Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 transport

This time last year we got rid of our second car and in the middle of the year we got a new electric cargo bike (a Workcycles Fr8). I predicted that we would cut our daily kms by car by 10km a day and increase our kms by bike by the same amount. The predictions turned out to be right in one case and a bit out in the other.

We ended the year averaging 29km a day by car compared to 41km a day last year. After years of trying to reduce our car use I'm pretty chuffed with this. It equates to 5,000 km less over the year. In terms of fuel costs alone we saved approximately $1,000. If you include the lower cost of running one vehicle instead of two for the year then we've saved a minimum of $6,000 which equals most of the money we've spent on our two bikes. Next year we'll pay off the cost of the bikes altogether and we'll be saving money from then on.

The kms by bike went from 9 to 14 kms a day. This means that not all the kms reduced by car were replaced by bike travel. This is because sometimes we used public transport instead. I'm sure next year we'll do more kms by bike since we'll have the two bikes going all year. The Fr8 does more kms than the Bakfiets (81kms a week against 36kms a week in the last six months of the year) because I ride it to work a couple of times a week whereas the Bakfiets does more local trips to school, shops, etc. I much prefer riding to work than driving or taking public transport. It's quicker than the bus and less stressful than driving.

The big picture is that our carbon emissions have dropped considerably in the last year and hopefully a few people have been inspired to do the same. I certainly see a lot more cargo bikes on the road.

So get out there on your bike, YOU can do it too.


  1. Thanks for your blog posts on cargo biking in Australia. We live in a hilly part of Adelaide and I'm trying to figure out whether we can use a bike for short trips (school, shops etc). My children are three and seven. How old is your son and which bike do you think would be likely to suit us better?

  2. Hi Enviromum. Our son is six now and has been getting around in cargo bikes since the age of 3. If you're in a hilly area and want to carry 2 kids then I'd definitely go for an electric assisted cargo bike. We love our Bakfiets, it's a great bike and I'd definitely recommend it. There are of course other brands out, some good some not so good in my view. It's really up to you, how much you want to spend, etc. Try to test ride as many as you can, if you contact the sellers (eg Dutch Crago Bike, Cargo Cycles, PS Bikes) most of them will have contacts in your city who can give test rides. It sounds like a 'box bike' in the bakfiets style would suit you best, you can fit 2 kids plus shopping etc in easily.

    Good luck with it, if you want any more specific advice let us know, Adam