In cities blighted by congestion and polluted air, bicycles offer a practicable answer by providing environmentally benign transport. However, most of the bikes we buy are heavy, poorly made designs destined ultimately for the shed or landfill. Our European cousins have embraced the concept of utility cycling and cargo bikes – the Transit vans of the bicycle world. Unfortunately, the way we currently organise our urban space here in Britain makes provision for car parking, while storing a cargo bike can prove to be a real challenge. Enter the Convercycle, a bicycle that offers the choice of a ‘cargo mode’ or ‘city mode’.
There’s little doubt the Convercycle is a clever proposition, but if the £1,500 entry price seems a little steep, there are cheaper ways to carry stuff by bike. If you don’t have the need or storage space for a dedicated cargo bike, how about the Donky Bike – an innovative British-designed utility bicycle with 20″ wheels and sturdy, removable luggage racks front and rear.
Many of the bikes used on city streets appear unsuitable for utility cycling. Cheap mountain bikes grab sales by boasting numerous gears and suspended forks, but rarely offer luggage racks or mudguards. Inspired by load-carrying designs from the Netherlands and the strength and simplicity of BMX components, Ben Wilson and Jonathan Pooley set out to build an affordable and practical town bike.
The result is the £499 Donky – every home should have one.
Ethical cycle insurance
On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the devil is the detail. How much excess you will be charged is just one of the things that varies wildly between providers. Another is so called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use this term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.
With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model.
For over 29 years we have been providing this kind of straightforward, affordable bicycle insurance. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide rates us ethical in Britain.