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Not Just Bikes


8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Geography, Health, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Videos, 10 minutes, 52 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

The Car-Replacement Bicycle

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  • This video follows the experience of one family who switched from a car to a cargo bike, challenging the necessity of owning a car and some of the misconceptions about doing so.
  • It examines the potential for cargo bikes to replace vehicles in cities that were built after automobiles were common (like those in Canada and the United States) and examines some electric cars as well.
Teaching Tips


  • This video presents a relatively affordable alternative to gas-powered cars for able-bodied individuals.
  • The video presents a number of reasons why cargo bikes are an ideal mode of transportation for some people when public transportation is not accessible.

Additional Prerequisites

  • An ad will play between 6:15 and 6:20 and the video ends at 10:35.
  • Before watching the video, students should understand the pros and cons of owning a gas-powered or electric car.
  • Teachers should be aware that not all people can ride a bike (for various reasons, including disability) and it may not be safe to ride bikes in inclement weather or extreme temperatures.


  • Have students consider why so many cities in North America have been designed to prioritize cars rather than pedestrians or cyclists.
  • This resource can be used in social studies classes during lessons about urbanization and urban planning and in engineering classes during lessons about innovations in transportation.
  • To extend the lesson about other innovations related to transportation, have students watch this video about 15-minute cities and this video about bicycle infrastructure.
  • Health classes can connect this resource to lessons about physical exercise and the benefits of being outside.
Scientist Notes
This video discusses the pros and cons of using bakfiets (cargo bikes) over a traditional car. The history of cargo bikes, the newer modern electric cargo bikes, and how utilitarian the cargo bikes can be are also discussed. There is a good discussion about the cost and benefits of a bakfiets versus a vehicle, including a few words about the need for a traditional vehicle and options for ensuring that even when vehicles are required, there are more environmentally friendly ways to use a vehicle. This video would be a great addition to the discussion of alternative transportation and the effects of climate change and is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.11-12.2 Analyze and synthesize multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source noting discrepancies among data.
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