Cargo bike battle
13.06.08 by Buffalo Bill
As you may have seen from some of the photos, Ho, from Checker Couriers NYC, is in TO to try and regain his Cargo Bike World Champion title. Also here is Banana, another former World Champion. I should mention that Scrooge’s cargo bike made it, but he did not, the Canadian government officials apparently deciding that the legendary old-school DC rider was not welcome in their wonderful country. This is a big shame, and will detract from the event, and not just because there will be one less competitor in the Cargo race.
Anyway, any serious student of the history of the Cycle Messenger World Championships will know that Erik Zo won 3 years straight 94 to 96. He would doubtless have won more, had he showed to any of the last 11 CMWCs, such was his utter dominance of the event. But Erik is here, and here with a new bike. No longer riding the Van Der Tuin long-john, he has designed a shorter, lighter and stronger cargo machine. I would make him favourite for the title, but in terms of new designs of freight bikes, there is more to come.
I spoke a little while ago to my old friend and colleague Horse, aka Simon Firth, who now works as a builder and designer at Bilenky Cycle Works. Bilenky made their name as the premiere supplier of fillet-brazed tandems, and Simon adapted their Viewpoint design, originally intended for a recumbent stoker, sitting in front of an up-right captain, for cargo. Ho is riding a Trashpicker, with world champion stripes here in TO.
But back to my conversation with Horse. He asked me if Erik had brought a cargo bike, and I said, yes, and it’s a new improved version. Horse replied with words to the effect that I shouldn’t worry, because he was bringing something pretty new and fancy too.1
I always loved the cargo bike race, but with two of the most innovative minds in freight bike design present, this could be a very interesting race. Let’s call it one for the cargo connoisseur.
1 For a brief review of Bilenky Rear Eight see here.