Avanti Cycling has started using state-of-the-art cargo bikes and trailers to deliver bicycles to schools for Bikeability training.
“Using pedal-power to deliver bikes is much greener than using a van,” says Avanti Cycling director Greg Woodford.
“Apart from wanting to cut down on our own emissions, we want to set a good example. We teach Bikeability as a way of promoting sustainable travel and moving our bikes around in a sustainable way ties in very well with this.”
Avanti Cycling gives Bikeability training in schools in the Thames Valley, Oxford and South Oxfordshire and lends out some bikes for the duration of the courses.
Bikeability is a government-funded programme designed to give children the skills to ride with confidence in traffic.
“E-cargo bikes have opened up all kinds of possibilities for moving things around in urban areas,” says Greg. “You’d be surprised how strong they are and what sort of loads you can move.”
Battery assists rider
An e-cargo bike has a battery which assists the rider, who needs to pedal to keep it going.
“We had the trailers custom-made with the help of Ben Knowles, who set up the highly-successful cycle logistics company Pedal Me in London and who supports projects that reduce the impact of climate change,” says Greg.
The trailers were built by The Future Vehicle Company, which is developing a range of sustainable transport solutions.
“Riding with the trailer through Reading streets does attract attention and the children say Wow! when you arrive at schools. This all helps to encourage the idea that our society doesn’t need to be dependent on cars.”
Towing the trailer through traffic requires assertive riding, especially along narrow stretches of road where drivers need to be discouraged from overtaking.
Hills present no problem because of the power provided by the electric motor.
“Hopefully our bike trailers will inspire other people to think of travelling in a more sustainable way,” says Greg. “Road transport is a major contributor to respiratory disease and the climate emergency so we very urgently need to make big changes.”