After a long wait, I am happy to announce that Mel and I are now the proud owners of a the 2011 Box Bike from Joe Bike. For those of you who don’t know, “box bike” is a generic term for a type of cargo bike that has a large box between the handlebars and the front wheel.
Mel and I decided to buy a box bike specifically to be able to carry our new daughter KP around with us while we bike in a way that we hope will make cycling as fun for KP as it is for us. We hope that the box bike will allow KP to enjoy the fun of feeling the wind in her hair (meaning, in the future when she has hair…).
For now, since KP is way too little to use the built-in seat in the box, we’ve found a way to attach a spare car seat into the box. We’ve placed a few layers of foam in the bottom of the box, and attached a nylon strap that we use to keep the car seat firmly attached in place. The box is just barely big enough to fit a standard car seat.
As I think any owner of a box bike will tell you, the best part of using a box bike to carry around kids is that the the kids are positioned right in front of you where you can easily keep an eye on what they’re up to. Here’s my view from the saddle:
Like riding in a car, KP tends to fall asleep instantly once the box bike starts moving.
Since I’m sure more than one person out there is wondering about it, yes, we have considered whether KP is too young for this kind of thing. Yes, we’re taking it easy, going very slowly at first, and taking great care to avoid major bumps in the road. No, we don’t really have any idea of how bumpy is too bumpy for a kid at any age, let alone an infant. But for now, we’re comfortable with our approach.
Box bikes have distinct drawbacks as well, which I’m sure I’ll talk more about later. Over the next couple weeks, I’m sure I’ll have more to say about box bikes in general, our experiences, and this particular model. Stay tuned for that, if you’re interested.
In the mean time, what do you think of box bikes in general? Would you ever buy one? Why or why not? Wanna come test ride mine?
[UPDATE: A full review of my experience with this bike is here.]