Story and photos by Dana Lacey
Bradley Wentworth turns heads wherever he goes. As the sole propietor of one-cyclist courier company Red Riding Goods, he can often be spotted atop a custom bike hauling coffee beans or hot meals for a growing roster of clients. He delivered dandy's prizes for our 12 days of Christmas reader survey, and was featured in our Food Issue.
But the real attention-grabber is his steed of choice, The Bullitt. Forget the clunky, wide-right-turn three-wheelers you’re accustomed to. This cargo bike - designed by Danish company Larry vs Harry - uses the Long John standard lifted straight from the streets of Copenhagen and features a sturdy flatbed that sits between the handlebars and front wheel. It has two wheels (all the better to avoid streetcar tracks) and is no wider than the average bicycle, which makes it easy to maneuver heavy loads through space-starved city gridlock. “I’ve delivered lunch for 20 people at the Ministry of Finance during budget season,” he says. “No problem.”
The Bullitt can haul as much as 120 kg of cargo, and the aluminum frame weighs the same as a Bixi bike. That’s good for Wentworth, who, on a typical delivery day, may find himself trekking beans to artisan roasters or delivering meals from the Hot House Café.
To recruit new clients, Wentworth will set his eye on a small business that sells or serve products that fit his requirements in size, weight, price and geography. He’ll roll up on his Bullitt and give his elevator pitch: deliveries by bike are cheaper (and often faster) than running a vehicle, and today’s eco-conscious consumers demand a greener approach. A lot of his clients arrive through curiosity -- hard not to notice Wentworth atop his giant fire-truck-red ride, it’s dangling Teddy Bear charm or the painted Chuck Berry stencil. “The Bullitt itself it is my best advertisement,” he says, “because until people see it they don't get what's possible.”