Thursday, September 29, 2011

How much can a bakfiets hold?

Shortly after we received our bakfiets (it took a few months to ship from the Netherlands), Joseph rode his bicycle the mile to preschool and the two younger ones (in stroller and wrap) and I walked briskly behind. After the little ones and I dropped Joey off, we went back home and eventually took the bakfiets to the grocery store and then to pick up Joseph. I figured Joseph would just ride home beside us, but he really wanted to be on the big bike. So we strapped his bike to the bakfiets rack:
It's the most I've carried on a bike-- ever. The panniers and the empty spaces in the box were crammed with two gallons of milk, a bag of potatoes, and other groceries. The bike still rode wonderfully-- just a little heavier to maneuver while getting up to speed and a little more leg muscle needed on my part.

This makes me wonder how heavily we can load the bike. The Cargobike FAQ page at Bakfiets en Meer says that the advertised limit is 80 kg (176 lbs.) in the box and 25 kg (55 lbs.) on the rear rack, but that you can actually carry much more-- including an adult passenger in the back. It explains that the load in the box is limited by the fact that steering becomes "rubbery and sluggish" when the box is very heavily loaded. Of course-- seeing that I frequent parks and schools and places with lots of kids-- one of the questions I get most often is not how much weight the bike can carry, but how many kids it can carry. The way we're set up now, I think we're limited to three in the box:

When Nathaniel no longer needs the support of the carseat, I suppose I can squish in a few more. On the back of the bike, I could carry another with a bikeseat. Or perhaps I could attach our trailer or Trail-a-bike. Or perhaps I could even attach the Trail-a-bike to the bakfiets and the trailer to the Trail-a-bike. Now, that would really be something!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why am I Writing this Blog?

So, with a busy life taking care of six kids- aged 2 months to 9 years- why in the world would I want to write about bikes?

1) I've been having so much fun riding our new bakfiets, I just had to share!
2) I've been having so much fun reading (you get to do lots of that when nursing a newborn) other family biking blogs that I wanted to join in the fun.
3) I think I have something to say! It dawned on me last Sunday as our family of eight was riding to church dressed in our Sunday best (on a 20-inch kid's bike, on/in a bakfiets, and on a triple) that other people might find it interesting to read about how we often get around and why we do it
4) I like to write, so even if no one does find this interesting, I'll still enjoy the process of creating it!