When it comes to bikes there is a simple mathematics rule that applies based on the Velominati rules.
Rule N°12 implies:
While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n + 1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s – 1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.
Source: What is N+1 – NX Trails
I’ve owned several bikes in the past: from a Specialized race bike, a cinelli fixed gear, to an Achielle city bike, Mountainbikes, CX bikes and so on…
I can honestly say that that owning multiple bikes make me happier in life, for the simple reason that all of those bikes are designed to be used for a specific purpose, season, ground condition. When I was riding my race bike I felt limited when I passed a cool kinda muddy gravel path and could not ride that. When riding a mountain bike in my region I felt a bit stupid that 70% of the track was on asphalt, … So every specific bike that I owned gave me more limitations than opportunities.
Trowing out all of the above bikes and replacing them with my beloved multipurpose Santos Cross Lite was one of the best decision I could’ve made. Having that allrounder in the shed really initiated a grab ‘n go mentality. Whether it’s for a commute to a meeting, a short ride or a long day on the gravel roads, that bikes never seems to let me down.
The Santos, in my set up, is a great cruiser, traveller, wanderer and allows me packing a minimal amount of gear on a full day trip. Since i’m a visual story teller I always bring some kind of photo/video gear with me. But sometimes I just want to bring a little more, a little bigger gear, … A simple solution would’ve been to add some luggage racks and bike bags and put the gear in/on there. The only problem is that I’m so fond of the minimal look of the Santos that I just cannot bear the thought of converting it to a mule. Also the gear that I would like to bring is too big to put in bike bags….
That’s where my recent acquisition comes in to play.
As a photographer & director i’m totally in love with my work. There is a lot of variation, adventure, people, short term deadlines and results… There is little that I don’t like about my job. Except…
The only thing that I regret of being self employed and not having an office to go to every day is the fact that I cannot commute to work. For starters: there is no fixed place to ride to. One day I’m shooting 20 km from where I live the next day I’m on the other side of the country or even the continent. Secondly, I do have to bring a huge amount of gear… most of the time my pickup truck is fully loaded with around 300 kg’s of gear. So riding a bike to the job is out of the question… Except…
Sometimes there are little jobs that require a small amount of gear: one peli case with a camera and some lenses, perhaps one studio light and maybe a drone. That’s like 4 small cases, that is very manageable. Since I moved in between two cities: Antwerp (20 km) & Mechelen (10km), and most of those small jobs happen there, I decided to take a go on a cargo bike, an electrical preferably. Not because i’m a lazy guy but because I don’t want to spent all my energy getting to the job and then for the next 5 to 10 shooting hours being tired and then ride home again to be totally exhausted. The idea is to be more flexible and agile when doing small shoots, not physically drain me even before I start actually working. Another plus side is the fact that you don’t arrive soaked in sweat and that you can wear normal clothes.
So the choice was simple, there is only one type of cargo bike that really has been in the picture ever since I saw it: The Larry vs Harry – Bullit. I’ve looked in to other brands like Riese & Muller and Bergamont.
The first one was a bit to expensive and I didn’t like the tubes frame around the cargo part which would only limit me in my transportation options. The Bergamont was quit similar to the Bullit and had a more powerfull battery and powered by a (what they say) better bosh motor. But is was also a bit longer and had a bigger turning circle. So in the end I choose for the proven track record of the Bullit in Bluebird blue!
I really choose not to add any customisations other than the basis Honey Comb floor. This would allow me to have the most versatile platform to load items. I’ve only added a Fahrer Bag to put an extra battery & charger in. A multi use drink carrier and the Fahrer Handle bar to easily attach a back pack to it in the HCBoard. You can see those details in the Video review below, it is actually a test of my Osmo Pocket 2 but it’s about the e-Bullit (English subtitles).
The only thing I specifically wanted was the belt drive system, I also have this on my Santos and this is so low maintenance. I really love riding my bike, but I don’t want to be spending a lot of time cleaning it because of the bad weather conditions. I’ve got beter things to do.
I’ve been using the bike for several weeks now and it’s has quickly become my primary commuter for jobs, meetings, grocery shopping, … and I hope to take my dog with me in the future. Even in the harshest wheather conditions I still prefer to take te Bullit over my truck. Especially when the destination is somewhere in a nearby village. A big help for overcoming the heavy rains & winds is a good rain suit. I did quit an investment on that as well because being wet and cold all day is not what you are aiming for when commuting and working outside. I did some all days jobs outside with the e-Bullit and that suit and it kept me 100% dry and wind free!
Taking the bike for a ride to the city and back is easily 40 – 50km’s but it makes it so worth while. Being outdoor, having some exercise (without overdoing), … Going fast enough but slow enough to enjoy every single aspect of the surroundings. This is what I was looking for… another versatile healthy transportation method!