PRO-E-BIKE Project Kick- off at Bakfietstreffen
On Sunday the 7th of April 2013 people from the Netherlands and abroad gathered for the annual ‘Bakfietstreffen’ event. At the same PRO-E-BIKE partners gathered for the first time to kick-off this European wide project about electric assisted (cargo) bikes. Bakfietstreffen was held for the second time in the city of Nijmegen, just outside the city centre on an old industrial area. PRO-E-BIKE is a new European project, funded through the Intelligent Energy Europe programme. In sunny and (for Dutch standards) quite warm weather conditions, thousands of people were able to watch and test a total of 112 cargo bikes. Both individuals and companies exposed their bikes to the public.
A broad array of bikes found its way to the event. On the one hand bikes were shown made for speed and agility such as mail delivery bikes (DHL). On the other hand so-called ‘fun’ bikes amazed the crowd like a music bike, a pizza oven bike and a mobile coffee stand. Also lots of electrical bikes were available. These ‘E-bikes’ can offer better speed and comfort during the ride than ordinary ‘muscle powered’ bikes. Therefore electrical assistance can be seen as an important feature in future cycling.
During the course of the event multiple speakers from both public and private organisations talked about cargo bikes. Henk Beerten, alderman of the city of Nijmegen, concluded (electric) cargo bikes offer a sustainable alternative for (polluting) vehicles, especially in inner city areas. Matko Perović on behalf of the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP), also leading partner in PRO-E-BIKE, gave insight in the PRO-E-BIKE project context and ambitions. Ton Daggers on behalf of Cyclelogistics called upon city officials to get rid of the ‘red tape’. Therefore legislation must act in favour of cargo bikes and should not be a hinder. Reality shows us sometimes different.
Overall the combination of good weather, innovative ambiance and lots of spectators have made the second ‘Bakfietstreffen’ event a success and an inspiring kick-off event for the PRO-E-BIKE project. We are looking forward to next year!