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Embracing the Urban Arrow Family Cargo Bike in NYC

A story by Madeleine Novich aka Cargobikemomma.

As a full-time working mom of three living in New York City, managing the daily whirlwind of activities can be a formidable challenge. From school runs and after school activities to grocery shopping and spontaneous playdates, the logistics of family life are intense. I was a non-biker before making the impulse decision to purchase the Urban Arrow Family Cargo bike but it became a remarkable solution to my logistical struggles. Overnight, the bike transformed routine tasks into enjoyable adventures and family bonding time. Here are the three most life-changing (and life-improving) things the Urban Arrow brought to our family.

1. Kid logistics

With kids, every day is busy.  The day typically starts with the school run, followed by after school lessons, doctor’s appointments, playdates, and more.  Getting to and from these locations used to be a logistical nightmare.  The NYC transit system, while a great option to get around the city, can be challenging.  I often found myself navigating subway stairs, packed train cars, or folding and unfolding my strollers to get on a bus.  If I were desperate enough to take a cab, I often found myself in gridlock traffic.  But once I had the Urban Arrow Family cargo bike, running around the city became efficient and fun. The front cargo box accommodates all three of my kids and their stuff and biking around New York City is easy.  I found that I could get them to their destinations on time or ahead of schedule – and better yet, I never had to worry about  parking. In fact, because I had the cargo bike, I started to do more each day – stacking playdates after dentist appointments or playground trips before rock climbing.  The UA truly enabled me and my kids to maximize each day.  And the best part, because the kids were in front of me, the commute itself became a time of connection and conversation with my children.

2. Grocery shopping made easy

Most of parent-life is centered around food and living in NYC, grocery shopping is a little different than other places in America. We don’t have large sprawling markets or parking lots to facilitate the ease of shopping. Most New Yorkers either bring a hand cart, have groceries delivered, or load up with what they can carry and jump on the subway, bus, or in a car. As a family of five, we eat a lot so I was going to the grocery every three days or spending a lot to have food delivered.

The Urban Arrow Family bike changed everything. Once I got the bike, I could shop at Costco and purchase in bulk reducing our monthly grocery expenditures.  I saved time by doing one trip for the week instead of multiple. Plus, I could easily park in front of the store making the shopping loading experience seamless and easy. Instead of wrestling with a stroller and bags, I could simply load everything into the bike. The large cargo capacity, which could be increased further if I filled panniers,  meant that it could also be a family adventure – because I suddenly had room for both a child and my groceries.

In short, the Urban Arrow cargo bike helped me become a much more efficient grocery shopper – saving me time, energy, and money.

3. NYC adventures

Prior to getting my Urban Arrow, we felt limited to visiting places only reachable by subway. But in NYC, that meant a number of places like The Intrepid Museum or the Little Island were not available to us.  But having the cargo bike meant that much more of the city became accessible. We could easily take a trip to the Little Red Lighthouse or a remote playground on Randalls Island, or even an impromptu visit to the ruins of a chickenpox hospital. The kids love riding in the cargo box, and it becomes a time of joy and bonding rather than a stressful commute.