I have been meaning to buy a cargo bike for more than a year now. So why don’t I own one yet? The fact that I am always loath to spend money is only part of it. The real reason I haven’t pulled the trigger is that buying cargo bikes is too hard, even here in the bike-friendly Bay Area.
First of all, most bike stores carry few to no cargo bike models for me to test ride. Without a car, it’s not convenient to drive to the shops that do carry them.
I had considered renting a cargo bike from Pedal Beach, a local business that rents out cargo bikes for $20 an hour. But then I decided that the main model they carry, a Madsen, probably wasn’t what I wanted to get. When my husband and I had the chance for a getaway in a rental car, we stopped at The Bicycle Works in Marin, where I test-rode a whole bunch of bikes and decided that the one I loved best was Xtracycle’s Cargo Joe, a folding bike that was not nearly as heavy as a lot of cargo bikes.
I was tempted to buy the model they had on the spot, but I was held back by one thing: My kids had not ridden on the back yet. They weren’t with us. So I walked out, cargo-bikeless, and cargo-bikeless is how I remain today.
Today I learned about an amazing company called Vie Bikes (pronounced “vee,” as in the V People), which will actually bring a “family bike” to your door to test ride for up to a week. They’ll also walk you through putting kid seats on and off, helmet fitting, and anything else you need to feel comfortable riding. I’m kind of stunned that this exists!
Vie has a bike matcher on the site that will help you figure out what kind of bike you want to try. The weeklong trial costs $175, including pickup and delivery. And then if you like it, you can buy your bike through Vie and even use them for pick-up and drop-off bike maintenance.
Vie is still in beta, but they shared with me an invitation code, which they gave me permission to share here:
So go ahead and enter that code and try it out! Please come back to let me know what you think of the service, too.