June 9, 2022 Rhiannon Ingle

Q&A: Motherload

Presented by Brookburn Community School PTA in association with Chorlton Bike Deliveries is a special screening of the hit documentary, Motherload.

An award-winning documentary that uses the cargo bike as the vehicle for exploring parenthood in this digital age of climate change and captures a new mother’s quest to understand the increasing isolation and disconnection of modern life, its planetary impact, and how cargo bikes could be an antidote.

Filmmaker Liz Canning cycled everywhere until she had twins in 2008. Motherhood was challenging, but to Liz hauling babies via car felt stifling. She Googled “family bike” and uncovered a global movement of people replacing cars with cargo bikes: long-frame bicycles designed for carrying heavy loads. Liz set out to learn more, and Motherload was born.

Read on for our Q&A with Layla, from Brookburn Community School PTA…

Cargo bikes seem to act as a symbol for a wider metaphor in the documentary – what do you think they symbolise?

For me, they symbolise freedom, utility, cleaner living, flexibility and most importantly fun and happiness. They bring such joy to any journey

What is it about cargo bikes that make them so revolutionary for so many parents?

Everything about them is positive, whether that be for parents and families or those without children. They enable efficient, speedy movement from A to B, with precious cargo on board, whilst allowing enjoyment of fresh air, being out in the community, and exercise. Thinking about our children’s future, they are clean modes of transport, with no toxic emissions associated and therefore could also be termed climate change fighting machines in my view. In addition to this, they are easy to park up and take up much less room for storage than a car alternative. They absolutely are revolutionary!

How influential do you think Motherload has been in galvanizing other parents to invest in a cargo bike for their main mode of family transportation?

In the UK, I’m not sure, as I don’t think many have yet seen the film. From my own personal experience, It definitely galvanized the option of a cargo bike for our family and after having seen the film, we put our order in. We are now the proud owners of an e-cargo bike and honestly haven’t looked back. And most importantly, our children LOVE it!

Tell us a bit about the incredible characters we can look forward to meeting in Motherload.

Liz Canning joins up and talks to over 100 cargo cyclists in the making of the film, so there are too many characters to mention!

Motherload follows Liz on her quest to understand the increasing tension between modern life and our hunter-gatherer DNA, and how cargo bikes offer a solution. Throughout the film, Liz meets the people behind this push to replace cars with purpose-built bikes, and she learns from them about the history and potential future of the bicycle as the “ultimate social revolutionizer.

During the film, you’ll meet the families who will tell stories of the cargo bike transforming ‘ the mundane to the extraordinary’ and being a tool that enables a high quality of life despite a low family wage,

We’ll meet mountain bike design legend and historian Joe Breeze, and Xtracycle founder Ross Evans, as Liz shows us how cargo bikes developed in Central America, West Africa, Australia and the Netherlands and how the bike has served us and gone on to develop over the past decades.

Dave Cohen, Vbike founder demonstrates how in a car you are unrecognizable/unreachable to those around you. With your cargo bike, especially when carrying children, you will inspire smiles and waves and even exclamations of “Cool bike!,” or “Way to go!” or “I want one!” You can easily stop to make new friends or hug old ones. Your children will experience all the smells, textures, temperatures and ins and outs of their neighborhood. They will ask questions and make observations they NEVER would make from a car.

This is a tiny taster – there’s much more to be seen and heard in this spectacular docu-film.

What would you say to anyone thinking whether or not to purchase a cargo bike?

DO IT! Why wouldn’t you? So much to gain and nothing to lose.

Motherload will be screened at The Edge on Saturday 22nd October at 6 pm…


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