We all know about the bike boom in 2020, when people around the world (re)discovered biking as a way to safely get outside, get exercise, and spend time with friends and family. Last year saw the trend continue, with e-bikes in particular starting to really take off. So what are we excited about for 2022? Keep reading.
MORE RIDERS RIDING MORE RIDES
B.C. (Before Covid-19), I used to think of myself primarily as a city bike rider / bike commuter, meaning that I rode my bike to get from A to B. Then during the summer of 2020, I got my first e-bike, which changed everything. Suddenly distance, topography, and weight didn’t matter much and I could bike everywhere. Before long, my husband and I started doing some *lite* bike touring. First big day trips, then overnighters, then full week trips last summer. I don’t think of myself as just a bike commuter anymore. Do you have a similar story?
with my trusty Mardy Backpack Pannier
When I say more riders riding more rides, that’s exactly what I’m referring to. We’ve been witnessing an exciting multiplier effect: We have more people riding bikes. We have more people riding more kinds of bikes, and we have more people riding more kinds of bikes doing more kinds of rides. Commuting, touring, gravel, mountain…the list goes on, and there’s always more to try.
I live a little vicariously through our customers when I see them using their Po Campo bags out in the world, and, judging by the photos that our community shares with #pocampo, Po Campos have had some incredible adventures over the last two years. Our design team took notice and started thinking about how our bags could become better companions on these non-commuting rides. Next month, Po Campo is introducing a few new types of bags designed specifically for these types of adventures that our customers are doing. I can’t wait to show you them! Join our mailing list to be the first to know.
bike adventure with her Kinga Handlebar Bag
MAKING THE 15-MINUTE CITY A REALITY
Bringing the focal point back to our daily lives, we recognize that the old B.C. routine of dropping the kids off at school, commuting back and forth to work, and catching up on errands on the weekends hasn’t really returned. Who knows if it ever will. The concept of the 15 minute city, where you spend most of your time within 15 minutes of your house, meaning you work, shop, play close to home, is now a pleasant new normal for many people.
What does this have to do with biking and micromobility? Bicycle advocates have long pointed out that the majority of the trips that Americans make are less than 3 miles (source), a distance easily traversed by bike. Today, with our 15 minute cities, this is even more true; there are fewer and fewer reasons that you need to drive. Here are three ways our industry is supporting this change:
- Making it safer by advocating for improved bicycle infrastructure
- Removing the barrier to entry by offering bike and scooter share systems
- Making it easier to carry more things
ADVOCATING FOR BICYCLE INFRASTRUCTURE
The first step to getting people into the bike lane is that it needs to be and feel safe. The best way to tackle this is by installing good bike infrastructure.
Image courtesy of NYC Department of Transportation
Thanks to ongoing work of advocacy organizations like the League of American Bicyclists and People for Bikes, not to mention countless local and state groups, the recent federal infrastructure bill includes funding for bike lanes in cities large and small. Think protected bike lanes, bike storage, all that good stuff. We used to think of bike lanes as the province of big cities but truth be told, small and medium sized cities embrace these changes just as much. After all, does anybody really like waiting in a traffic jam for hours?
MAKING BIKING AND SCOOTERING EASILY ACCESSIBLE
We’re seeing bike and scooter share systems continue to proliferate, and mature. The days of thousands of scooters and bikes showing up on people’s property are long gone with the introduction of new technology, including geo-fencing and better managed private-public partnerships. Having easy access to these shared micromobility systems removes another barrier, because you no longer need to own (or store or care for) your vehicle.
MAKING IT EASIER TO CARRY MORE THINGS
The last hurdle is carrying stuff. Let’s face it, the car is better at carrying people and groceries and furniture than a bicycle. But there is innovation here too. Seeing a cargo bike used to be like spotting a rare animal in the wild, but cargo bikes are becoming increasingly more common. Families are using cargo bikes to drop kids off at school (watch this recent video from Streetsblog about NYC cargo bike families) and delivery companies like FedEx are using cargo bikes for their local deliveries.
Not ready for a cargo bike? Improving your on bike storage is a great first step. Our Po Campo Mardy Backpack Pannier can fit enough for a grocery run or an overnight trip, and even comes equipped with a shoe/cold storage compartment.
Po Campo Mardy Backpack Pannier
SUSTAINABILITY TAKES CENTER STAGE
One of the reasons that I love biking is that it is better for the environment than driving, and I know I’m not the only one. Beyond helping enable a more sustainable lifestyle, we’re seeing biking and micromobility companies make changes to their product and systems to move further in this direction.
E-Bikes, for all their benefits, rely on big lithium batteries to power them. What to do about those batteries when they’re old has been a lingering question. That’s why it was so encouraging when Specialized announced its recycling program for its e-bike batteries last summer. We hope that other e-bike brands follow suit.
Another area of innovation are advancements in “on-demand manufacturing”, which has the potential to dramatically reduce waste. Instead of mass producing goods that sit around waiting to be sold, on-demand manufacturing uses technology to only make what is needed. Think of tech-enabled made-to-order goods for the 21st century.
One innovator is Unspun, a start-up that makes custom jeans made to order. While not technically a bike company, they do count cyclists as some of their best customers, as you can finally get jeans that accommodate your unique curves, including those powerful thighs gained from riding up hills. Through our partnership with Unspun, you can save 20% on your next order of custom jeans [Use the Coupon Code: POCAMPO20].
Po Campo is also continuing its strides towards sustainability! We launched our City Lights collection which features our proprietary Visi-Hemp® fabric, the world’s first reflective hemp fabric. And this year – another sneak peek – we’re adding Repreve® lining to our new bags, which is polyester made out of recycled water bottles. Interested in learning more about our sustainability advances? Join this special e-newsletter to stay abreast of everything we’re doing.
We know we’re still at the beginning of 2022 but we’re already so excited about what this year will bring. What are some things that you are excited about? Let us know in the comments!