Our second car…

09Feb10

Bakfiets

… is a bike! It’s a Dutch bike and it’s called a bakfiets, which translates literally to box-bike. (Quick Dutch lesson: fiets = bike. That’s the singular. In Dutch, the suffix -en denotes the plural, the same way in English we say ox and oxen. So: many bikes are fietsen; many boxbikes are bakfietsen. Bike path = fietspad. Now you can move to the Netherlands, you’re welcome!)

Yes, it is huge and heavy, in the neighborhood of 100 lbs. You will not pass anyone going uphill on this bike. It has a capacity of more than twice that, in the box and on the rack, which is strong enough to hold someone riding sidesaddle. I took it to the grocery store tonight and did a week’s worth of shopping. I made it back up the 6% hill to our house, but the head lamp was flickering at times because I was moving so slowly. It took a lot of effort, but the bike never strained. It is surprisingly balanced, loaded or not.

Groceries in the bakfiets

I had initially thought I would want to lower the gearing with a larger cog in the back, like I did with my 3-speed for the hills around here, but no higher cadence was going to move things any faster. It is an exercise in patience, riding a load up a hill, and that is the trade you make for a bike that can do it.

Didn’t get the kids in it right away because I wanted to get accustomed to things first and it was already late in the day. Tomorrow we’re getting a thousand pounds of snow and this weekend we’re out of town, so they’ll have to wait until next Friday.

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3 Responses to “Our second car…”

  1. 1 MJB

    Awesome – congrats!

  2. 2 Bryan

    Just found your blog and love it! Keep it up… 🙂


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