Meet More Dads Who Carry Their Families on Electric Cargo Bikes

Who needs a car when you have a Bunch Bike?

Bunch Family Bikes

 Bunch Bikes

For Father's Day this year, we are profiling a number of super cool eco-friendly dads who use electric cargo bikes to transport their children around their home communities. The following interviews were facilitated by Bunch Bikes, North America's biggest front-load cargo bike brand, which sent out a list of questions that Treehugger had provided to several of their loyal clients. 

Paul Gargagliano (Tampa, Florida): "The bike is named Margo the Cargo Bike."

 Paul Gargagliano
 Paul's family with Margo the Cargo Bike.
Paul Gargagliano via Bunch Bikes

 

We live in Florida and love to be outside as a family (me, my wife, and two girls ages 5 and 7), riding bikes to various places in Tampa and enjoying Bayshore Blvd, the world's longest continuous sidewalk. We had a trailer that I towed behind my bike, but it was challenging at times navigating sidewalks, curbs, and the kids fighting each other in the trailer. It was dangerous to turn around to see what they were doing. I would usually have to stop riding and figure it out.

On the weekends we rarely use a car, unless there is no alternative. We take it to brunch, lunch, dinner, or just to hang out at the wharf in downtown Tampa. My kids love it! The bike is named Margo the Cargo Bike. So we just say, "Let's take Margo to lunch!"

Eric Cruz (Bronxville, New York): "I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said, 'Oh, you're the guy with the bike.'"

Eric Cruz's daughter in cargo bike Eric Cruz via Bunch Bikes

There were two reasons we opted for purchasing our Bunch Bike. The first was with the pandemic lockdowns. We needed activities for our two-year-old. The second was moving from Brooklyn, NY, where we used to walk everywhere, to the suburbs of Bronxville, NY, where you have to drive everywhere, but we wanted to use our car less. 

Bunch has exceeded expectations on both fronts. We are very popular in town, as we are the only ones with one. My daughter and I ride as much as we can from our Sunday rides on the Bronx River parkway that is closed to cars on weekends, to breakfast and bagels, flower runs, feeding the ducks at the lake, and even grocery shopping in town. We just love it. 

On occasion, we will pick up my wife from the Metro North train on the bike instead of using the car. The family (including the dog) uses the bike to go to dinner, pick up treats—you name it, we do it. Bunch has been awesome for us all. 

It brings a lot of joy to a lot of people, especially when we decorate the bike for holidays. Our current theme is Fourth of July, with streamers, flags, America stickers, music, and some red, white, and blue Christmas lights. It is pretty cool to be recognized around town by random people. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said, "Oh, you're the guy with the bike."

The bike is truly something that has made the pandemic bearable and will continue to be part of our everyday next normal.

JP Roach (Newport Beach, California)

 JP Roach cargo bike on beach

 JP Roach via Bunch Bikes

 

I was a very early adopter of this bike, going back when founder Aaron Powell first starting shipping the bikes about three years ago (still under the Urban Tribe brand). 

I live in Newport Beach, CA, and this bike has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made. It makes everything we do much more fun and memorable. We put music on with a Bluetooth speaker and cruise all over town—to the park, restaurants, friends' houses, birthday parties, the beach, the Balboa Bay Club... everywhere! 

It fits my three kids, two Labradoodles, all of our beach gear. I’ve even got racks on the side for our surfboards. During the summer, it’s almost all I use on the weekends for us to get around. I avoid parking issues and traffic and just ride our family bike wherever we need to go. 

Biking is one of the most fun activities you can do. It gives you a completely different perspective of your surroundings versus being in a car. Being able to enjoy this with my kids—who are in full view while I ride—has made for some of my favorite times of being a dad. 

I can’t tell you how many times people roll down their windows and yell, "That’s amazing!" or "Wow, cool bike," as we ride around town. I’m a huge fan, love our bike, love the company, and recommend it to all of my friends. We have a crew in our neighborhood now of about 7-8 people that have them. It’s amazing.

 

Blake Hall (Lexington, Kentucky): "Our 1-year-old twins like it much more than the car because they can see me."

Blake Hall kids in bike

 Blake Hall via Bunch Bikes

 

I had been interested in cargo bikes for a while. We live in a fairly walkable area and I thought a cargo bike would be a good alternative to getting a second car.

I pretty much use it for any trip within two miles. I could go further, but my city doesn't really have safe bike infrastructure. It is my main mode of transport and I ride it substantially more than I drive. I use it for weekly grocery runs, taking the kid to school, and any other errands from mailing packages to going to the hardware store. 

Over this past year, it has kept me in better shape and gives me a mental break. We had twins at the start of the pandemic, so it gave me and my then 3-year-old son a chance to get out of the house and spend some time together. Now that the twins are older, I can ride with all three of them, which gives my wife a break with a house without kids. I couldn't really do the same thing with a car or walking; they don't particularly care for the car ride, as they can't see much and it's difficult to push a double stroller and control a 4-year-old old. 

My older son loves it. He will ask to go for bike rides and when we occasionally use the car for a trip he will ask, "Why aren't we taking the bike?" Our 1-year-old twins like it much more than the car. I imagine because they can face and see me, while also seeing more around them.

For the first few months, I couldn't ride it without someone asking questions about it. I had a lady in her SUV beside me at a stoplight ask to take a picture. Multiple times I've heard kids tell their parents they want one as I ride by. And it's always fun to see people's reactions when I'm picking up carry out.

Michael Prommer (Davis, California): "They are not cheap, but we did sell our second car, so it's worth it!" 

 Michael Prommer

 Michael Prommer via Bunch Bikes

 

We had used cargo bikes on visits to Europe and it made sense to have one in Davis, California. Small town, all flat, and bike-riding weather all year. 

We sold our second car and I use the Bunch Bike to go shopping. It's so much easier and nicer to ride a bike than a car. I use the Bunch Bike to drop the kids off at school and it's great for all of us to (a) ride the bike paths versus the streets, and (b) get some fresh air before the day starts. The kids love it. In the cooler months, they have complained about being cold, but blankets took care of that. 

Once the Shark Tank episode ran, people often asked us if that was the bike from the show. Our standard answers were, "Yes, that is the bike," followed by, "No, they are not cheap," and "We did sell our second car and hardly use the other one, so it's worth it!" 

Marcel McManis (Concord, California): "The baby passes out every single time we go out."

 Marcel McManis

 Marcel McManis via Bunch Bikes

 As soon as it arrived, I immediately put my boys on the bike and took them for a ride. They were super excited. I had been talking about the bike for a month before it arrived. 

We live in a busy metropolitan area, so the bike is an evening and weekend thing for me and the boys. It became an alternative to staying at home in front of the TV. Now, I usually take the kids for a ride anytime. I'm not sure what else we could be doing to pass time. 

The kids love it. They always try to get a friend to ride along. They wave and say hi to everyone on the road when we are passing. They like to hear all the comments about how cool the bike is. 

I think the best thing for me is that the baby passes out every single time we go out.

Katherine Martinko, June 2021
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