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Pedal power: The rise of cargo bikes in GermanyWhether they're hauling parcels or children, cargo bikes are becoming a familiar sight in German cities as the nippy, clean alternative to cars and delivery vans – and shaking up urban transport in the process. The cargo bike's revival began some two decades ago in cycling-mad Denmark and the Netherlands, blessed with flat landscapes and comfortable bike lanes, before reaching Germany.Today Germany is Europe's largest market for cargo bikes in terms of volume – with industry data showing sales for electrically assisted cargo bikes alone surged to 21,000 in 2017, 42 percent over the previous year.No sweatOver the years, cargo bikes have evolved from bulky two-wheelers that required serious leg muscle. 'Protect us'Experts say the biggest roadblock to cargo bikes going mainstream is the lack of adapted infrastructure: safe cycle lanes, secure parking and easy-to-find repair shops.Online retailer Amazon has started using cargo bikes for deliveries, while shipping giant UPS has been running battery-powered freight bikes in German cities since 2012 .
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