Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.
You may have seen or heard tales of cargo bikes, the specialized pedal-powered machines that can haul much more than your average bike. Perhaps you’ve spotted one loading up with groceries at the co-op or tooling around town with some kids on the back, or maybe you’ve come across one of the many YouTube videos or Flickr pics of plucky riders hauling large and unwieldy items on their sturdy rides.
Over at the Pacific Northwest alt-news outlet Sightline Daily, Alan Durning recently posted an impressively thorough rundown of these “human powered pickup trucks,” which range from pretty conventional bikes with extended and beefed-up back ends—like the Utne Reader’s new Surly Big Dummy, pictured above—to more farfetched designs with monikers such as longjohns, box bikes, and cargo trikes. Durning’s article covers custom-designed bikes for carrying specialized loads from beer kegs to mail to soup, and includes great shots of folks lugging screen doors, flower seedlings, and, on moving day, what appears to be all their worldly possessions. He writes:
Here at Utne Reader, we’re proud to be part of the trend with our new staff Big Dummy. We intend to take it out to events such as concerts, film festivals, and book fairs, bearing Utne Readers and conversation, and put it to work hauling everything from burritos to the giant stacks of books and magazines that we plow through. I’m not sure we’ll change the world, but we’ll save a little gas, get some fresh air, and tone our thighs nicely.
Maybe we can even reach out across partisan lines and give Rush Limbaugh a lift somewhere.
Source: Sightline Daily