Get roped into the world of cargo bikes (and eat free BBQ) at the Cargo Bike Rodeo

Get converted at a hootenanny. via 718 Cyclery

Get converted at a hootenanny. via 718 Cyclery

At some point, you might have come across some of our previous cargo bike coverage and thought to yourself, “Maybe I’d like to leave the nightmare of car ownership in New York City behind, but I don’t know if I could ride this large bike very well.” Good news, then! Next weekend you can test ride your very own cargo bike (and eat free barbecue) and get any questions you’ve got about them answered at 718 Cyclery’s first-ever Cargo Bike Rodeo.

For the unitiated, cargo bikes are the perfect response to people sneering, “Well yeah but how are you gonna move a desk with that bike of yours, hippie?” You move the desk with the big space or basket on the bike, because the thing is engineered to move 300 pounds of crap around city streets. Of course, they’re not traditional bikes, so you might want to give one a test ride, which is why 718 Cyclery (254 3rd Avenue) is holding an all-day Cargo Bike Rodeo on August 22.

If there’s any downside to next Saturday’s event, it’s that it doesn’t share that much in common with a regular rodeo. No one will be roping bikes, or bike riders, but it’s still worth hitting up 718 next week. For one, the bike shop will be serving up free hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch. For another, you’ll be able to have any questions you’ve got about cargo bikes answered by employees at the bike shop, which has been selling a slew of them in the last year, according to owner Joe Nocella, and do a group test ride to see if you can keep your balance on the bikes.

More exciting than the chance to test out cargo bikes or eat free food (well maybe not more exciting than free food), is that there’s going to be a cargo bike race at the end of the day. After all, what’s a rodeo without some kind of competition? When we talked to Nocella yesterday, he told us that the shop was learning towards doing time trials, with racers going up Union Street and around the block. While it lacks the head-to-head drama you get from watching a mass bike race, the good news here is that you can still gamble on time trials. So, whether you like free food, interesting new bikes or just have a debilitating gambling problem, the Cargo Bike Rodeo is definitely the place to be next weekend.

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