We spotted this Danish "Long John style" cargo bike making the blog rounds, and while we thought it was nifty-looking, it seems to be getting a mixed response. One commenter wrote that "Every third world country has a simpler, cheaper, and less awkward-looking version of this montrosity" and linked to the following Flickr shot from China:
We knew there had to be a Flickr set devoted to these, and sure enough, we eventually found Bricole Urbanism's motherlode with an attendant explanation:
[In Chinese cities] informal collection of recycling, deliveries and use of bicycles for retail and selling is still very common.
...The bicycle remains by far the cheapest and indeed the only affordable means of transportation. Especially over short delivery distances, it would seem to many Chinese almost wasteful to use a truck.
Stay tuned for Cargo Bikes, Part 2.