Cargo bikes

A friend sent me this cool video of cargo bikes in action:


It’s no secret that people who get to work under their own steam by walking, running or cycling are apparently happier than those who drive or take public transport. But did you know that people who drive or take the train during peak-hour are more stressed than fighter pilots and riot police?

Researchers for Hewlett-Packard convinced volunteers in England to wear electrode caps during their commutes and found that whether they were driving or taking the train, peak-hour travellers suffered worse stress than fighter pilots or riot police facing mobs of angry protesters.

But one group of commuters report enjoying themselves. These are people who travel under their own steam, like Robert Judge. They walk. They run. They ride bicycles.

12 thoughts on “Cargo bikes

  1. Thanks for the post. What a shame that some of the brilliant bike lanes in the video aren’t being built everywhere. Did you notice the woman ferrying around 4 kids? She must be super-fit! I did a double-take at the tallish woman towards the end of the video with two kids. I wondered whether she was you. Still not sure. 🙂

  2. I’m sure that the excercise itself is of benefit, especially for those who have sedentery jobs. Add to this a sense of freedom compared with the confined state of traffic jams and/or sitting in public transport. Confinment is not only aggravating but adds to a sense of oppression.

    I used to to ride motorcycles. The sense of freedom (and yes alright speed) was very invigorating. Especially in the early morning with nobody about.

    As for commuters being more stressed than fighter pilots or police. Perhaps it is because those groups have training and control of their situation. Commuters don’t have control and I’m not sure I’d want training in being passive. Occasional stess is the price we pay for being self willed. I’d rather keep being self willed regardless of the aggravation, providing it is not unfair upon others.

    Have a self willed 😀

    1. Graham,
      There’s something nice about feeling the wind rush through your hair when you’re on a bicycle or motorcycle which probably adds to the experience. I’m also somewhat impatient and so I find sitting in a traffic jam very stressful, especially if it means I’m going to be late. There must be something about the need for control which you lose as a commuter on public transport. I know I like to be in control.

  3. A very cool video Rachel and of course it helps if your town is flat.

    I can readily believe the stress induced by peak hour travellers which is why I always walk regardless of the weather and my travel time is always the same.

    One reason I hate public transport is the rudeness and lack of respect shown towards fellow travellers and in particular the elderly, women with children and pregnant women. People bury their heads in their electronic devices and pretend to be oblivious. The handbag taking up a full seat, the open mouth yawning, no one saying ‘excuse me’ when pushing past …. the list goes on.

    1. You’re lucky to be able to walk to work in Sydney. I do quite enjoy riding on ferries and trains but only outside of peak hour. They’re not so pleasant when crammed full of people. We caught lots of trains in the UK and I quite enjoyed them. Mostly they weren’t crowded and we often had a table for eating off and there were powerpoints to plug our devices into. The kids quite liked it as well. But these trips were not everyday and were usually on our way to interesting places for holidays, which added to the experience.

  4. I realise how lucky I am especially when I hear from (daughter) Eliza and friends at work of their experiences and know that other travel options are not available for them. Last week I had a sleepover at Annie’s and we travelled by train but left work early and returned early so we enjoyed a pleasant trip. As they say timing is everything.

  5. This does not surprise me one bit Rachel. I had the pleasure of travelling from Somerset, up to Clapham Junction and back down to Lewes near Brighton last Sunday on my own on a very busy Sunday evening. I’m not used to it so I found it quite stressful with all the people at Clapham and having to stand most of the way but at rush hour it must be horrendous. Also, nothing worse than being caught in rush hour traffic.

    1. I’m amazed it was busy on a Sunday evening, Sherri. Was there some kind of event or reason for this? Being crammed on a train with lots of other people is unpleasant. I liken it to walking into an ant’s nest.

      1. Not that I can think of Rachel. I think it was just a lot of people returning after spending the weekend with family and then returning to the Brighton area for the week ahead. All I know is I don’t want to do it again!!! Ha, yes, an ant’s nest is about right…

  6. It’s kind of funny… my wife thought I was crazy for insisting that we live inner city. Even more crazy when I wanted to pay $50k more to live in a more expensive neighborhood near light rail transit. However it was on the other side from major intersections which means we can generally drive fast in any direction in rush hour.

    Then she got a job at the local hospital, and since an LRT station is a transit hub, she walks out the back door, through a park, steps on a bus and arrives at work. We got rid of 1 car in our first month at the new house.

    When the Calgary Stampede is in town, we walk out, get on a train and arrive at the fair. We don’t go because we like it, so much as it is convenient. (Vomit Comet again? I really shouldn’t.) If the kids are feeling tired and cranky in the middle of the day, we go home, nap, wake up, and go back. (If you had a 15 minute drive followed by a 15 minute walk each way, would you do that?)

    I find commuting on transit relaxing compared to driving. I still can’t read while riding though.

    With my current job I’m only working 4 hours a day. I’m frequently driving home in the afternoon. Its takes no time. No stress. When the weather warms up enough I plan to cycle an hour each way.

    The other thing that’s less obvious about living in a smaller house inner city is that we have great local restaurants, activities, parks, bike paths, all in reach. We often walk or ride our bikes.

    1. Smart move, OilMan. I’m totally with you on this and wish we too lived in the inner city. Being able to stroll out the front door to amenities like restaurants, shops and parks is priceless. This is big part of why I dislike Auckland so much – it is a car city and not at all walkable. When we lived in York we could walk and cycle everywhere and I loved that. It really contributed to our quality of life.

      I hear what you say about being able to head home for a brief rest before going out again. There’s something really nice about that. Being close to light rail is handy too. The trains in New Zealand are almost non-existent. There’s always talk of building light rail but people seem to complain that it’s too expensive. But these same people don’t seem to mind wasting their lives sitting in a car in traffic. I don’t understand it at all.

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