Mike from Littlecircles bike blog will be importing Bakfiets! These are arguably the most functional form of bicycle on the planet. I think all utility bikes are great, every thing from the milk carton on the back of a 3 speed, to Surley's new big dummy, extra-cycle of course and these Bakfiets.
I think that these Bakfiets are in a category of their own. These are truly designed to, and have been very successful at replacing the car. Any bike with a 275 payload capacity is 100% utility. That's right, up to 200lbs on the front and 75 on the back.
If I lived in an urban area, where most everything I need is close by, I would probably have one of these already. Fact of the matter is I live 26 miles from the nearest grocery store. I think pedalling two kids and groceries 26 miles (Canada is also know to get a bit cool in the winter) would be a bit of a pipe dream. I think that if I were to buy a bike like this and live where I currently do, it would simply be for the novelty of it. Who knows, maybe I'll end up living somewhere in a downtown core, or at least somewhere that not in the middle of the prairies. Where I just moved from would have been perfect for Bakfiets bikes. Everything I needed was within 4 miles of my house. I could realistically never drive anywhere, with the exception of winter. And that only because of my 1 and 3 year old boys. I rode to work almost everyday last winter, even when the temps went down to -32C. I would think that the long wheel base of these would only make it more stable when plowing through a few inches of fresh snow.
The more I look at these bikes, the more excited I get about them. How cool are they? Check out more pictures here. I can't help but think these are on my list of some of the greatest bikes going. While I don't own one, I do think that this is a bike that I will own at some point in my life. Like I said before, if for nothing else, just the novelty of it. Maybe I'll wait until I hit my midlife crisis. My buddies will pick up new sports cars, and I'll buy a Bakfiets bike on a whim.
Next question: how long do I have to wait before I can make the mid-life crisis argument work? Dang I hate waiting.