Friday, January 27, 2017

Tern Cargo Node Folding Bike A good idea whose time has come, I hope

Some years ago we when the National Lottery was set up in Britain we would talk to friends over dinner what we would do if we won a million pounds. At that time, a long time before a million quid was the price of a lockup garage in East London, this was a serious sum of money and so it was actually a good way of organising thought experiments about what one wanted to do. A new house always seemed to be priority. After the house came the car. What kind of car would one buy? In our case we'd keep the one we'd got and talk was of what bike/s would we buy: a sporty trike like the Windcheetah (, a long john cargo bike like the Bullit or the renovated version of the vintage Claude Butler we lusted after in our youth. We do save money by not buying lottery tickets, but it is not the way to suddenly accumulate a pile of money, but even if we were suddenly stone-rich, as the Germans say, we don't have any more room in our cellar in addition to the six bikes we are keeping down there - two touring bikes, two Dahon tourers and a pair of mountain bikes. We could build a cellar extension but would need to add a new back door into the garden as carrying bikes down the curving staircase into our cellar is not getting easier as the years go by. 
This scenario has tended to rule out new bikes although I still lust after a cargo bike, but they are big, heavy and unwieldy. The game changer could maybe be the Tern Cargo Node which I came across by chance. It is a full-sized cargo bike that folds. We could fit one in the cupboard that takes the Bromptons in the hall. When folded the chain is on the outside unlike the Brompton. However it can carry 160 kg of cargo as well as a rider, even a fairly plump one weighing 115 kg, has good braking, mudguards and decent lighting. It also has a sensible twin legged kickstand for stability when stationary. More details can be found on the Tern website, but it is not (yet?) available in Germany, but unfairly in the USA and the UK and even in France, so maybe we will have to wait or nip over the border while we still can. 
Whether I can justify buying a £1700 bike will not be easy. Maybe, if we got rid of the car?

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