WorkCycles has just completed the first 130 bikes for family doctors in Rotterdam to ride to their appointments. Instead of driving cars the doctors will set a fine example for the city residents. Rotterdam, you see, is much less of a cycling mecca than Amsterdam or most any other Dutch city for that matter Perhaps this is a result of the more open, auto friendly streetscape created after Rotterdam was totally destroyed and rebuilt at the end of WWII. Of course by most of the world’s standards there are a lot of bikes in Rotterdam… just not compared to most other cities in the Netherlands.
In any case we built special utility bikes for the doctors (though not so unusual for WorkCycles really): Frame-mounted front carrier for their bag, 8 speed Shimano Nexus internal hub gearing, Shimano rollerbrakes front and rear, zinc carbonate primed to fend off rust even after considerable abuse, all powder-coated ivory white with the graphics for FAW Rotterdam who conceived and manage the project.
FAW (“Stichting Fonds Achterstandswijken Rotterdam” – Foundation Funds for Deprived Areas of Rotterdam) is an organization focused on supporting the practices of family doctors in Rotterdam’s poorer neighborhoods. Supplying the doctors with good bicycles has a number of obvious advantages:
The doctors set a good example amongst a clientele that statistically cycle less than the average Dutch and have poorer than average health.
Preparing and delivering 130 bikes to 130 eager doctors in one Saturday was somewhat of a test for little WorkCycles. It was definitely a logistical challenge (and very hard work) but in the end almost every bike found its new owner and was adjusted to fit them. We wrote each doctor’s name on their bike with a permanent marker to make sure that mass confusion didn’t erupt before they rode off to their own neighborhoods.
The project has also not been problem free; It seems that the wheel tensioning machine was incorrectly adjusted for some of the wheels, meaning we’ll be making a few extra trips to Rotterdam to do the necessary repairs. With the doctors spread out over a large city this is going to be tricky.
Could your company or organization use a couple hundred bikes?
(Newspaper clipping above from NRC Handelsblad – article not online)