Have you considered reducing your carbon footprint by trading in one of your households cars and committing to cycling in its place? If so, you’re not alone! Abigail M. and her family recently decided to follow through with that idea and purchased a Haul-A-Day powered with a Mid-Drive Electric Assist and since that purchase they haven’t looked back! Their experience has been so profound that they recently wrote a commentary that recently aired on Vermont Public Radio about how this bike has affected their lifestyle. Their writeup is a great introduction to what life is like with an electric cargo bike, but we decided to connect with them and ask some specific questions about what their experience has been like with a Bike Friday! Below is a transcript of our email conversation:
“Abby’s 1st ride” with my older daughter. Photo credit: Dave Cohen
Bike Friday: Tell us about your first Bike Friday experience?
Abigail M.: In November 2016, my wife and I sold one of our cars to become a one-car family. In June 2017, we some of used this money to buy a Haul-a-Day, happily becoming a one car and one cargo bike (plus several other bikes) family. After a few solo rides getting acclimated to the bike, my 5-yr-old daughter joined me on a more official “inaugural ride” to downtown Brattleboro, Vermont. We both had a blast!
BF: What factors eventually led you to choosing the Haul-a-day?
AM: We’re lucky to live close to Dave Cohen, founder of VBike, who is available for consultations and has a half dozen (or more) cargo bikes available for test riding. The Haul-a-day was the most appealing for several reasons: easy on / off due to the low bike frame, low center of gravity, 20” wheels, ability both to haul gear and two kids or a second adult, and its overall comfort.
BF: Now that you own the bike and have ridden it a fair amount, what has stood out to you about the bike? Anything unexpected?
AM:In addition to everything listed above, I’ve come to love the roomy front basket, which often holds my kids’ backpacks, groceries, or organizing materials for my work as a climate activist.
BF: Do you feel like owning a Haul-a-day has led to changes in your life and the lives of your family members?
AM:Down-sizing to one car and now owning a Haul-a-day has led to major changes in my life and my family members’ lives. Perhaps most obviously, we bike more and drive less! This has been an ongoing goal for years, but this transition “forced our hand.” We now have nearly 850 miles on the HaD, most of which are miles we otherwise would have driven. Additionally, this has connected each of us more closely to our community, to other people we pass on our bike, to our local weather, and to the natural world.
BF: How has having an electric assist system changed the way you ride your bike?
AM:Brattleboro is full of hills and carting around two kids on the back of a bike is heavy, so having electric assist has been a “game-changer.” It has enabled me to carry my kids anywhere I need to go, whether there are hills on the ride or not. Ultimately, it has meant that the terrain and the extra weight are no longer issues.
BF: What advice would you give to someone looking to reduce their (or their families) carbon footprint by riding a bike?
AM:Take the leap and do it! It’s good for the earth, it’s good for you and your family, and it’s affordable (especially when compared to the overall expenses of having a car). Plus, it’s super fun!
Thanks so much to Abigail and her family for giving us this insight into their lives with a Haul-a-day! We are excited for more of our customers to be able to experience the power of electric assist, if this is something you are interested in please contact us, these bikes will be widely available soon.