Cargo Bike Festival

International Cargo Bike Festival

Last weekend the third edition of the International Cargo Bike Festival in Nijmegen in the Netherlands was a very successful event. With a conference on Saturday and a fair on Sunday.

Cargo Bike Festival 2014
Fair at the International Cargo Bike Festival 2014


For the conference on Saturday 12th April, 250 delegates from 25 countries registered and that made it fully booked. The European Cycle Logistics Federation Conference as it was officially called was organised by Gary Armstrong of Outspoken Delivery, in Cambridge, (United Kingdom) and Jos Sluijsmans of, in host city Nijmegen.

Key note speakers were the well-known Mikael Colville-Andersen aka Copenhagenize from Denmark and Steven Fleming from Cycle Space and Senior Lecturer of Architecture & Urban Design at UTAS (University of Tasmania) in Australia. In his presentation “Bicycle Urbanism by Design – Modernising our cities for bicycle traffic” Mikael presented his views on liveable cities, making driving a car “a pain in the ass”, bicycle culture, desire lines of people cycling and Dutch problems the rest of the world would like to have. In “How architects can help increase cargo bike use” Steven explained his vision of large housing blocks in cities “designed to make cycling as obvious as washing your hands after going to the toilet”.

Keynote speakers Mikael Colville-Andersen (left) and Steven Fleming (right) in Nijmegen. (Picture courtesy of Herbert Tiemens)

It was a very rich one day conference with a wide range of other speakers giving presentations on a number of topics all related to cargo bikes and logistics. The live stream that was broadcast is still available. Comprehensive notes taken during the presentations were published by Steven Vance from Chicago Cargo.

DHL presentation
Arne Melse presents the DHL Experience

The opportunity was taken to inaugurate the recently established European Cycle Logistics Federation. Gary Armstrong poured out a bottle of champagne over a cargo bike. The Federation would like to represent and support the needs of cycle logistics companies by:

  • highlighting best practice
  • sharing knowledge and experience
  • establishing a lobby group(s) to influence relevant stakeholders
  • identifying opportunities for shared promotions, marketing and costs
  • establishing appropriate information resources.

My video impression of the conference on Saturday


On Sunday 13th April, the festive Cargo Bike Fair took place. The fair was formally opened by Nijmegen alderman Bert Jeene, in his capacity of chair-holder for Mobility of the Arnhem Nijmegen City region. Mr Jeene also announced that the Arnhem-Nijmegen region has the intention to offer to organize the Velo-City 2017 conference. With the catchy song “Get into my cargo bike my darling(s)” Ron Vervuurt cheerfully completed the opening of the fair.

Cargo Bike Festival
A cargo bike that holds a wheel chair which was especially designed for it.

A great many cargo bikes could be seen in 35 booths from a whole range of manufacturers from various countries. Organiser Jos Sluijsmans told me: “Last year we had 112 cargo bikes on display. We hoped to get 200 bikes this year and I think we succeeded!” Apart from all these cargo bikes there were workshops, a cargo bike race and many food stands in -you guessed it- cargo bikes.

Cargo Bike Festival
Steven Vance and Shirley Agudo test a cargo bike at the fair of the International Cargo Bike Festival 2014.

The local press reported that 1,000 people attended the fair. Many of whom got to try out one or more of the cargo bikes. With so many people on cargo bikes there were happy faces everywhere.

My video impression of the fair on Sunday


11 thoughts on “International Cargo Bike Festival

  1. What a superb festival! I wish something like this happened in the UK.

    There again, I am amazed to say I saw a Bullitt bike recently being ridden near Bristol UK! Could cargo fever be starting to sweep British soil? :o)

    By the way, would I be right in assuming that due to the extra weight cargo bikes are designed to carry, that they would ALL need hydraulic disc brakes on both front and rear (ie, extra braking power)? I noticed a few that did not…

  2. Yes! Definitively a VERY successful event! It was our first participation and we loved it! Thanks Mark for your videos impressions!

  3. Do you remember the brand of the cargo bike that Steven Vance and Shirley Agudo are riding?

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