pedicab Nation - the rise of the pedicab in cities.
- Sharing is Caring - it's not just rugrat transport... cargo bikes are for friends and loved ones.
- The Buy Cycle - selling goods and services from cargo bikes.
- Trailer Park - let's not forget the trailer.
- The Classic Short John - photos of the ShortJohn/delivery bike/butcher's bike.
- Hors catégorie - Bikes that fall just outside the cargo bike category but that are cool.
- Early Learning - kids on mini-cargo bikes.
- Flea Markets - cargo bikes used in connection with flea markets.
- Aging Gracefully - bikes and trikes for the elderly.
- You've Got to Move It - moving your stuff around the city by cargo bike.
- Svajerløb - The Danish Cargo Bike Championships 2009-2012.
- Chameleons - people moving stuff on regular bikes in cargo bike spirit.
- Favourite street shots - some of my favourite shots from 6 years of photographing the subject.

The book is available at Blurb. Self-publishing is pricier than normal, but with 725 photos .... that's 8 cents a photo. Or something. :-)

Here's a slow motion sneak preview: