Thursday, December 25, 2008

Grocery delivery just like the old days - really!

It's almost here - all it lacks is some enterprising small family grocer to take the reins - er, handlebars - and get to it.

CS Monitor
Cargo trikes nudge delivery trucks in Cambridge, Mass.
A Cambridge, Mass., delivery company is using industrial tricycles to deliver goods in efforts to curb global emissions.
By Mark Clayton

...In a city choked with diesel-spewing delivery trucks, the fledgling New Amsterdam Project (NAP), a Cambridge-based cargo-hauling company, is pedaling toward profits aboard an emissions-free fleet of urban “cargo trikes.”

“We’re getting trucks off the road, that’s one of our goals,” says Brown. “Each time we make a delivery, we demonstrate … that there’s a better way – a system that is less expensive, better for their products, better for the environment, and for their community.”

...Research led him to a British company, Cycles Maximus, that makes commercial trikes used by the government to deliver the Royal Mail. One of their trikes’ key features is an electric-assist. It allows even diminutive riders to haul 800 pounds up hill – and zip away from a stop at the pace of a car. It doesn’t replace pedaling: the driver must pedal for the assist to work.

That effort is a key point for Brown. Whether delivering pies, chocolates, organic produce, or green building products, NAP’s ultimate motive is to show people bicycles are a great way to stay fit, as well as break the internal-combustion stranglehold.

Two things our communities need, to say the least. Combine this with on-line or over the phone ordering, and old fashioned grocery delivery will be back in business.

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