Stephanie and I have been eyeing up cargo bikes basically since we found out we were pregnant early last year. But would it be a good financial move to drop $5000+ on a new setup when we’re also running on one income? Knowing we’d likely be taking the winter off of family biking with Sophia on the younger side, we had lots of time to consider the options and make sure we had the money ready when the time came.
Last summer, we borrowed a friend’s Bullitt for a camping trip. Super rad. Denver loved riding up front. Yet we had our suspicions confirmed that a bike that weighs 60 pounds dry is a tough sell when you live in a hilly area like we do. Load that up with kids or dogs and the rest of the stuff you need every day, let alone on a camping trip, and you’ll quickly find yourself back in the car.
While that first cargo-camping trip essentially confirmed that a cargo bike would allow us to continue to live the car-light lifestyle we love, it became clear that a bike with electric assist would enable us to stay out of the car even more often. And that’s exactly the point of a cargo bike: to do stuff that you’d usually use a car to do, with a bike.
We were very taken by the form factor and the handling of a front-loaded cargo bike like the Bullitt, but those are among the most expensive e-bikes on the market – and our research indicated that kids grow out of those bikes sooner than they do longtails like the Big Dummy. When the opportunity to review Surly’s new-this-year Big Easy electric longtail came along, we were stoked.
And, when the bike finally arrived in BC (the Big Easy isn’t available in Canada until later this year, and getting e-bikes across international borders is not simple) and got built up by Sidesaddle in Vancouver, we had to go pick it up, by bike. First ride, first car trip replaced. Car trips are a matter of habit, and sometimes necessity, so figuring out how we can replace them with a cargo bike is our goal before winter comes around again.
So, consider this the introduction to the next phase of our life on two (and sometimes three) wheels. To go into our second winter as parents ready to jump back into the year-round, car-light lifestyle. I mean, how else would you go about getting your new cargo bike home? Follow along on Instagram to see how we get along, and stay tuned here for the full review.