For Labor Day this year, we went to stay with close friends who live in Orinda. I knew I would be miserable if I had to drive everywhere all weekend, so starting two months ago, I started trying to figure out how I could rent a Load 75.
It wasn’t easy. I started by using Riese & Muller’s dealer locator, and then contacting those dealers. My first try was Blue Heron Bikes in Berkeley — who initially said yes, but then said they couldn’t do it. I then tried Mike’s Bikes in Walnut Creek, who was willing to loan me an Urban Arrow, but then sold it. I also found some bike rental shops that had e-bikes, but oddly refused to attach child trailers to them, or SF-based shops that had what I needed but wouldn’t deliver to Orinda (and biking from SF to the East Bay is a huge, long ride, because the Bay Bridge, despite having 10 lanes for cars, doesn’t have a bike lane all the way through).
I finally found New Wheel — an awesome shop with three Bay Area locations, including one in Oakland. The manager agreed to rent me a Load 75 with dual batteries (just like I had at home, and needed for the longer rides we would be doing), and another e-bike for my wife.
We biked to Burbank Airport from our house up super chill Nichols Canyon, and stopped for lunch in Studio City before heading to Burbank Airport.
The bike parking at Burbank Airport sucked — a shitty 1980s rack. Luckily, one of the ends had no bikes on it, and I was able to use it to lock up my Load 75.
It was so magical to have my same bike up in the Bay Area. We biked through amazing Redwood forests just going about our weekend; we went to the Oakland Zoo, Tilden’s steam train and little farm, Berkeley, and around the Orinda area. Each time we went somewhere, not only was I with people I loved, but I also loved getting there. I’m always amazed at how well the Load 75 handles hills — even with 3 kids and a luggage trailer. Mostly, anyway. In Oakland, the hill pictured above did me in; kids had to get out and walk on the sidewalk, and I used the Load’s walk assist feature to walk it up to the top. I also couldn’t make it to the top of Marin St in Berkeley, a ~1,000 foot climb in just a few blocks.
Overall, the experience was awesome. When it was time to come home, I biked the bike back to Oakland, got a ride to the airport, and upon landing, biked my own Load 75 home.
While probably a niche idea, I would pay to have a Load 75 delivered to me on demand at airports around the world. I really have no desire to travel any other way, and yet it’s so hard to find places that will rent you a good e-cargo bike setup to carry around 3 kids. I hope as more Americans try and buy these bikes, this changes. It’s truly the best.