Harald: my Butchers and Bicycles MK1

I got Busby back about a month ago now but I have been continuing to ride Harald on a daily basis. I think this is probably an endorsement for Harald. He does have some shortcomings but I can’t think what other bike I’d rather ride. Even if I had all the money in the world I’d probably still choose Harald. The main reason is he fits my 9 and 6 year old so comfortably. Most other cargo bikes are designed for toddlers. He’s also light and wonderful to manoeuvre.

In case you’re wondering Harald is my Butchers and Bicycles MK1 whereas Busby is my very old Bakfiets.

Harald has a wonderful lockable compartment which I have become attached to. I put my Hövding in it so I don’t have to carry it around and sometimes also my coat.

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There’s also plenty of headroom for the kids.

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The rain cover is really well designed and is easy for the kids to zip up and unzip when they’re inside. This is important because it means I don’t have to stop when I hear the inevitable, “Mum, it’s hot” or “Mum, I’m cold”.

The downside of Harald is that it’s really hard to deploy the stand when the kids are inside. When the bike is empty it’s easy. But with the kids inside I’ve given up now and I stay seated and wait for them to climb out. If they climb out when I’m not on the seat the bike will tip forwards. It’s a design flaw.

The bike must have been designed by a man because it comes with the most uncomfortable seat. This was easy to fix with a jelly cushion.

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I also wrap the heavy chain around the seat post to provide a bit more stability by distributing some of the weight on the back.

I’ve had a couple of people ask me how I find it without the electric assist. No-one ever asked me the same question about Busby and Busby was 10kg heavier. Why not?

I don’t regret my decision to go without electric assist. It is hard work cycling uphill but that’s part of the reason I cycle: it’s good exercise and keeps my legs toned. It’s not supposed to be easy. People pay thousands of dollars in gym memberships to go and sit on a stationary bicycle and then they spend hours of their life sitting in a car. I don’t have to go to the gym or pay for a gym membership because I get the same workout going to the shops. It’s very efficient and doesn’t cost anything. It’s also fun. However I totally understand why people might want the electric assist especially if they live somewhere very hilly and/or commute over great distances. But I haven’t found a need for it. My legs are all the electric assist I need.

Harald has more WOW power than Busby in terms of the response I get from people when I’m cycling around. Kids in particular are completely in awe. I used to get this with Busby too but it has increased exponentially with Harald and I’m lapping it up 🙂

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