Transcontinental 2014

The Transcontinental is a bike race between London and Istanbul. Sounds insane? Even stronger, the riders get no assistance and also have to choose what road to ride, where to stop, where to eat and where (and how long) to sleep. 88 riders departed in London on the 9th of August. After 2890 km and with just over 400 km to go,  Belgian rider Kristof Allegaert is current leading the race with hundreds of kilometers. His bike? The Belgian taylor built Jaegher Interceptor. One figure: Kristof covered approximately then 23 000 km in raining since the first of january 2014! I think I still have work to do…

Jaegher

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Ikea for bikers?

With it’s short lasting range of products and their tendency to locate stores on car dominated roads on the outskirts of big cities, Ikea is not really a company I associate with words like eco friendly and durable. Since I drive a cargo bike myself, I did visit the local Ikea (on the so called Boomsesteenweg) once or twice. It really felt strange, almost like I was in a freak show. Several years later, Ikea is experimenting with a new 80 000 000 EUR urban high street store in Hamburg (Altona) with biker friendly accommodation. Time for a visit! What we saw was an Ikea store with a shopping street front and a car orientated back. In the shop we didn’t really see the difference until we came across a big poster, followed by a floor where you can chose between several bike solutions for transportation. First option is to rent a courier with a Bullitt and a Bikes at work heavy duty trailer. Second option is to rent several wheel based solutions like a three wheeled cargo bike or several trolleys to get your stuff home yourself. It all sounds good. Looking forward to see what this shop establishes in the near and far future and what it will mean for Ikea and other big players on the marked. Little note, the another day in the city center I spoke with another bike courier. He already stopped working for Ikea because his back and knees were to bad for carrying Ikea stuff up stare cases. Something that also needs a solution…

Ikea Ikea Ikea Ikea Ikea

 

Car ownership is expensive

As I’ve read online in Het Nieuwsblad, the value of a garagebox in Knokke is currently up to 150 000 EUR. On other parts of the Belgian coastline it’s somewhere between 40 and 50 000 EUR. In cities like Ghent it’s ‘only’ 25 000 EUR, in Antwerp 35 000 EUR. How much money do you have to make to spend this amount on a parking space for your car? It makes me a bit dizzy… If I had the money, for sure I would spend it elsewhere!

Garagebox