BICYCLE DUTCH

All about cycling in the Netherlands

A bakfiets compilation

The English term cargo bike has a strong and obvious connection to freight, with that word cargo. The Dutch word bakfiets is more neutral and literally means ‘box bike’. That makes it perfectly normal for the Dutch to transport not only cargo in these box bikes, but mainly their children.

bakfiets

Not only parents can be seen using a bakfiets in the Netherlands, also grand-parents.

Of course the bakfietsen are also used for cargo in the Netherlands. Shops and bike messengers use them to do local deliveries and much larger professional organisations like DHL and the Dutch post have started to use cargo bikes for their professional deliveries as well.

wine-shop

The text on this cargo bike of a wine shop reads: “we also deliver your wines at home”

cargobike03

The local bicycle messenger in ʼs-Hertogenbosch uses a cargo bike to deliver parcels around the city.

In 9 days the third International Cargo Bike Festival will take place in Nijmegen. With a conference on Saturday and a big public exhibition on Sunday, this festival celebrates everything ‘bakfiets’ or cargo bike. The full range of cargo bikes can be found at the festival, not only the true freight transport cargo bikes but also the cargo bikes that are mainly meant to transport children in.

cargobike01

DHL was present at last year’s Cargo Bicycle Festival in Nijmegen with their cargo bikes used for deliveries in the city centres.

Last year was my first visit to the cargo bike festival which then coincided with the opening of a fast cycle route from Nijmegen to Beuningen, and of course I wrote a blog post. This year the festival seems to be even grander and it is apparently the biggest event of the sort in the world. I will again visit the festival, but this year on both days. I will of course report what it was like. But to already get in the mood now, I made a compilation of the typical bakfiets you see most in the streets of the Netherlands: loaded with many happy children, but there are a few genuine cargo bikes too!

Bakfiets compilation, making clear how the Dutch use their cargo bikes most.

As you could see, most of these bicycles carry children and most are also Dutch made. The biggest brands in no particular order are:

cargobike02

Children and cargo bikes go together well. Especially in a cargo bike carousel!

The bakfiets is completely integrated in Dutch society and present in all stages of life. Babies at a very young age can be seen transported in a bakfiets. Some people move house in a bakfiets. Weddings and a bakfiets are not uncommon. And just two days ago a 79 year old woman in my hometown of ’s-Hertogenbosch had decided she wanted her last journey in this world to be in a bakfiets, accompanied by her dear ones cycling behind her. Beautiful!

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3 comments on “A bakfiets compilation

  1. Pingback: Mrs. the Poet was sent home from work, and the Feed | Witch on a Bicycle

  2. XICLO
    5 April 2014

    Thanks you for explaining us the meaning of “bakfiets”! We will be a Nijmegen too! Hope to see you. Great video!

  3. crank
    4 April 2014

    Wow. So awesome.

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This entry was posted on 3 April 2014 by in Original posts and tagged , , .
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