The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday February 26th

Carrboro film screening finds community and saves the planet, one cargo bike at a time

For Laura Sandt of Carrboro, cargo biking replaced more than just a few trips. She uses it to take her children to school and to go to work. Photo courtesy of Heidi Perov Perry.
Buy Photos For Laura Sandt of Carrboro, cargo biking replaced more than just a few trips. She uses it to take her children to school and to go to work. Photo courtesy of Heidi Perov Perry.

An upcoming film screening in Carrboro will portray a mode of transportation that is better for us and our environment.  

The Carrboro Bicycle Coalition is hosting a free screening of the documentary MOTHERLOAD on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at The ArtsCenter.

In MOTHERLOAD, Director Liz Canning describes her experience with cargo biking, which is increasingly viewed as a realistic, environmental alternative to driving. 

Cargo bikes, as the name suggests, are bicycles designed to transport large loads. They often have an electric assist to lessen the weight and come in different styles catered to various needs. Many cargo bikes are built with trailers for small children to ride safely, making them accessible to families.

“I think that our culture is moving more and more towards disconnection from our physicality, from our bodies, from our environment, from our communities,” Canning said. 

Biking is a possible solution to this disconnection. 

Canning, a filmmaker living in northern California, biked almost everywhere until she had children 11 years ago. Frustrated with the removed nature of today’s society, she looked into ways to turn biking into a family experience. In doing so, she stumbled across the movement that inspired her film. 

This movement is slowly but surely taking root in Carrboro as well. Through this film screening, the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition aims to show people that cargo biking is a viable replacement to cars, said founding member Heidi Perov Perry.

“I personally have always believed that the bicycle can replace a lot of car trips,” Perov Perry said. “This film sort of takes it to a new level.”

For Laura Sandt of Carrboro, cargo biking replaced more than just a few trips. A few weeks after buying her bike, she sold her car.

“It was just kind of sitting like a big block of metal in the driveway,” Sandt said.

Her bike has two seats on the back, and she uses it to take her children to school and to go to work.

MOTHERLOAD has played an important role in raising awareness about the cargo biking movement. It is being screened throughout the United States and even internationally.

Before Saturday’s screening, a cargo bike demonstration will allow curious attendees and prospective buyers alike to take different styles for a spin. 

Sarah O’Brien, another Carrboro cargo biker, said the goal of the film screening is to bring bikers together.

“There’s a good culture here for biking,” O’Brien said. “It would be awesome to really have a strong bike contingent in town.”

In addition to the more obvious environmental benefits of driving less, cargo biking fosters a sense of community and personal health. Rather than being closed off from the community in a car, biking allows for interaction with other people and with the environment.

O’Brien said her bike is a great conversation starter because it’s still a fairly new phenomenon in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

“I didn’t really anticipate how much I would love getting out of the car and talking to people,” she said. 

Canning agreed with this sentiment about the cargo biking community.

“When you ride a bike, it’s such an interactive experience,” Canning said. “You arrive wherever you’re going with this sort of mentality that you just do not get from being in a car.”

In addition to the screening and bike demo Saturday, there will be a group bike ride at 4:30 p.m.

@lizcj00

arts@dailytarheel.com

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