— Organiser says cargo bicycle sales increasing every year
Dublin’s Phoenix Park is to host the third annual Irish Cargo Bike Championship next month, on Sunday June 21 at 1pm.
The event will happen this year at the ending rather than starting weekend of National Bike Week, which is set to run between June 13 and 21.
Astrid Fitzpatrick, an organiser of the cargo bike event, says that people expect a fun-filled day where teams will compete against each other in various trials. “It’s not all about speed, but also agility and showing the capabilities of the cargo bike,” said Fitzpatrick.
Cargo bicycles include two-wheeled bicycles with boxes on front of the handlebars (pictured left in main image, above), cargo tricycles (pictured right in main image, above) and “longtail” bicycles which don’t have boxes but extra length for child seats and large panniers. Visitors to the event have a chance to try some of the bicycles on the day.
Fitzpatrick said that the amount of teams doubled last year compared to the first year of the championship: “The first year we had around 13 teams competing, last year it was double that, or probably even more as some people were coming and going on the day and we are expecting more new faces at this years event.”
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What’s the advantage of cargo bikes over seats on normal bicycles or a child-carrying bicycle trailer? “With cargo bikes you have the option to carry up to four kids strapped in the box in front of you, as it is build as one unit the ride is a lot more stiff/stable compared to if you attach a trailer to the back of your bike turning its handling capacity and feel somewhat on the level of a wet noodle.”
She said that there’s nothing wrong with child seats on bicycles, but cargo bikes offer more space for more children or a mix of children and cargo, such as shopping (an image of a weekly loaded into a cargo bike is shown below).
The event is organised by the cargo bicycle sellers the Dutch Bike Shop and Greenaer; with help from the Dublin Cycling Campaign, the OPW in Phoenix Park and Bikeweek.ie. There is also an opening for a title sponsor, which has yet to be filled.
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Greenaer are suppliers of cargo bike brands Bakfiets.nl, Urban Arrow and the Danish Trio bike, while the Dutch Bicycle Shop hold the dealership for Workcycles, Winther and bargain brand Babboe.
Fitzpatrick — who is a co-owner of the Dutch Bike Shop, which is currently relocating after a fire in its Ballymount unit — said: “I have been selling cargo bikes since 2011 and year on year it has nearly doubled, not as much as an ordinary bike but if I sold 4 the 1st year, the next year I sold 8 and so on, both myself and Greenaer are now being approached by other cargo bike brands who wish to make a name for themselves here in Ireland and find either of our shops to most suitable.”