Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Pedal"ing solutions for peak oil...

Fresh Aire Delivery Service, began in 1991 as a grocery delivery service which used a small bicycle trailer to deliver groceries to others in the community. As the business grew and took on other types of delivery services, they soon found themselves carrying loads beyond the capacity of any bicycle trailer on the market.

To satisfy their needs, they began building their own trailers. Other people with similar needs began inquiring, so they started a second company called Fresh Aire Trailer Works to fulfill the cargo-carrying needs of others and they eventually combined the two companies into one, Bikes At Work Inc.

Today, Bikes At Work manufactures a broad line of utilitarian human-powered transportation products including heavy-duty cargo bicycle trailers and custom cargo bikes while continuing to provide a mix of human-powered services to our community. This mix of products and services allows the testing, refinement, and developing of their equipment while providing a positive example of what can be done using human power alone.

There are several reasons people choose to transport cargo using a bike or trike:
  1. Low equipment cost - A new cargo bike or trike usually costs substantially less than a motorized vehicle.
  2. Non-polluting - The only pollution produced by a human-powered cargo vehicle is the carbon dioxide exhaled by the rider.
  3. Usable indoors or outdoors - Because a human-powered vehicle produces no poisonous fumes, it can be used inside or outside.
  4. Can be operated everywhere - A human-powered bike or trike is one of the few vehicles that can legally be used both on and off the street. This makes it possible to do literal "door-to-door" deliveries to areas inaccessible to motorized vehicles (college campuses, urban businesses, parks, etc.) It also opens up a much wider range of possible routes using bike paths, narrow alleyways, etc., some of which are often much shorter than those available to motor vehicles. These "shortcuts" often make transporting cargo by bike or trike as fast or faster than using an automobile or truck.
  5. Easily parked - A bike or trike doesn't require the amount of parking space as a car or truck, and can generally be parked anywhere.
  6. Always available - A human-powered vehicle doesn't need to be refueled or recharged like gasoline or electric vehicles, so it is always ready to be used.
  7. Great exercise - Transporting cargo using your own power is, of course, an especially good form of aerobic exercise. People who regularly haul cargo by bike are rarely fat.
Bikes at Work, Inc., 216 N. Hazel, 129 Washington Ave, Ames, IA 50010-5948. Tel.: (515) 233-6120

1 comment:

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