Eight-Wheeler Cargo Cycle

8wheeler cargo bikeThink you need a car or a van to move large and heavy stuff around? Think again. This eight-wheeler cargo cycle features a 10 m2 bamboo loading platform and a 450 kg loading capacity. The chassis is based on that of a concrete mixer. The vehicle has four-wheel steering and independent wheel suspension. With two drivers it achieves an average speed of 10 – 15 km/h, which could be further increased by the use of electric motors.

The cargo cycle was designed and built by Berliner Nico Jungel. Find more pictures and videos at his website. The vehicle was spotted at the International Cargo Bike Festival in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. See all pictures of the event (including more images of the 8-wheeler). Previously: Cargo cyclists replace truck drivers on European city streets.

Walking Made Us Fly

“The first time I went on a really long walk, an absurd six-day walk following the exact border of a municipality in the east of the Netherlands, walking through fields, crossing canals, entering peoples’ houses, sleeping on the border in a small tent, I felt the way I had felt as a kid when I went out exploring the vast forest behind my parents’ house.

Some people would rather have wings but we don’t, we have feet. We were born to walk. Scientists say that walking gave us our brain capacity, walking turned us into the human beings we are. Walking made it possible for us to have the desire to fly and to come up with ways to turn our dreams into reality.

Walking made us fly. We can go anywhere. Still the easier it becomes to move through this world, the more disconnected we seem to get from it. We have to land again. Get close to the things. Be part of the world. Walking teaches us where we are, who we are. A slow speed makes our brain work fast. Makes us see more. Be more. And best of all: walking makes time disappear.”

Read more: A Soft Armour by Monique Besten. Previously: Our Right to be Oustide.

A Tourist Monoculture

barcelona tourism 5

“This is not a city to live in. It’s a theme park where there’s no local life left. It’s all decoration.”

“Tourism is not going to be forever, and it’s destroying other ways of life.”

“We cannot live with those floods of people day after day.”

These are some quotes from Bye Bye Barcelona (59m, with English subtitles), a shocking documentary about tourism’s destructive effect on the culture of a city. Barcelona in Spain is the fourth most visited city in Europe after London, Paris and Rome, yet it is much smaller than those cities. The 1.5 million Barcelonians received more than 8 million tourists in 2013, most of them flown in by low-cost airlines. This compares to “only” 3.1 million tourists in 2000.

Bye Bye Barcelona, Eduardo Chibas, March 2014. Thanks to Adriana Parra.

The Complete Guide to European Rail Maps & Atlasses

We all know road maps, but few people are aware there also exists such a thing as a rail map. Why would you need a rail map? After all, you are not steering and the train driver knows the way. However, a rail map gives you control over the route you take. In Europe, there are many ways to travel by rail from A to B. If you order a train ticket from Amsterdam to Madrid, for example, the train company will not necessarily offer you the cheapest or most interesting route.

rail map of europe

A rail map is especially interesting if you want to avoid high speed trains (which are more expensive), if you make long-distance trips, or if you just love to marvel at spectacular scenery. While an online rail map sounds more modern, nothing beats the convenience of a printed map when you are planning a trip.

[Read more…]

Our Right to be Outside: Three Mules

“You spot a somewhat disheveled man with three fully loaded pack mules walking though your community. What the … ?

This strange and, to many, awe-inspiring sight has been experienced by thousands of people in small towns and large cities throughout the western United States. But who is he and what is he doing? Is he lost in the wrong century? Is he homeless? Is he on a mission?

mulesThe Mules (as he refers to himself and the animals collectively) have traveled for nearly three decades through 16 states. For the last ten years they have lived outdoors. Even though he may not talk much when one first meets him, if the time and place are right, Mule will share something that he feels we should all be thinking about.

Throughout their travels, the Mules have noticed an ever increasing urban sprawl. Open spaces where they once moved through freely, and sometimes spent the night in a secluded spot, were disappearing. More and more cars filled up the roadways, and the expanding urban infrastructure seemed to serve one purpose: accommodate more automobiles.

At the same time, space for other means of self- transportation, such as bicycling, horseback riding and simply walking, were shrinking. Those alternative means of self-travel have often been confined to designated “recreation” areas. Also, as the urban environment exploded, natural habitats have vanished, or been “preserved” in spaces a fraction of the size they once were.
Mule sums it all up: “The space needed by The Mules to travel this country freely in all four directions on the landscape is being taken over by the suburban model of automobile usage, exclusively, and leaving no space for alternative venues of moving and living. In our travels, we carry that awareness and bring it to others. We’re a working model for that awareness, one step at a time, all day, every day.””

Quoted from 3 mules, via LLoyd’s blog.

From Europe to America by Sail

from europe to america by sail tres hombresDo you want to travel between Europe and America in a sustainable way? Try a sailing boat. The 32 m long brigantine “Tres Hombres” maintains a freight service between Europe, the Atlantic islands, the Caribbean and America. Besides a cargo capacity of 35 tons, she has accommodation for 5 crew members and a maximum of 12 passengers. On board you learn the basics of square-rigged seamanship: maintenance, navigating, manoeuvring under sail, safety, cooking and much more.

The ship sails throughout the year. The website now shows the schedules for the summer of 2013, the winter of 2013-2014, and the summer of 2014. On November 17, 2013, you can sail across the Atlantic from Portugal to Brazil, which takes an estimated 45 days. The trip costs 2700 euro. On February 10, 2014, you can sail back from the Dominican Republic to London via Bermuda and the Azores. This eastbound Atlantic crossing takes 81 days and costs 4455 euro. Shorter trips are also possible. For example, on May 4, 2014, you can sail from London to Amsterdam in 5 days, which costs 375 euro.

More info at Fairtransport. (Click “Tres Hombres” in the upper right corner, then switch to English language).