2021 Challenge: Biking More and Driving Less

woman loading plants into flatbed cargo bike trailer

Written By: Dirk de Marelle, dilistuff.com

We’re living in a medium-sized town in Halle, Belgium. Supermarkets are close-by and we can just walk or take the bicycle for our daily grocery shopping.

When we stopped working for a living a few years ago and had a lot of extra free time available, we started bicycle touring as our favourite way of going on an extended holiday. In combination with camping, a cycle holiday does not really cost more than staying at home.

As we always bump into places where we want to stay longer, the idea has been brewing to return one day to all these nice places with our mountain bikes and a campervan. From the different camping spots, we could do short 2- or 3-day bikepacking trips with the bikes.

mna with bike and cargo trailer loading cans adn bottles into bottle recycling station
flatbed cargo bike trailer loaded with potted plants

Only one small problem, we do not have a campervan. Replacing our family car with a campervan also means a much more drastic mobility behaviour change as campervans do not fit in your ordinary Belgian public parking space.

So, here we are, with our 2021 Challenge. How do we become less dependent on our car for our daily life? Small grocery shopping is not an issue but what do we do with the more bulky or heavy items? That’s where the Burley Flatbed provides us with the perfect solution. Whenever something does not fit in our panniers, we attach the Flatbed to one of our bikes. We also made a wooden crate which fits perfectly on the Flatbed.

man biking with Flatbed cargo trailer with flowering trees in background

In Belgium, home garbage collection is an expensive luxury. Everyone is encouraged to sort and separate their household waste in an environmentally friendly and economical way and bring it to large container parks. Luckily, our container park is only a few kilometers away and we are already well known as “those people with the bicycle trailer.”

For the longer distances, Santos bikes suggested we try out their E-bikes. While we do not intend to give up normal cycling, this may become a more challenging issue once we get used to some electrical power helping us up the hill.

You can follow us with our challenge via our website dilistuff.com

man and woman sitting near tent

Linda Devisch & Dirk De Marelle

Linda & Dirk started holidaying by bicycle about 15 years ago. They love the moderate adventure; they do not mind some effort but also like some luxury from time to time. Linda likes photography, cycling, knitting and healthy food. Dirk likes music, cycling and has no other option but to eat healthy food. They do not really plan their trips in detail, they know what direction they want to go, and the rest comes by itself.

@lindadevisch @dirkdemarelle