The other day while I was waiting for the shuttle on campus I saw a mom riding a Bakfiets with a kid on board. I wish I’d had my camera. She was slogging up the hill and looked tired, but I was still astonished, as I would never have imagined that it was even possible to get an unladen box-bike up that hill, let alone one with a kid and several bags inside. I had assumed that even attempting such a thing would result in the kind of exhaustion that leads people to fall right off the bike. I myself have had those moments even on a traditional frame.
When she got closer I saw it had an electric assist! Now there’s a good idea. Wildly expensive, but that would make going up hills with cargo pretty manageable. And it doesn’t resolve the problem of braking on the way down, but maybe there are ways to upgrade the brakes as well; I don’t know. It would probably cost a second small fortune.
I think with my oldest now six years old and tall for his age we made the right decision in not getting a box-bike, but in hindsight an electric box-bike would have been a blast when my two were smaller.