Cargo Bike Journey: Grocery shopping with children

Today school started back for our eldest daughter so I kicked off the day by taking the cargo bike with 3 children to the school to drop our daughter off. I will deal with a school run in a separate post. Needless to say, there are lots of cars involved! I then headed with my two remaining helpers to do some grocery shopping in Dunnes Stores.

Journey Details

Destination: Dunnes Stores, Cornelscourt, Co. Dublin via the Lycée Français d’Irlande
Trip Distance: 6.5km round trip
Trip Time: 25 minutes
Average Speed: 13 km/h
Number of Passengers: 3 children + cyclist

 

Destination

We headed to Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt which is a large department & grocery store in the Cornelscourt/Cabinteely area of Dublin. Due to traffic congestion, the easiest route via the school run is to head down the N11 which has what the county council engineers consider an intermittent segregated cycle path which sometimes doubles as a narrow shared footpath/cycle path. Unfortunately like a lot of Irish cycle lanes & road infrastructure, it is badly deteriorating in parts which is not great if you are using a bicycle, especially a three wheeled cargo bike.

 

Bicycle Facilities

Regardless of the cycle path condition, we arrived in Dunnes Stores in one piece. This is a busy enough car park at the best of times & it has those nasty small metal speed bump ramps which you need to go over slowly. Once you navigate over those, there is some nice spacious bike parking at one of the main entrances into the supermarket which is great for locking a cargo bike to.

The Shopping Trip

There were two children with me on this shopping trip. The grocery shop was not too large so it fitted easily inside the cargo bike beside the children. With the Babboe cargo bike, you can fold up the seats so there was plenty of room. It was our first main grocery shop using the bicycle combined with a school drop off & all went well & was relatively quick.

 

Learnings

Overall the trip was a success but it had its challenges. The N11 cycle lane can be a bumpy ride with any bicycle but it has its wobbly parts for a three wheeled cargo bicycle especially at busy junctions where the roads are getting worn down & not maintained by the local council. You just need to take it slow & easy.

Another irritation is the ‘auto-detecting’ traffic lights at various locations along the N11 which do not auto-detect bicycles. Irritatingly I waited for a car to turn the lights green at the Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt junction with the N11.