We’ve been working with ROC an Amsterdam technical college and a few other bicycle firms to create a new bicycle mechanic education program. There is already such an education track there but it’s primarily classroom based. This new program will be practice based, with interns working at each participating business for several months. In time the students will also work in and operate their own bike shop, similar to the student-run restaurants at cooking schools.
The problem we’re looking to fix may seem ironic; while cycling is über-hip amongst adults, it’s anything but amongst Dutch teens, especially the teens likely to follow a bike mechanic education track. The interns who periodically work at WorkCycles generally have no interest in bikes whatsoever. As soon as they’re old enough they dump their bikes in favor of scooters, and the bike education is often seen as a stepping stone toward a career as a car or truck mechanic. They’re generally also not the sharpest knives in the drawer and that’s part of the challenge.
Thus in order to fill this new education program with motivated (or at least willing) and capable kids the image of cycling and bikes has to be spiffed up in the eyes of our teenaged target group. In discussing these plans and tactics the organizer pointed us to the video above as a model. Though I doubt many of these kids have a long enough attention span to sit through this particular video it certainly is a great example of how to promote cycling amongst adults.
The video is from the BOVAG, the branch organization for businesses involved with selling and maintaining vehicles (including, bikes, mopeds, scooters, cars, trucks etc). It simply offers ten reasons to cycle more, with the emphasis on cycling instead of driving a car. It’s nicely shot, offers just enough facts to make the point, doesn’t take itself too seriously and is guilt free. The reasons…
- 1. Cycling improves your fitness.
- 2.Cycling keeps you slim.
- 3. Cycling gives you a great feeling.
- 4. Cycling reduces your chance of illness.
- 5. Cycling is convenient.
- 6. More cycling means cleaner air in your own surroundings.
- 7. Cycling is quiet.
- 8. Cycling improves access for short distances.
- 9. Cycling is inexpensive.
- 10. More cycling means less greenhouse gasses.
The title? “Natuurlijk pak ik de Fiets!” (Of course I take the Bike!)