Ideas from Federal Minister for Mobility and Transport François Bellot (MR)

Belgian Federal Minister for Mobility and Transport François Bellot (MR) is currently investigating to subsidise the future purchase of electric powered bikes. The train of thought:

“I believe electric bikes are an ideal alternative for transport on the short and medium range. It can be a solution for urban, congested areas and it’s also the ideal mode of transport concerning health reasons.”

Well minister Bellot… It’s a wonderful idea, but if I’m right: this goes for all bikes, especially those exclusively powered by peddle power. So, if this idea gets reality I would like you to subsidise all my bikes. I use them on a daily bases, on the short, medium and long range and this for my own transport, my sons transport and to transport lots of stuff! That’s value for your gouvernement money!!!

Source:De Standaard, 20/09/2016, link.

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Parkinson & Mont Ventoux

61 Year old Jozette Rijnders left for a trip to the South of France to support 5 other Parkinson patients and their initiative Move for Parkinson on the heroic Mont Ventoux climb. Unless the intention to ride along to the start of the climb, she decided to keep pushing her humble electric power assisted city bike. Half a day later she stoot on top of the 1912 meter giant. I’ll remember this the next time I ride my race bike uphill…

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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…

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The bike design project

The Bike Design Project is an incentive where top designers accompanied by the top in bike craftsmanship go for the best urban bike. Five teams from five US bike cities were invited. Sounds like a dream, but all teams had to build a fully functional prototype. Some of the ideas are pretty awesome: a steer that turns into a lock, other integrated lock solutions, cool parking possibilities, brake lights, flexible / smart / compact / expandable front or rear cargo systems, indicator lights, app connected functionalities, a brush like mud guard, integrated navigation, a front fork lock out,… The winning design, the Denny (see last video), will be produced by Fuji Bikes in 2015. Something to look forward to…