Brussels cargo bike gathering and the steampunk ice-cream vendor

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Custom built cargo bike as a steam punk ice cream seller

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Stempunk and custom made – and selling ice cream.

“I planned about 17 days to build it, but it took three months. I made everything but did not have the equipment to do things like bend the metal, so I had to do everything by hand. And the chassis is just 65 centimetres across and the fridge is 60, so everything is just barely inside. I had to cut some of the metal to make it fit. But it has its own battery and I even put speakers into it so I can have music.

It gets its first use this afternoon at the cargo event. Free ice cream. Then I start selling.”

Notes: For a few hours this afternoon, starting at 17:00, Brussels is having a gathering of cargo bikes at the Cyclo venue along the canal, near the Comte de Flandre metro. A few dozen cargo bikes should be there, from a variety of businesses and individuals, so you can see the range of work, and take a few for a ride, if you want to see how they handle. Cargo bikes have become the next essential transport in most cities. Far from the hard-core, families are using them for their errands, including dispatching children to and from school.

The fundamental has been the Christiana style, three wheels and a large wooden box in the front. But there has been a steady evolution of faster and faster bikes, with Bullitt leading the way. With the evolution has come new ideas. Far from being simple devices to carry a range of parcels and packages,  they are being customised to business, with coffee machines, printers, bicycle workshops and more being fixed to the ride. And today, you have a chance to see some of that new business strategy in operation.

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