Cyclefriend / Cykelven
A Cyclefriend is a mechanic with a mobile workshop. Through partnerships a Cyclefriend will visit a workplace once a week and repair the bikes of those who have booked online through the webportal made for each workplace. No-one will ever again avoid taking the bike because their 8-5 job is conflicting with 8-5 bikeshop opening hours. A membership community is made to promote cycling.
The concept revolves around workplace partnerships - These are agreements with workplaces that allow the Cyclefriend to visit on a regular basis and offer repairs and service to the employees. In this way we reach cyclists at a time where the bikes are standing in close vicinity - at the workplace bike-rack - and the Cyclefriend will have ample time to do the repairs in the normal working hours. Secondly, the partnerships help engage the companies, municipalities and ministries in doing something for the cyclists at their workplace. Workplaces are interested in healthy employees but it can be controversial telling the employees how they should choose their transportation. A Cyclefriend partnership helps in this regard, and it is a channel to pay for employee benefits that are original, green and healthy as well as very popular since bicycle repairs is a great pain for the average cyclist.
The concept itself makes it much easier to be a cyclist and removes a common grievance and hindrance to use the bike every day. Making service much more accessible also means that people actually end up having much better maintained bicycles since they are booking repairs and service much more often than they would otherwise have done. The fact that these people will now ride bikes that are running more smoothly and with less hassle mean they will enjoy it more and that longer or hilly distances become easier to do. In effect, they will ride the bicycle more often and take longer trips, making the bike more competitive against alternative transportation.
Involving people in the issue of personal transportation is a key part of the concept, and through social media and email we communicate with the employees and thus create a community feeling. This involves campaigns on the benefits of cycling, products and tips for better cycling experiences as well as sharing related info. Workplaces also have an interest in creating events that show their employees that they care about sustainability and health and a Cyclefriend is the perfect medium for such events and campaigns.
The concept is currently being tested in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has proven to live up to these effects with 37,000 employees already reached. The concept is expected to become financially sustainable with a mix of employees paying for their own repairs and workplaces paying for the employees as benefits or through campaigns and events. A Cyclefriend has also proven to be a great platform for government and municipality collaboration on promoting cycling in the city. Recently a Cyclefriend helped the Copenhagen municipality create events on road safety for children.
The possibilities for engaging workplaces are a big deal, since this is the place where everyone commutes to and from every day. It is a perfect chance to reach the critical mass and engage them in sustainable and healthy transportation.