September 24, 2021

One Month with the Cargo Bike

Last month, we got our Muli Muskel cargo bike mainly to transport Mozzie and our groceries. The cargo bike has seen a fair bit of action since then with this past weekend’s cargo bike meetup being the most recent ride. It’s time to do a recap to demonstrate how life changing cargo bikes can be.

Group Rides

There were a couple of group rides I got to take Mozzie on who loves riding in the bike and gets a fair number of smiles from passers by. On Sunday, August 15, I took him on my first ride with the ManDem Cycling Club which was started last year by Christopher McGarrell. Unlike many other cycling clubs which involve lycra and expensive road bikes, this one simply encourages people to get out and ride and got considerable media attention for its ability to attract diverse groups of people. While Mozzie wasn’t feeling his best that day, the ride from High Park to Port Credit was fun with about 30 to 40 people attending and the lunch stop at Rosie’s Burgers was delicious. The pace was a bit fast, but still manageable for my Muli to keep up.

Unfortunately, Mozzie went on his first memorial ride with Helen and I on Wednesday, August 25. A week before, 18-year-old Miguel Joshua Escanan was killed by a cement truck driver while biking on Avenue Road just north of Bloor Street. Something which could have been prevented had the City followed through with implementing ActiveTO there. Hundreds of people attended this memorial ride and despite the number of people, Mozzie remained pretty calm throughout. You can read Jun N's take on the ride here.


On the night of the federal election call on Sunday, August 15, Janet Joy Wilson and I brought our cargo bikes to deliver election signs for NDP candidate Paul Taylor. While it was unfortunately he wasn’t elected – nor were any of the other NDP candidates in Toronto – I put 34 signs inside the bike with it being possible to haul as many as 50. It was the first time I could test the dynamo lighting on the Muli which was decent. Still brought my regular bike lights just in case.

One thing I was curious to find out since getting the cargo bike was to find out how many FoodShare boxes it could haul for the Bike Brigade. On Tuesday, August 24, I found out it could handle two, though it’s possible to haul a third one on the rear rack. The cargo bike basket had several loops inside which allowed the boxes to be properly fastened with bungee cords. The two errands that day took me along the Waterfront and was a nice day for it.

Life Changing Hack

When I first wrote about the cargo bike, I mentioned a divider would be needed to prevent Mozzie from eating the groceries. Fortunately, Helen came up with a great idea of bringing a laundry basket. While I wouldn’t recommend this for larger dogs, the laundry basket made it possible to transport all of the groceries from Chinatown while still giving Mozzie enough room. Even then, having a rear rack helps with additional capacity, which I need to get around to installing an extender.

Cargo Bike Meetup

On Sunday, September 19, Dave Edwards, Janet Joy Wilson, and Robin Richardson organized Toronto’s first cargo bike meetup which was inspired by one hosted by the London Bicycle Café in August. A group ride was organized from High Park which I missed the departure by a few minutes. Fortunately, the group was travelling slow and I was able to catch up.

This ride was the first time I saw the recently implemented improvements to the Bloor bike lanes from Sherbourne to Castle Frank. The wider lanes helped make the cycling experience there a lot more comfortable, along with the safety improvements made at the Don Valley Parkway on-ramp – including dedicated bicycle and traffic signals – at the end of the Prince Edward Viaduct.

By the time we got to the meetup at Withrow Park, about 50 to 60 people attended along with at least 15 to 20 different cargo bikes (including a few loaners provided by Curbside Cycle). A few people tested out my Muli, while I test rode a couple of other bikes. The Tern GSD pictured below with Heather and Pier (who write a Brompton blog) took some getting used to, but it has solid braking power and is part of Robin’s Happy Fiets fleet.

Dave brought his Riese & Muller which cost at least $11,000 at Curbside and could be a contender for being a “Cadillac of cargo bikes”. The R&M had shocks and suspension which neither the Bullitt nor the Muli had, while the ride quality was very good and the Turbo mode required very little pedal power to go fast. As good as it is, I feel the Muli (and even the Bullitt) are more practical.

The largest cargo bike on display is one used by NRBI – a bicycle delivery company – with a huge front basket capable of carrying 850 litres.

Gardiner Ramp Demolition

After the meetup, I took Carlaw to check out the demolition of the Gardiner Expressway ramps at Logan Avenue, as well as the Lake Shore detour.

Parts of the detour offered great separation with jersey barriers – if only all the bike lanes had similarly good protection – but there was one part on Villiers which was flooded. The wayfinding along the detour is decent, though it is pretty inconvenient for those wishing to get onto the Lower Don Trail from the east end.

Thanks again to Dave, Janet Joy, and Robin for organizing the meetup and I will be sure to share more stories about the cargo bike in the months ahead.

UPDATE 2021/09/26 - Heather of Bromptoning put up a great recap of all the cargo bikes at last Sunday's meetup along with this video.


  1. a great, wide ranging post! I really like the folding basket feature of your Muli.

  2. I love reading about all your adventures with the Muli! Thanks for letting me take it for a test ride at the CargoBikeTO meetup. :)