Urban Arrow Family – Imogen & James

“We needed something that could conquer Stroud hills whilst transporting our young child

How many years have you been riding a cargo bike?

“3-5 years”

Do you have any children and if so how old are they?

“Yes, 1 child 3 years old, he’s been riding in it since he was 12 weeks old.”

What other cargo do you use the bike for? Work? Shopping? Pets? Anything else?

“Shopping, child’s bikes and scooter, kids stuff, tent and camping gear, friends…and a Xmas tree!”

What would you say are the main uses for your cargo bike? (e.g. “school run”, “commuting”, “deliveries”, “leisure”)?

“Transporting our child to school and elsewhere, leisure cycling as a family, getting shopping home.”

Has the cargo bike you chose worked out for you?

“Yes its been amazing, our family doesn’t drive and its been an incredible car replacement allowing us to get most places locally. It was suitable for carrying our child from a very young age as it has special fittings to clip in a baby car seat.”

Would you make a different decision about which cargo bike to buy / whether to buy one now?

“Our bike has been fantastic for our young family,  but I am aware that as our child gets heavier we may need a slightly more powerful bike on some Stroud hills in the future. So if I was buying again in a few years I would look at getting a long-tail like a Tern GSD with a Bosch Cargo Line motor (our bike currently has a Bosch Performance Line motor).

Would you say having a cargo bike has changed your life? If so, how?

“It’s given us the freedom to travel with our young child and get shopping home with ease. Having never driven its been incredibly liberating to carry stuff uphill so easily. The e-assist no longer makes Stroud hills seem daunting and has brought destinations closer to us without the need to be super-fit. It’s far more convenient than having panniers or a trailer.”

Is there anything wish you’d known before you acquired the cargo bike you have?

“Just to know confidently that it works really well on Stroud terrain, we agonised about whether it would be ok as we’d only been able to test ride it somewhere flat.

“How you’ll store your bike is worth considering too, as many types can’t be lifted up and down steps easily. Ideally they need to be covered or in a shed.

“Use sintered pads on the brake blocks as resin pads wear through so quickly on Stroud hills.

“Most drivers seem to give our cargo bike quite a bit of room, and that our nerves about cycling with such precious child cargo would decrease with time.“

Do you have any other comments about riding a cargo bike in Stroud?

“Its amazing! Theres a community of local cargo bikers here to support you!

“It’s such a pleasurable way to travel with kids as we can chat easily, share snacks, or sing together as we travel. We enjoy the landscape we’re travelling through. We feel like our child is really aware of local routes and geography. It’s been especially great as our child has been learning to cycle, to be able to travel with his bike in the box, to have him hop out and ride along when we reach quiet lanes or off-road paths. It’s helped us enjoy being outside in all seasons and weather. It’s been a great introduction to cycling for our child, and all his friends love having rides.

“I just wish there were more, segregated cycle lanes, off road bike paths and more cargo-friendly infrastructure and parking.