This past year has been an awakening for me. About this time last fall I discovered Xtracycles and realized the vast potential they represented. From that gateway bike I discovered a whole realm of cargo and utility bikes I had ignored or was just oblivious to.
Before we got the Ute and the FreeRadical I went to the 2011 Front Range Cyclist Bicycle Show and saw a Yuba Mundo on display and my first live Xtracycle.
Immediately after getting the FreeRadical rolling I saw an Xtracycle in Denver on the way to Salvagetti. About the same time I started seeing the same electric assist Schwinn trike at our local grocery store. As we were getting ready to go buy the Ute at Salvagetti we saw two on craigslist Denver.
Over the months leading up to our longtail purchases we discovered a couple of metro area bloggers who captain cargo bikes, Big Dummy Daddy and One Less Car: Denver.
On Bike to Work Day I saw a Big Dummy blasting past our breakfast station in a pack of short bikes. Didn't get a photo or a chance to say "hi." When Mandy and I went to the Rocky Mountain Bicycle Festival we saw a LOT of cargo bikes. On display were a Yuba Mundo or two, a Sun Atlas, and a cargo trike. As we were leaving we found another Ute parked next to Mandy's.
In the midst of all the hoo-ha surrounding the US Pro Cycling Challenge we met a guy in Golden riding an Xtracycle. He was cranky, didn't want to talk to us, and was skeptical that I had an Xtracycle (was on OBS that day).
Then just a few weeks ago we ran into a reader out and about who also has a cargo bike.
And just last week, on my way in to work on The One, I passed a guy just a mile or so from the building, blasting east on 10th Avenue on a Ute.
It's been a crazy year. This time last year I thought a "cargo bike" was my Cannonball with panniers pulling a trailer. And I still think that configuration, as well as others, qualifies as part of the cargo bike community. Since that time I've entered a whole new world of cycling and I love it!
I don't know if I was just oblivious before last fall, perhaps its the same phenomenon that occurs when you buy a new car, new outfit, etc and it suddenly seems like everyone has the same one.
Regardless, I think it's been a great year.