Screenshot: William Kass, Youtube

Someone just backflipped a cargo bike and blew my mind

An Estonian, a pink box-bike, and a likely world-first.

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Cargo bikes are – and I say this with love – not known as spritely creations. Box-trikes and box-bikes, longtails and bakfiets – they’re all life-changing freedom machines, but they’re built for loads and lovers, not loops.

Sure, every so often someone does something a bit crazy on a cargo bike, like that bloke popping a wheelie in a Danny MacAskill video. But that has just been thoroughly trumped by some wholesome maniacs in Estonia, one of whom has just done a full backflip. And landed it. And didn’t snap his neck.

Our protagonists are as follows: 

  • Kaspar Peek: the founder of Hagen Bikes. Hagen is named after Copenhagen, the cargo bike capital of the world. Peek is Estonian but lived in Denmark for a stint, where he started numerous entrepreneurial ventures including building a bicycle sidecar, a bicycle display rack constructed of handlebars, and now his Estonian-made, steel cargo bike company. [I first became aware of this brand at the 2022 Tour de France, where someone rode the entire route on a polka-dot road cargo bike and finished in Paris on the same day as the peloton, which is also amazing but less acrobatic than flipping one.]
  • William Kass: a “vegan delivery man” who’s excellent on a BMX, who did the actual stunt – despite having retired from the sport due to a knee surgery and multiple plasma injections in the last year.

There’s a long and short cut of the video – one on social media with just the flip, one on Youtube with all the lead-up to it. The short one, embedded above, gives you what you want. The long one, embedded below, gives you what you didn’t know you needed. If you don’t speak Estonian – and I suspect you don’t – it’s a linguistically … challenging watch, just a lot of melodic burbling interspersed with the occasional “no focken way!” and “welcome to Jackass!” thrown in. But it gives you a greater appreciation for the feat, seeing Peek and Kass puzzle out the logistics and angles of getting an enormous pink cargo bike to backflip.

Without causing lasting physical harm, preferably. [You can toggle English subtitles on with the ‘CC’ button – even if you don’t, though, I think you can still have a nice time.]

At a Tallinn indoor sports centre, the duo progress from jumps into a foam pit, to steeper ramps, to enormous bruises on the inside of the thigh, to triumph. 

Usually with videos like this, you watch them with a quiet sense of awe – but at the core of it lies an understanding that this is within the theoretical realm of possibility for a bicycle to do, at least if piloted by someone much braver with world-leading mastery of their craft.

But backflipping a cargo bike? I didn’t know that was possible. I didn’t know it could do that. I didn’t think anyone would dare. And now I want a pink Hagen cargo bike.

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