Bicycle Cargo, Chapter 5: 24 Cargo Bike Businesses (M to Z)

Pedal People double trailer photo
Photo: Alex Jarrett of Pedal People. Other photos from respective enterprises, unless otherwise noted.
This is the fifth post in a series of articles about how to haul anything and everything by bike.

The second half of our collection of cargo bike businesses. Here you'll find bikes employed in the work of being ambulances, photographic transport, hauling recycling, mobile workshops, office cleaning, landscaping and so much more. (Visit Cargo Bike Businesses A to L, to view the first half.)

Previous chapters of our Bicycle Cargo series have highlighted Racks And Bags, Bike Trailers, and Extended Frame Bikes. Prior to this we also included some cargo bikes in our roundups of Tricycles and • Quadracycles.

Even with over 45 cargo bike businesses listed in these two sections, they represent but a drop in the ocean. Bikes are for more than recreation, racing, or commuting, they can roll up their sleeves and shoulder a heavy workload too.

Metro Pedal Power

Metro pedal power cargo bikes photo

Serving the local businesses, organisations and universities of Boston, Massachusetts, is Metro Pedal Power, who have a fleet of fully insured 'pedal trucks' that offer a pick-up and delivery alternative to carbon emitting vehicles. These 'trucks' are actually trikes (yet again from Cycles Maximus) with huge secure cargo bins mounted over the the axles of the two rear wheels. Metro Pedal Power also haul for numerous Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) ventures, florists caterers, and heaps of other businesses. They do it all from trucking perishables in specially refrigerated trikes, to hauling university recycling skip bins.
Metro Pedal Power

Namibian Bicycle Ambulance

namibia bicycle ambulance photo
Bike enterprises can move luxuries like ice cream and chilled beer, but they can also provide lifesaving transport. The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) report that across the globe 500,000 women die during childbirth each year, most of them could be saved if brought in time to a health care centre. The ITDP have found that bicycle ambulances, allow no replacement for improved medical services, have proven to be effective as ambulances. 200 bicycle ambulances can be supplied for the cost of one car ambulance, yet they last five times longer, and can be maintained by local mechanics. Emulating such programs in Uganda, Ghana and South Africa, the Namibia Bicycle Ambulance network has developed it's own ambulance, with a removable stretcher, adjustable backrest, a sun/rain canopy, and a handle for pulling manually or with any bicycle. For just $530 USD they can provide not only the ambulance trailer, but also the bicycle, basic tool kit, delivery, training, and field support. Donation worthy or what?
Namibian Bicycle Ambulance

NoPo Mobile Bike Shop

Nopo Mobile Bike Shop image

Practicing what he preaches, Dennis Kelly operates a bicycle repair and maintenance business in North Portland (NoPo), Oregon. Where possible he tows a cargo bike trailer with tools and mobile workshop to visit customers on-site, be that their home or office. Dennis is a licensed and insured bike mechanic having graduated from the the Professional Shop Operation and Repair course at the United Bicycle Institute. He also has a walk-in workshop as well.
NoPo Mobile Bike Shop

Outspoken Delivery

outspoken delivery cargo bikes photo

Throughout the streets of Cambridge, UK, can be seen the wonderful sight of Mike Burrows' designed 8 Freight cargo bikes skooting about. They below to Outspoken Deliveries, who came in to being four years ago when two brothers wanted a business operating outdoors. Nowadays many of the riders are part timers, but Outspoken maintain the riders still have it as one of their mission to cheer up receptionist staff across the city. The aluminium frame of the bikes runs to a full 8 foot (almost 2.5 m), atop of which is fitted an aluminium cargo box of Outspoken's one design. They reckon their bike-base service is so safe and reliable they can even deliver 3-tier wedding cakes.
Outspoken Delivery

PDX Pedicab

PDX pedicab cargo bike photo

PDX is the International Air Transport Association's code for the airport, at Portland, Oregon. It's also the nickname for the city itself, hence its adoption for this newish pedicab service. Yes, you can hire the 2-3 person pedal trikes for the requisite wedding, birthday party, or corporate event. You can tour the city taking in history and breweries. Then again you might just want to hail one to transport you to you next meeting downtown. The Pedicabs come fitted with GPS tracking so riders can find destinations on their handlebar mounted screens.
PDX Pedicab

Pedal People

Pedal People Garbage cargo bike photo

Since 2002 the Pedal People figure they've performed close to 50,000 pick-ups or recycling and garbage for the folks of Northampton, Massachusetts. A workers co-operative the dozen or so staff are all owners and decision-makers of the venture. The breadth of their enterprising nature is impressive. They also use bike trailers (from Bikes At Work) to haul compost, arrange grocery purchasing and delivery, as well as delivering for a farm share, and for a cloth diaper/nappy care service. On top of this, Pedal People also provide a pedicab service. Oh and did we mention they manage an eco yard and garden service too, towing their push mowers and scythes on their bikes and bike trailers. In short they "aim to make a living in a fair, noble way, exploiting no one."
Pedal People


pedex bicycle delivery image

It's such an obvious play on words: Pedal Express does sound very much like that other famous freight company, Federal Express. Such is the appeal of the name that, at one point, there were almost a dozen US bike cargo businesses using this moniker. You can see a list of them at the website below. Not all are still going concerns, but see below for separate profiles for some that are. There is even an award winning Pedal Express in the UK, but we're not sure if they use cargo bikes or more of a bike courier.


Pedx Santa Cruz cargo bike photo

Also known as Pedalers Express, this worker-owned, worker self-managed, cooperative hails from Santa Cruz, California. They aim to offer non-motorized transportation for the movement of mail, books and printed material, organic produce, baked goods and such like with their cargo bikes and trailers that can handle loads up to 227 kg (500 lbs). Although only a small enterprise PedX has been doing their stuff for the past 15 years.
PedX (Santa Cruz)

Pedal Express (CAT)

pedalers express cargo bikes photo
Right Photo: Daily Emerald

Eugene, Oregon is the home of the Center for Appropriate Transport, which as one might expect includes a bike cargo outfit using the Pedal Express name. We've seen some impressive suggestions for the mass of goods that can be heaved about by a bike, but I think Pedal Express have laid claim to the heaviest. They reckon they have trikes that can haul a backbreaking 318 kg (700 lbs), but for lighter loads customers might be greeted by a cargo bike with a waterproof enclosure capable of coping with 90 kg (200 lbs). Moving, of course, everything from bread to books.
Pedal Express (CAT)

More cool Bicycle Cargo Business on page 2!

Tags: Biking | Car-Free | Corporate Responsibility


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