Sunday, April 10, 2016

Get into my cargo bike, baby

Rumours go that some people are rehearsing the cargo bike song to perform at the ICBF2016. Remember the song from last years Cargo Bike Conference?

Chair of the Day, Ron Vervuurt, sang the song at the end of the day.

The song as I know it is from 1968 from Egbert Douwe (Rob Out) and it is called in Dutch "Kom uit je bedstee mijn liefste" (Come out of the bed, my darling)

Ron Vervuurt wrote the new Dutch version and he did the translation into English as well.

However the original song is from The Brothers Four and written by Eric Andersen, "Come to my bedside, my darling"

Ron Vervuurt already sang the song at the Cargo BikeFestival 2014, but only few people were in the tent to listen then.

Looking forward to the performances of this year!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Busybike, the cargobike specialist in Nijmegen

[Interview, text and photos by Ivan Podraza]

Busybike is the official dealer of more than 10 brands of different types of cargobikes, established in 2012 in Nijmegen. But not only that, it’s also a company that develops and innovates cargobike products and accessories.
I spoke with Busybike’s founder and owner Wibe Graafsma, professional database developer, avid bike technician and an enthusiastic innovator. 

- Could you give us a short overview of the company up until now?
Wibe Graafsma: We started 4 years ago as a cargobike shop, mainly for family usage. Very soon we started creating bike boxes for brand-name producers and our own bicycle trailers. I expect that from this year on 50 % of our sales will be our own products – boxes, coolboxes and trailers. 
We also offer bike insurance. Every cargobike owner takes it, although they get stolen extremely rarely.  

- As far as I know, Busybike is one of the most important sponsors and partners of the International Cargo Bike Festival almost from the very beginning?
W. Graafsma: You’re right. In addition to that, I created the English-language website for the festival. After that we’ve been having around 10 thousand visitors per month from all over the world.

- What kinds of products do you offer?
We have a wide range of products, from transport bikes in general, to business and family cargobikes. Even dog cargo bikes, with special doors so that a dog can easily enter and exit.

- Tell us something more about your inventions.
Our own inventions include bike boxes, trailers and coolboxes with passive cooling – one needs to use ice packages or dry ice.
With our trailer you can turn your regular bike to a cargo bike. It’s light, functional and strong trailer, ready for daily usage. Plus it doesn’t take too long to assemble it. 
The container clicksystem, however, is still a prototype, not in mass production yet. The idea behind it is to develop a vehicle accessory that can be used by small companies that cannot afford a different bicycle for each purpose, so that they can easily switch the box they need for a specific situation.  

- What’s your customer range?
From restaurants and cafes to governmental organisations. Recently a governmental organisation from Belgium bought a cargobike that they use to employ the people with special needs who deliver the packages with cargo bikes.
The strangest usage of a cargobike I ever saw was when someone turned the cargo part into a complete toilet, so that people can use a toilet on the street. I also learned about wedding and funeral service done with a cargobike.
Unfortunately, cargobike market in the east of the Netherlands is not so big, so we mainly export our products to Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Italy…

- What could cities and states do to promote and support the usage of cargobikes?
Infrastructure is the most important and Dutch cities are doing a lot for it. German cities vary from horrible to almost perfect.  

- How hard is it to ride a cargobike, especially the one with such a huge bike box?
It differs according to the size of the cargo. XXL could be a bit too large, although it is the one that’s sold the most. It can take up to 125 kilos and a company in Antwerp is using it to transport medicines. 

- How about the price range?
The price of a cargobike is somewhat high. The cheapest ones are around 1700 euros, mid-range are around 2500, and some, especially those with electric pedal assist, go up to 5000 euros.
But in the long run the cargobike pays off compared to a car. It’s hard to calculate it precisely, so I can illustrate it with an example. The company that is now using a cargobike to deliver medicines, was before using a car. At a certain moment they were obstructed by roadworks in front of their building, so they decided to try it with a cargobike. Of course they were able to do it. Later on, it became obvious that bikes are on average 1.5 hours faster on daily basis.
With regard to family bikes, nearly all of our customers are making 1500 km per year, some even 4500 km. The majority rides with their 2 or 3 children. Otherwise they would have to use the car. Their experience also shows that they are faster compared to cars. Plus they are healthier, don’t pollute the environment, and can communicate with their children easier.

- Is maintenance of cargobikes different from “normal” bikes?
It’s almost the same. Cargobikes basically have normal bike parts. But most of the customers don’t want to bother with that so they bring their bikes once a year to me to check them.

(Interview , text and photos by Ivan Podraza)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Cycling City Scan Italian cities

A number of Italian cities have been invited to participate in a cycling city scan, in which they have the chance to be selected as the ‘most promising city’. The acquired information from queries answered by these cities will be used as input by a team of selected experts, with different experiences and backgrounds, to indicate the current stages on different levels; like use, infrastructure, culture and planning.

Representatives of these cities will be invited to a special meeting with the expert panel, chaired by Dr. Van der Bijl of the Dutch Cycling Embassy, during the Cargo BikeFestival 2016. This meeting aims to explore the results of the query and to elaborate the considered assessment. The final assessment including an export advice how to enhance cycling in the winning city will be presented during the Giro d’Italia Partnership day (April 29th).

Monday, April 4, 2016

Evolo, high quality ecologistics from Spain

EVOLO is an engineering company that has been getting to consolidate as a benchmark initiative in the sustainable urban mobility area

EVOLO creates, industrializes and sells products offering after-sales support
We design and license services to those customers who want to enter sustainable mobility business and need some help.
And we do engineering/consultancy work for authorities interested in encourage smart city mobility solutions

EVOLO: when we consume 200 times less energy in transportation, we would resize the world
Solve urban logistic problems by sustainable solutions, making effective and efficient solutions both in price, time and energy consumption. We propose new and cost effective solutions based on tested business models related to urban logistic, electric assisted cargo trikes, and smart IT systems

Salvador Varea (right) en Valencia
The productivity in last mile logistic of a cargo trike is unreachable by a traditional motor vehicle. A trike can easily make 1.500 stops per month where a van hardly reaches 835 stops. But it requires a new way of organizing the work and understanding de urban delivery market.

EVOLO is an engineering company that belongs to GRUPO EL PROEX and has been getting to consolidate as a benchmark initiative in the sustainable urban mobility area. EVOLO has contributed and has have an active role in the mobility policies definition for Vitoria-Gasteiz (European Green Capital 2012), and it has been granted with GREEN PROVIDER and GREEN FACTORY awards.

EVOLO is considered as a strategic interest initiative for the whole European Union. It has been selected and is a venture supported by the European initiative KIC INNOENERGY.

EVOLO developed in 2010 the first Spanish made cargo trike, and since them it has been developing business models related to cargo bike use in last mile logistics.

EVOLO can build the vehicle that you need just let it know to our R D I department, anyway our serial vehicles are:

            Z1, cargo bike, you can move 250kg.
            H1, tilting cargo bike, to move waste.
            Rs1, let me show the city, to move persons.
            P1, industrial use, how to transport euro pallet.
          Z2, the new model, hi quality, professional use, best cargo bike.

Plug and ride!

Users can move freight anywhere a bike can go.

You can check in our web: and