We recently revisited an interview that our founder, Benjamin Sarrazin, did with Bicycle Retailer And Industry News (BRAIN) in 2019. Approaching the topic with a market analysis regarding cargo bikes’ fit in a global context, we realized that this interview went far beyond numbers, projections and business strategies: towards the end, we came across some very Yuba Smart insights – ones that are still applicable, and more relevant than ever, to today’s global climate.
Revisiting Ben Sarrazin’s Interview
BRAIN: What’s driving consumer and business interest in cargo bikes, particularly in Europe?
Sarrazin: A couple of things. Younger Europeans, especially, are highly sensitive to environmental issues. They’re experiencing climate change. It now gets really hot and polluted in European cities. And traffic congestion — it’s everywhere. They understand electric vehicles and e-bikes can make a difference. And many European cities are closing off sections of their downtown to most traffic. Cargo bikes make excellent delivery vehicles in these cities. And this trend will continue.
BRAIN: What about the U.S. market?
Sarrazin: It’s going to keep growing, but it will depend on how infrastructure and how the urban landscape is organized in communities. If the bike infrastructure is good, then sales will grow for e-bikes and e-cargo bikes. But look at Southern California. It’s affluent, it’s relatively flat, there’s some infrastructure, but people’s lives are so spread out. There’s too much distance between home and work. It can be very hard to integrate cargo bikes into a daily lifestyle given that reality.
Cargo Bike Lifestyle – A Global Trend
Since Ben’s 2019 interview, we have seen incredible progress in cargo bike awareness for families taking their kiddos to school, for couples going into town for a date night, and for businesses to connect with their communities. The push for a “car-free” or “car-lite” lifestyle defies demographics. Young, old, personal, professional – everyone is on the lookout for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and embrace the outdoors.
These two ideals are exactly why we do what we do! Sustainability and an active lifestyle are in Yuba’s DNA, and we continue to work on how we can push the limits of our company to be Smarter everyday.
The article also mentions the importance of infrastructure to the cargo bike lifestyle, and the contrast between European cities and American ones. At first reflection, European cities are much more advanced in terms of biking infrastructure. For a while now, European communities have embraced bike lanes and implemented laws and regulations much like those for cars, which allows those populations to adapt much easier¹. There is already a framework in place.
That’s what we need to work on here in the States: making sure that our communities are bike friendly and bike safe. Starting with more bike lanes, whether on the road or along the local river, more bike racks in public places, more regulations and protections for riders.
This is starting to be a reality in some cities and towns across America. And bike enthusiasts are taking advantage of dropping their kids off at school by bike, delivering goods to customers by bike, bringing their dogs to the park by bike, and meeting up with friends or commuting to work by bike.
This is the Smarter world we envision here at Yuba bikes. It has been since the beginning, and we are so excited to share this mission with our growing community. Let’s create a Smarter world through cargo bikes – together 🙂
Embracing Yuba Smart
Check out Ben’s full interview here. If you want to learn more about European efforts on bike-friendly infrastructure, take a look at the European Commission’s CIVITAS initiative.