Worksman Cargo Bikes from Queens, NY

Queens-based Worksman bicycles was highlighted today in the Wall Street Journal.  The company, which was named after its original owner in 1898, has been making cargo bikes since then.

Over time Worksman has made ice cream carts, pizza delivery bikes, and bikes for traveling the factory floor. But now as cycling has become something of a transportation boon for New York City, that turn-of-the-last-century cargo bike may be coming alive again.

Writes Barry Newman, “Its factory, in a district of body shops and frame houses, has a bad case of scaling stucco. It made birthday candles before Worksman bought it in 1978. An enterprise across the street sells live goats.

Inside, on a cold morning, Wayne Sosin sat behind a pile of pink invoices. A Worksman family friend, he got his job 35 years ago and became part owner. Mr. Sosin, 58 years old, does allow that today’s bicycle revolutionaries aren’t all “losers” or “wackos.”

“A bicycle has two wheels and a chain,” he said. “That’s a bicycle. Now it went from being this piece of equipment to being this lifestyle thing. Very trendoid. You know what I’m saying?”

Worksman also makes adult tricycles, which if used by those afraid to travel in traffic, would ensure a more steady ride, along with a bigger profile on the road, that at least theoretically would make the cyclist safer.

When Cyclists International assisted in presenting a bid to the city of New York for a bike share program, one of the suggestions we made with our team was to include adult tricycles in the fleet rentals, so that persons either too scared or not physically agile, could still use bicycles to do their shopping and get around for small trips. This would be especially useful for physically disabled and elderly with limited physical capacity.

But so far, the city’s Department of Transportation has not grasped this nuance.

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