Cargo bikes – the Danish family ‘car’

Many Copenhageners use their bikes as the main form of transport and the city is well set up for cycling from a dedicated off road Green Route to separate cycle lanes alongside main roads. But what do you do if you have children, bulky shopping or even a Christmas tree to transport but no car?

For children many people use child seats mounted behind their seat on the bike  but a lot of people invest in what is known as a cargo bike. The main brands you see carrying little Danes around are Nihola, Christiania Bikes and Trio. I am not sure how well these bikes would work in a less positive cycle culture, I have rarely experienced any negative response despite the fact a cargo bike can take up a lot of the cycle path. They are popular in Amsterdam and I have a friend who bought one in Berlin and now uses it in Seattle.SONY DSCWe finally invested in one this summer plus the hefty cycle lock you need to ensure you keep hold of it and we love it. We chose a Nihola as it a little lighter than a Christiania bike and also easier to cycle as the front bucket stays puts when you go around a corner. The first ride was a bit nerve wracking for both my son and I but I soon got the hang of it and we regular bike around in it. After the day after the first two rides when I was convinced I would never be able to walk again, I am now very much used to it. It is a great means of family transport, in fact my husband sometimes cycles with both my son and I in the front, it is a bit of a tight squeeze but great fun.

During the summer season when the city is teeming with tourists you get a lot of stares and funny remarks – such as the American lady who said ‘I’d rather be the one in the front!’ as we sailed past her.

I love our bike and look forward to many more years using it – I am looking forward to when my son is big enough to cycle me as the passenger!

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