“Bye Bye Backpack

Most of the time I enjoy riding my mountain bike or race bike for fitness purposes. The fact that both have pedals that require special shoes makes them unsuitable for casual trips. As a workaround I have an old mountain bike that I converted for commuting purposes and use to ride to the train station, shops or when doing short rides with the kids.

When riding to the station I usually carry my messenger bag for work. That does the job but is not overly comfortable. Taking the bike to the shops means carrying a backpack which has limited space and I always end up with a sweaty back. I am not a big fan of pannier bags for every day use as the bags are not the best to carry around or take to the office.
As more and more cargo bikes popped up around inner Melbourne and the CBD the idea of getting one myself grew stronger every time I carried something on my back while riding my bike. On top that, for the last couple of years, I wanted to increase the use of a bicycle in every day living. My plan was to use a cargo bike to ride to the station for the daily commute as well as using it for the weekly grocery shopping trip.

As follower of Mikael Colville-Andersen on Twitter I always liked his bright red Bullitt and my initial thought was to get one them. It also looked like the sportiest out of the available cargo bikes.
In the process of finding a place to get a Bullitt from I came across Dutch Cargo Bike and made an appointment for a test ride. While the Bullitt proved to be the sportiest, I also test rode the Douze Messenger which I found a more comfortable ride, considering that I did not plan to be clad in Lycra while riding it. Another great thing about the Douze is that it is not “one size fits all” but does come in 3 different sizes. I also came to the conclusion that the Bullitt and the Douze standard size have more space than I would need. In the end I decided to get a Douze Urban U1 Compact which provides the cargo space that I need and has the advantage of being a little shorter which makes it easier to store it in the Parkiteer cage. I optioned it up with an 11 Gear Shimano Alfine and the Soft Bag pack. And because it was available at a reasonable price at the time I got it in an beautiful bright blue colour. It makes it a truly unique and amazing piece of machinery that I proudly ride around the neighbourhood.

So far the Douze delivered everything I was hoping for. It allows for a relaxed ride to the station and fits the weekly shop. Even fully loaded it handles very well. An added benefit is the ability to park the bike right in front of the supermarket entrance an not having to find a car park. Arrival and departure usually attracts some inquisitive looks or approving comments from other shoppers.
One point I still have to prove is that the cargo bike can remove the need for a second car completely. That would be the ultimate success and make the purchase really worth its while.”