For several years Randers Municipality has been lending electric bicycles to those of its citizens who want to swap their car for a bicycle when commuting. Now it turns out that the bicycles are contagious and seriously habit-forming for the colleagues of the borrowers. This was the case for a group of truck drivers who took turns borrowing their colleague’s electric bicycle, which resulted in them buying their own electric bicycles that they now use going to and from work.
Like many other truck drivers in Lemvigh Müller, Henrik Søgaard borrowed an electric bicycle from his colleague Peter Sørensen for a couple of days and he quickly discovered that he cannot do without it:
”Actually I was in the midst of buying a moped as a means of transportation to and from work when I got the opportunity to borrow the electric bicycle from Peter. That bicycle trip changed my plans because I discovered that I could travel fast, avoid the car queues on the roads and get some exercise at the same time,” says Henrik Søgaard, who bought his own electric bicycle after having borrowed one.
A feeling of community
It was Henrik’s colleague, Peter Sørensen, who borrowed an electric bicycle from Randers Municipality over a year ago. Afterwards Peter bought his own electric bicycle. He has never regretted this and he is glad to have given his colleague the electric bicycle bug:
”Cycling creates a sense of community in the workplace. We tease each other in a friendly way if one of us has not cycled to work one day,” says Peter Sørensen. He cycles 22 kilometres every day to the job at Lemvigh Müller:
”I have gained more energy in my everyday life after I began cycling to work instead of sitting behind the wheel of a car. I have also lost weight because you get a lot of exercise on an electric bike since it is your own decision how much help you want going uphill.”
Bicycle club with power
Seven of Peter Sørensen’s colleagues have now jumped on the electric bicycles to work. One of them is Lars Bech:
”We have made our own little bicycle club consisting of enthusiastic truck drivers who love cycling. In the summer we roam the hills on racing bikes after work. In the winter we meet up in the woods on MTB bikes and the trip to work is on an electric iron horse. We love cycling, and it gives us a huge sense of community and loads of energy,” says Lars Bech.
For a few years now Randers Municipality has lent out electric bikes to citizens with more than five kilometres to work. The project was evaluated in March 2016. It showed that 21 per cent of the participants invested in their own electric bicycle afterwards. 47 per cent considered buying an electric bicycle and the number of people commuting by car had fallen 11 per cent.
Randers Municipality still lends out electric bicycles to citizens in towns nearby.
Read more about Municipality of Randers here.