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Chris & the Packster 80: Local Delivery in Down Under

People all around the world are making our bikes an essential part of their life. In this series, we let them tell their story.

Hi, I am Chris McGorlick. With my partner Lauren Salathiel, I used to run a local café in Yackandandah, Australia, serving locally produced foods and snacks. We were continuously on the hunt for the closest and ethically grown fresh produce. When we sold the café in 2019 it was a somewhat natural next step to start growing our own, both for our own supply but also to others in the community who are mindful about sustainability and local supply chains.

The only issue was: we didn’t have any land! Fortunately, Yackandandah is quite a progressive little town that is a strong community ethic, so we quickly found interest in our initiative, and within a fortnight a pair of friends had made some space on their property available to us. We started planting in 2019 with our first harvest towards the end of 2019.


A very productive garden.

We aim to be hyper-local for our full supply chain, so we only sell to locals that we can deliver to by bike. We generally only sell to consumers, but we’d consider selling to businesses as well as long as they share our sustainability philosophy and use our vegetables in a prominent way in their meals, not just as an afterthought to fill a plate. At the moment, the garden is very productive and we grow a little more than what we sell. For that reason, we’ve recently started a small honesty store in our front yard to give the rest of the community access to the excess supply.

When we started, customers would pick up the veggies from our home in Yackandandah. During the COVID lockdowns, we started experimenting with home delivery by cargobike. Nowadays, that’s how most of our customers receive their fresh produce.

The Packster 80 is a perfect fit.

We had been thinking about our transport for a while and starting Happy Underground added some extra needs and requirements to that. The large box on a front loader is great way to carry most of the items we need to transport, including tools, compost, and of course the fresh produce for delivery! After looking for a bit at various options, we got in touch with Thijs from Sparque and had a test ride on a Packster 40 demo bike while we were in Melbourne in early 2020. That got our minds buzzing over what we could do with a bike like that, but we would need a larger tub than the Packster 40 could offer.

When the Packster 80 became available, we were able to try that in Yackandandah for a little while to really test our ideas about the use case. This size of the box is perfect for us: it fits 2 banana boxes side by side, and we can stack these half a dozen high, so we can use it very efficiently. We opted for the vario model with Enviolo stepless gears and Gates carbon belt drive to reduce maintenance requirements and wearable components. If we’re really loaded up, we use the rear carrier as well for some additional storage.

We are committed to reducing our impact.

Once we got the Packster, we quickly noticed that our regular bike didn’t get much use anymore, in particular with the trailer. Chris mostly rides the Packster. If Lauren was going to the patch on her own bike and there were some items to be carried over, she would think twice whether they could be delayed until the Packster could carry them.

We then converted the other bike to an e-bike as well, which has levelled the playing field again and makes carrying tools and other items so much more feasible on the 6km trip to the patch, which has got a few hills on it that can really wear you out. Both bikes are powered by sustainable electricity generated from our solar power installation.

We used to do regular bike touring until the COVID pandemic hit. We would love to get out on our bikes again for some tours and it’d be great to take the Packster 80 with us on those!

The sucessor model: The Transporter2 85.