I am thoroughly enjoying test riding the Xtracycle Radish I have on loan for review. What impresses me the most is not so much its hauling capacity (which I take for granted since it is, after all, a cargo bike), as its handling. The Radish is a great ride. It is fast. It is geared for hills. It is easy in stop-and-go traffic, remaining stable when starting and stopping. It is lovely on dirt trails. It likes to keep its line, and I can even ride it no hands - no easy feat for me on most bikes! In other words, I really, really like it.
So now I find myself manufacturing tasks in order to have excuses to ride this cool bike and test its hauling capacity. I should load it up with some Bromptons (done - too easy). I should use it to bring home a Festivus tree. I should borrow some neighbourhood children. I should take the cats skiing. All this brainstorming makes me aware that I don't, strictly speaking, actually need a cargo bike as part of my daily routine. "Don't need a cargo bike?! But you're car free, of course you need a cargo bike!" a friend exclaims. Two years ago, I would have agreed. There are groceries, the hardware store, photo equipment, art supplies, disassembled bikes, large packages. But after all this time, I've adapted to having limited hauling capacity and now only rarely need to transport large or heavy loads. The Radish is a bike I want to need, but in reality would use only occasionally.
On that note, I am curious how often cargo bike owners actually ride theirs cargo bikes. Is it your main ride or a supplementary bike? Do you find yourself riding it more or less frequently the longer you own it? "Soon you'll find all sorts of uses for it, and won't be able to do without," I am told. Yeah, that's exactly what I'm afraid of!