Steve (above right) is one of the co-founders of Tribe Bikes. This is his account of how he was converted from a ‘cyclist’ to a cargo bike rider.
One day I got a phone call from Nick, it went something along the lines of this:
“Hey mate, you know how much of a pain in the a**e it is getting around with the 2 kids these days? Well I think I’ve found a solution. 3 wheel electric cargo bikes… So I’ve done some research and you can’t get one for under $5,000 in Australia, so I’ve found a manufacturer overseas and I’ve ordered 2, one each. Sounds good hey!?”
I’ve got to admit, my heart sunk a bit. You see I considered myself a cyclist, not a cargo bike rider, and an electric one at that. One of the joys of cycling is using nothing but your strength to get you from A-B. Electric assist was cheating as far as I was concerned. Here’s my story about how I was converted.
Riding 'real' bikes
In my mid 20’s I caught the cycling bug, pretty hard. Like most kids in a regional area, as a teenager I burned around on a mongoose mountain bike. Then the car license came, uni and the first few years of work and bikes were largely forgotten about. Then I moved out of home, and bought a beach cruiser as a quick way to get to the beach to surf, I enjoyed it and then things got out of hand.
It started with a road bike, then a mountain bike, then a better road bike, then a better mountain bike, then an old 10 speed racer that I converted to a commuter, then a single speed.
I’d be averaging well over 100km of riding during the week, and be on the hunt for new mountain bike trails on the weekend. My small inner city terrace courtyard became a bicycle workshop, and I’d be spending my nights communicating with fellow cyclists on cycling forums.
Below are 2 of my custom creations, ‘bluey’ and ‘sparkles’. Both commuting workhorses.
Kids came, things changed
When kids came things changed.
Someone once said to me take the half a dozen hobbies you had prior to having kids, and once you have kids pick one of them. This couldn’t be more true. I still did get out on my daily commutes, but less frequently as I transitioned to working from home more often. Mountain bike rides became a couple of times a year treat, and getting up early for a road bike ride became the least of my priorities after poor sleeps thanks to the kids.
Rear child carriers just aren't the same
In order to get some use out of my many bikes, like many parents I purchased a rear child carrier. I actually started out with a front one that sits between your legs, but found it incredibly awkward and uncomfortable, so soon got rid of that.
The rear carrier at least got us out on some riding, but it was so limiting. Firstly, with 2 kids now in tow, both parents had to commit to going for a ride, so no ‘time out’ for one parent while the other entertained the kids for an hour or two. Secondly, even find a place to carry a kid’s bottle of water was difficult, before you even consider snacks. This meant very short rides only, and no option to run any errands whilst out and about.
Cargo biking was the answer
When our first cargo bikes arrived, I was skeptical. Where was I going to store it? Would a trike be really awkward to ride? Would I have to ridicule myself for riding an e-bike?
We assembled the bikes and I went out for a quick ride. I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t sold on it. The bike was a lot different to riding a normal bike, It didn’t lean into corners like a normal bike and cambered roads felt awkward. Learning to take corners more carefully was probably the biggest learning curve.
Then I got the kids in the bike and I knew we’d hit a winner. Both children sat in the front of the bike, and laughed, smiled and said “faster dad”. We went to the beach and took buckets, spades, diggers, dump trucks, superhero dolls, snacks, etc and had a great time. A trip that was previously an ‘effort’ became simple and is now part of our daily routine.
Some of the other things I love about the cargo bike:
- Electric assist is a game changer, and the 6 settings allow me to easily control how much assist I have.
- Not having to put your foot down at traffic lights is a surprising revelation, it also makes traffic light takeoffs a breeze.
- The step through frame means not having to stretch my aging hamstrings to get my leg over the bike.
- We use the car way less for local errands, it feels easier to just run them on the bike.
Here's to more family fun
When Nick and I decided to launch Tribe bikes, we did it with the aim of allowing more families to experience the fun we’ve had since getting our bikes. By offering bikes online only, we can offer them at a more affordable price point and we’ll back up our products with exceptional service.
We’d love to have you join the tribe!
Ready for Family Adventures on 3 Wheels?
Tribe Bikes are available now. Priced from $1,990, delivered fully assembled and ready to ride. This includes free delivery to NSW, Victoria, Queensland and ACT.