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Elsa & the Load 75.

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

Elsa is 7 months pregnant.

Hi, I am Elsa. I am 32 years old and I live near Halle in Flanders, a Dutch speaking part of Belgium. At the time of writing, I’m seven months pregnant with our fourth child – and today, I rode 20 kilometres with our Cargo Bike, a Load 75.

We bought it in September 2019. Of course my husband and I tried out a few brands. But we settled for the Riese & Müller Load 75 for its stability, comfort and the full suspension, because our roads are in very bad condition. Our bike has a dual battery, Kiox display, enviolo hub gear with belt drive, three child seats with rain cover and a rear carrier. We were lucky: It was a showroom model, but it was just the way we would have configured it. 

We were so happy with it that after three months we decided to buy another Load 75 for my husband, Sander. He works as an engineer in Halle and uses his Cargo Bike to commute to work – despite having a company car. We only use the car to visit relatives or for camping trips.

Everyday family life with two cargo bikes.

Leon, Stan and Nele in the Load 75.

A typical day with three children is busy. We get up early and usually have a chaotic morning. Then I use the Load to bring the kids to school, which is a 5 km ride one way. They like that we don’t get stuck in traffic and that we can be closer to nature when we travel. I even drive through the snow and heavy storms with three kids in the Box, no problem. My daughter in particular loves the fresh open air; she hates car trips. On the way back to school I buy groceries and I pick the kids up again in the afternoon. Sometimes they argue and fight in the Box, but usually they are very tired. The Load’s Box is comfy enough for them to fall asleep.

Although I am pregnant, I plan to ride my bike for as long as I can. I have read the story of a New Zealand politician who rode her Cargo Bike to the hospital to give birth. Although she did only 1 or 2 km of perfect straight road to the hospital, I think that is amazing. But that’s totally not how the conditions of the bike paths are in Belgium. I often hit unexpected potholes, ride over bumpy roads and have to deal with high kerbstones. It will take a long time to get this all improved.

The hospital where I plan to give birth is in Brussels, only 15 km away from my home, but honestly, I don’t see myself riding my bike during labour. Maybe I will do some errands the day before? Or possibly a ride to the playground with my three kids? We will see. 

The baby is due in about eight weeks. Of course we know if it’s a boy or girl – but we will keep it a secret for the family. Will we switch back to the car when the newborn arrives? No – we’ve bought a bike trailer, so I can put two kids in the Cargo Bike, two in the trailer. It might sound like an odd setup, but it’s the best solution we could find. We simply wanted to keep our Load! 

Huge cargo space, top quality: The Load 75.