It’s easy to assume once you have a couple of kids, your days of freewheeling are numbered. One kid seat might be doable, but two, and with groceries? The Dutch have a cyclist’s answer to the minivan. It’s called a “bakfiets”- a cargobike that resembles a rideable wheelbarrow- and every good Dutch yuppie has one (your status can be displayed with chrome finishes and accessories).
Even families with three children (or more) can put them all in the basket- and belt them in (the standard model has 2 harnesses, the long model has 3)-. Even parents of newborns don’t give up their cycling habit: carseats go directly into the cargo hold. Even for parents of twins, two sleeping newborns fit stacked in their carseats in the hold of the bakfiets “long” bike.
Chrome finishes and accessories, like a rain canopy for the kids, have become a way for many class conscious Dutch to display their wealth and on foreign soil, the bakfiets is gaining popularity as just the right accessory for hip parents in the know. While it hasn’t gone mainstream yet major newspapers are reviewing it. The New York Times called it “safe and sturdy” with “smooth” gears that allow it to “to keep the same pace over rolling hills.”
In this video, we join the owners of Seattle’s Dutch Bike Company on a ride with kids in tow and faircompanies’ Kirsten Dirksen takes it for a test ride (without kids, since it’s a bit of a boat to get used to).