Timed to coincide with the weekend of World Car-Free Day, Camcycle’s Cargo Carnival will demonstrate the power of pedals on Saturday 21 September and celebrate everything that can be carried by cycle from babies and books to beer.
Meeting at 11am on Lammas Land, a parade of cyclists and their cargo will depart around 11.30am for a tour of the city centre. The procession is open to anyone who carries anything on their bike – trailers, child seats, baskets, panniers and saddlebags are welcome along with cargo bikes, tricycles and tandems. Dressing up is encouraged too – last year one participant transformed her cargo bike into a bathtub!
The parade returns to Lammas Land for a celebration of cargo bikes including representatives from local businesses who use cycles for deliveries and trade, including Thorne Wines, Overstream Clean, Cambridge Distillery, Cone and Cask, Calverley’s Brewery, The Little Cambridge Bookshop and Cambridge Environmental Services. The Greater Cambridge Partnership will be there with updates on cycling projects around the city and national charity Sustrans will be talking about local opportunities for active travel volunteers.
Food will be on offer from Steak and Honour, and there will be an opportunity to test a new cycle at the enclosed try-out area with experts from The School Run Centre, Electric Bike Sales and Outspoken Cycle. Rob Turner, shop manager at Outspoken said, “This will be a fantastic event for families and business people to talk about and ride cargo bikes, with a huge range to compare.” Children will have the chance to try out balance bikes too.
At 2pm, a prize draw will take place to find the winners of CamcycleQuest, a new cycling treasure hunt which Camcycle has been running this summer in association with Tees Law. The top prize is a £900 cargo bike e-conversion from Electric Bike Sales, perfect for easing the journeys of those cycling children or deliveries.
James Thorne, of Thorne Wines, does both and is an eager convert to the cargo bike revolution. He said, “We tried a lot of cargo bikes, as we wanted something that would give us the flexibility to use for business, but also for life. We chose the Packster 60, a pedal-assist electric bike from Reiss and Muller – we can load it up with over 60 bottles of wine and then put the seat back in and take the kids to nursery. We didn’t initially plan to use a cargo bike for the business, but deliveries were taking up too much business time and there was also the cost of fuel and insurance. In Cambridge, with the way the traffic has become, it was an absolute no-brainer. We can now get to the other side of town within 15 minutes; I don’t think you can do that in a car and I certainly couldn’t do that in a truck beforehand.”
Russell Calne from Cambridge Environmental Services has just started using a cargo bike and has also been impressed with the results. He said, “Our cargo bike has allowed us to reduce our carbon footprint and save money, while still running an efficient and flexible business. Also, we love being part of Cambridge’s cycling community.”
Camcycle’s Executive Director, Roxanne De Beaux said the charity had created the Cargo Carnival to showcase what was possible to carry by bike and help solve issues such as air quality and congestion. She said, “On the weekend of World Car-Free Day, we’re highlighting just how versatile cycling can be as a true replacement for many car journeys. The traders at our Cargo Carnival are leading the way and every year we see more businesses and families taking to cargo bikes as an efficient and cost-effective option. It will be a joyous celebration of pedal power for all ages, but also a vision for a future with clean air, safe roads and vibrant local communities.”
The charity would like to thank all the sponsors who have made the event possible including Cambridge City Council, Outspoken Cycles, The School Run Centre and Electric Bike Sales. Sponsorship has also been provided from City Changer Cargo Bike, an EU Cycle Logistics programme via Cambridgeshire County Council.
Project leader Simon Manville said, “Cambridgeshire County Council is one of 20 partners from across Europe involved in the City Changer Cargo Bike initiative, to maximise the potential of cargo bikes. Through this project, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, we are pleased to support the Cargo Carnival as we seek to promote the use of cargo bikes amongst public, private, and commercial users. The event was a huge success last year and we know that Camcycle has been working hard to make it even bigger and better in 2019.
“The large-scale introduction and application of cargo bikes in urban areas has already shown to be a game-changer for cities: the image of cycling improves, levels of cycling increase (for freight and passengers), urban space is used more efficiently and improvements are seen in air quality, safety and quality of life. We are excited to be supporting the growth of this fantastic mode of transport to make Cambridge an even greater city to live in.”