My New Ride

In early May (the weekend of Mother’s Day, in fact), I made a massive purchase that I never wrote about. I was nervous to write about it here because I’ve exposed my financial situation numerous times over the past few years and have invited judgement in doing so. And while I know the individuals who were most hurtful no longer read my blog, I’m still hesitant to put myself out there when it comes to money matters.

So I didn’t write about it, even though I wanted to share it. And now three months have passed and I have yet to mention it. But that changes today, because I’m sick of purposefully hiding something out of fear of being judged. It’s silly and I’m over it and now I’m writing this post.

Three months ago, I got an e-assist cargo bike, specifically a Yuba Spicy Curry. It’s a really nice, REALLY expensive bike that I had been considering for a long while. As you may remember I put seats on the front and back of my hybrid bike last summer, trying to determine if I’d ride with the kids enough to make getting a cargo bike worth it. With that set up, it was really hard to handle the weight of all of us so high, and without a electric assist there were a lot of hills we couldn’t climb, and areas it was hard, if not impossible) to get to. In the end I didn’t use the bike that much, because I never felt secure or comfortable on it.

Last fall I agonized over whether or not to get a cargo bike for 3-4 months before I finally decided I wasn’t going to pursue it. I just didn’t need a bike that cost so much.

I stuck with that conclusion for 3-4 more months, barely thinking about the bike again. Then, I started considering the possibility once more. I’m not sure what prompted the change of heart, but when I considered it again, the agony of the decision was gone. Confident that I could trust my judgement about the bike, I started constructing arguments for and against getting one. I researched. I thought about where we would keep it in our home (a big hurdle with such a massive bike). Eventually I decided that it was worth the investment. I talked with my husband and we agreed that I would spend a small portion of our tax return to pay part of the cost, then finance the rest at 0% APR for a year with a monthly payment much like the one I used to put toward my student loans. In less than nine months it will be paid off.

Her virgin ride.
Her maiden voyage.

We’ve had the bike for three months now, and I can safely say that I love it. It’s such a great way to get around the city; I’m so much happier on the bike than I am in a car. (Yes, I know there are risks involved with riding in the city, but I don’t want the fear of what might happen to keep me from doing something that I really love.) Driving a car in San Francisco is an incredibly frustrating endeavor and parking can be damn near impossible. It drives me absolutely crazy. And the bus system is time consuming at best, unreliable at worst. Having an electric assist cargo bike provides me with an ease and freedom to traverse the city that in the past in could only dream of. Now it’s my reality.

She fits perfectly in the entryway.
She fits perfectly in the entryway.

The kids really like it too, especially with their new Spiderman and Cat helmets. The vast majority of camp/daycare drop off and pick-ups have been on the bike this summer and we’re all big fans. We take it to the park, the store, pretty much everywhere. There have been weeks when I didn’t take my car out of the garage! Talk about a dream come true!

All decked out at the park (yes, that's a yoga mat on the back).
All decked out at the park (yes, that’s a yoga mat on the back).

So now I’m the proud owner of an e-assist cargo bike. It’s definitely the most luxurious purchase I’ve ever made, and I don’t regret it one bit.

24 Comments

  1. I’m glad you didn’t let people’s judgment stop you from buying this bike. It sounds like you thought it through. And ultimately, it is your decision, not theirs. And I’m glad you are enjoying it!

    1. I am enjoying it, and I am glad I made the decision myself, and didn’t let other people convince me not to.

  2. I have never seen one of these. This is awesome! Love the bike. People are so rude, advice is one thing but to be outright mean/judgmental is something else. Glad everyone is enjoying it. Curious how the e-assist works? I don’t see a motor (is it hidden and tiny?)

    1. It has a battery (the long black “box” behind the pedals) that powers the pedals as you pedal yourself. I’m not quite sure how that part actually works, but you can see the battery in the pictures, if you look for it.

  3. As a fellow urban cyclist, I see nothing wrong with this purchase! 🙂 I have both a car and a bike and I greatly prefer navigating my city by bike, despite the risks assumed.

