Video by Katherine Williams. See more at our YouTube page!
Hummingbird Bike Delivery
Hummingbird Wholesale has a strong local focus. When we moved into our new building over four years ago, we chose a location to allow efficient delivery to our in-town customers. We do most of these deliveries by cargo bike.
Hummingbird has been delivering by cargo bike for over 17 year. We have two Cargo TriHaulers which can each carry 500 lbs. Add a trailer with electric assist, and we can carry up to 1100 lbs per trip. For the first six months of 2015, we have delivered 135,000 pounds of food to our Eugene customers by bike. That puts us on our way towards over a quarter million pounds for the year. Serving 45 customers, our bike delivery team out performs many of our out-of-town truck routes in terms of pounds delivered.
Our bike delivery team consists of Karl Benedek and Ponce Christie. We also have two trained backup drivers. “You can’t expect just anybody to put on a helmet and get on the trike,” says Karl, who has been driving cargo bikes for 15 years, the past five with Hummingbird. “It takes training, particularly for maneuverability and safety.”
Cargo bike maintenance has recently been brought in-house with Indy Navarra taking care of the weekly maintenance. Every week she does a thorough check of the bike…brakes, tires, battery, chain. “With all the wear and tear on the bike, it’s important to do a small tune up every week,” says Indy. “I love bikes and got tired of paying other people to work on mine.” So Indy spent time at local DIY bike repair workspaces where she learned to rebuild bikes “just for fun.” Hummingbird Wholesale is lucky to have Indy taking care of our trihaulers now.
We use the cargo bike to deliver to customers in the core center of Eugene, covering about a two mile radius from the Hummingbird warehouse. It is especially useful in the crowded downtown where it may be difficult to get a truck around. We use a truck to deliver to locations in the outer parts of Eugene where there some deliveries that can’t be done with the bike. But the majority of our local deliveries go by cargo bike.
Karl reports gets lots of attention when he rides through town with the loaded up Hummingbird cargo trihauler. “People want to hitch rides. Lots of people wave. Car drivers pull down their window to say hi or want to know about the bike. Little kids love it.”
Why does Karl like delivering by cargo bike? “It’s a great way to model a transportation system that would benefit most cities of moderate size. It makes sense to use low impact transportation, especially in cities with high density traffic.”
For questions or to order by phone, call us: (541) 686-0921