When a wheelbarrow and a bicycle love each other very much
October 3, 2014 12:56 PM   Subscribe

The true origin of the bakfiets, from the Randomdam blog of French cartoon bomber David Troquier.
posted by MartinWisse (17 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
The cartoon bombs are delightful, and his style is great. Good find!
posted by filthy light thief at 1:16 PM on October 3, 2014

Agreed! This is great.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:16 PM on October 3, 2014

Later in life the two lovebirds move to Portland where they go on to have an open relationship in which they involve both a helicopter and a train.
posted by kevin is... at 1:27 PM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I like bikes, and i like cargo bikes... but i just can't entirely like these things. They're all $3000, and i associate them with the worst kind of "progressive" upper middle class neo-hippie who acts like they're all about loving everyone and the future of the world, and then moves to a like 99.999% white neighborhood and is just incredibly insular and entitled.

They're like, the next stage of pokemon evolution above the guy in a subaru/volvo who screams fuck you out his window while wearing a namaste hat. anti-fluoride campaigners and antivaxers who don't believe in science entirely.

This is probably a really bizarre post, but it's like, free association, what i think of when someone says the phrase "bakfiets".

Inversely, and weirdly enough, xtracycles are totally ok. Tons of cool nice people own those. I think it's the barrier to entry of bakfiets that make them asshole-only vehicles.
posted by emptythought at 1:59 PM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

They're all $3000, and i associate them with the worst kind of "progressive" upper middle class neo-hippie

Ah, that's your problem: you want the ones which are €1500.
posted by ambrosen at 2:53 PM on October 3, 2014 [5 favorites]

These came too late for me - I just made my kids ride their own bikes at an early age. It's all Ayn Rynd up in my house. Everyone pedals for themselves.
posted by GuyZero at 2:57 PM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

I lust after a $6k electric assist Bullit.

(I also own a Volvo. Shit. )
posted by kevin is... at 3:42 PM on October 3, 2014

Yeah, most designer bakfietsen in Amsterdam are riden by douches as well, though not the old fashioned, you need serious muscle power to start it but can move the contents of an entire house in one go proper bakfiets.

But it's still better to drive your kiddies to school in a bakfiets than in a P.C Hoofdtraktor (SUV).
posted by MartinWisse at 4:22 PM on October 3, 2014

Oh, uh, awkward. I've got one of these, and I love it, and I promise I'm not a anti-vaxxer neo-hippie with conspiracy theories about flouride. Yes, it was expensive, and it is weird to spend more on a bike than one's car is worth. They do hold their value, though, and so when I sell it on I anticipate getting a good chunk of it back. More importantly, it means that I can do the vast majority of my trips by bike and we can keep a '93 Honda around for the rare occasion I really need an actual car, instead of buying a whole new car. It also means that I support my town's local merchants a lot more, because I can ride down the street and see the hardware store and remember that I need to buy something, and I can pull up on the sidewalk and stop and buy it instead of driving to Target or Home Depot. There is room for *everything* and I can impulsively buy pumpkins or a case of wine at Trader Joe's without trying to figure out how to get it home on a bicycle. I take my kids in it as much as possible, and they can see everything and we talk about the stuff that they see, they aren't stuck in a trailer. My almost four year old navigates his way around the town because he sees all the streets up close. It's heavy, and slow, and as my older son gets less dreamy and more reliable about biking in a straight line I'm thinking about downsizing to a longtail. But riding around town lots of people see me and recognize me and wave and say "Hi!" as they pass by in their cars, and if I were driving too we wouldn't have had that momentary greeting, and so maybe it's corny but I actually feel a little bit more of my community because of the bike.

God, I hope people don't think I'm a douche.
posted by ambrosia at 5:24 PM on October 3, 2014 [14 favorites]

If they do, so what?

I think if this thread had started off with your testimonial, it probably would have gone a lot differently...
posted by tss at 6:21 PM on October 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

Ah, that's your problem: you want the ones which are €1500.

The good news is that the exchange rate has slipped, so that's a bit under $3000 now. The bad news is that even with a better exchange rate I can't afford one of these, even though they look like fun.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:45 PM on October 3, 2014

While I don't have my dream bakefeits yet, I do have a Yuba ElMundo which cost a little more than 3k.

I love it for all of the reasons that Ambrosia listed.

It was totally a luxury purchase, but a year in I've put 2k miles on it, which AAA would call 75 cents per mile, were I driving the Volvo, that adds up to $1500 that I didn't spend on driving. (Plus 350/year to park at work)

Of course, before I get too far ahead on the deal I'll probably buy myself that fancy Bullit.
posted by kevin is... at 9:16 PM on October 3, 2014

Also, I think now I'm going to add "hoof-di tractor" to my list of nicknames for our car... Which currently includes "3000lb umbrella" and "motorized wheelchair"
posted by kevin is... at 9:56 PM on October 3, 2014

Hahaha i don't, ambrosia. That actually sounds like loads of fun.

posted by emptythought at 10:09 PM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

I want one of these, instead. (Alas, see price tag :-( )
posted by cstross at 5:15 AM on October 4, 2014

There's a lot going on with cargo bikes these days. I want one of these pretty badly, but as a compromise I'm considering a Kona Ute. There are all kind of places springing up that will custom-build them to your specific needs, too, which is neat.

If you live in a city - especially one where traffic is terrible, like mine - it's hard to explain what a revelation being able to put a load of groceries on a bike is without sounding like a frothing zealot. But: no waiting in traffic, no trouble finding a parking spot, getting where you want to go is actually kind of pleasant and fun, not alternately boring and infuriating. Just about anything is better than driving a car.
posted by mhoye at 6:19 AM on October 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have one and I can affirm that they are really great. The price tag is stupid and probably a used $50 burley two wheel trailer would be just as functional but it is really nice to just load up a few kids and an adult on the back and go without a lot of trouble. We also were able to not use the car far earlier with an infant since the infant car seat attaches quite securely, which is not something you can do with a trailer. It also helps that we live in a very flat city because the damn thing is a heavy beast.

But yeah, like all the cars people drive that cost more than ~$4k it is a luxury and not a necessity.
posted by ChrisHartley at 10:57 AM on October 4, 2014

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