    And one thing you didn’t mention when talking about finances is that every time you ride your bike instead of driving your car, you’re saving money on gas, parking and overall wear and tear on your car. You’re also getting exercise for free! 🙂 Over time all of that will add up and offset some of the costs.

    Congrats on your purchase and continue to enjoy it!

    1. I do know that not using my car saves me money, I think I just spent so much on the bike that what I save by not driving the car (and taking the bus/train, now that I think about it) isn’t enough to really off set it, but ultimately it probably will make a difference. Especially since city driving is so bad for cars and I mostly commute on the freeway otherwise. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. The bike seems awesome! Never knew these existed. I’m glad you got it and are enjoying it.
    Whenever I’m about to make a big purchase, I usually consider way too many pros and cons and agonize about making a decision . My husband suggests I consider the emotional side ( how much I need/ want it and makes me happy)of the purchase and I need to see it as a pro and it’s worth paying for that. Of course, we make some other compromises to balance it out.
    Not that it matters, but I think Your bike is totally worth it.

    1. I definitely had to consider how happy having a bike would make me, not just the avoiding city traffic aspect of it, but the simple act of being on a bike, being outside, having the wind in my face, etc. I just feel happy when I’m riding the bike, I really do love being on it. I used to ride road bikes for dozens of miles–and even road some centuries (100 mile organized rides) and I do love being on a bike. It’s hard to quantify something like that, but it’s an important part of a big purchase.

  5. Wow- this is so neat! I’ve never heard of these before but it sounds like it’s perfect for your situation. And it will eventually save you money. I also often feel like I have to justify any semi-large or large purchase- so I get it.

    1. It cost so much I doubt it will ever save money on it, but it definitely improves my quality of life, and that is worth something in and of itself!

  6. I think its awesome, and will pay for itself many times over in happiness, health, and (eventually) real $ from decreased car/gas/transit usage.

  7. I have an electric bike too. Just an ordinary one person bike, and I love it. It has 4 speeds or rather 4 levels of assistance, so when I am feeling tired at the end of a long ride and I see a hill coming up I can crank up the assist level and glide to the top effortlessly. It was expensive but has been the best purchase ever. Nowhere is off limits now and no journey is too long. Riding with two small children (and all the extra weight that involves) and with the hills of SF to navigate too, you must absolutely love it. I wish you many happy journeys on it – looks like it could be your best purchase ever too!

    1. Aren’t electric bikes amazing?! I feel like Superman is pushing me from behind when I crank it up to 4! It’s the best feeling ever.

  8. SUPER DOOPER Fabulous! Very happy for you. And will be happier watching out for bikers in SF (they can be scary and unpredictable for car drivers here) now that I will be looking for you!
    Keep on enjoying the fun parts of your world!

    1. If you ever see a woman in a blue wind breaker on a green bike with a cat and spiderman helmet on the back, you’ll know it’s me!

  9. That’s awesome! I’m excited for you. I’ve never seen a bike like this, so fascinating. Go you! Enjoy it!

  10. Congrats! Sounds like it’s worth it for you, and you are paying for it responsibly. I wish the road/location of work/kids’ schools situation for me here was amenable to bicycling.

    Just curious, what is your plan for when it (hopefully) rains? I remember wearing a trash bag in grad school when I rode my bike in the rain…

  11. I’m glad you are free to roam about now with your fancy bike! We spent an awful lot on new bikes and a trailer so we could downsize to a single car and it’s been largely fantastic (and a friend loaned us a car for the nasty winter when we needed it so it all worked out). That bike looks awesome and I’m so glad you’re enjoying it.

  12. I’m in San Francisco right now and I can’t imagine living here because of the hills and tight parking. My husband just lugged thirty pounds of toddler up three blocks to the top of nob hill. Not pleasant (for him — I was fine carrying the diaper bag!). This definitely seems like the way to go.

  13. I’m late to this party as I’ve been neglecting commenting as of late, but have been thinking about this bike since I saw this post. It looks fabulous and I’m so happy for you. And: I want, I want, I want! I’m so glad this worked out so well and it seems just perfect. Yay!

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