Items filtered by date: February 2022

 

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 This month, we spoke with Ben Knowles, CEO and Rider at Pedal Me. Based in London, Pedal Me are one of the larger, and probably one of the most noticeable, cargo bike operators cycling through our streets. What’s more, unlike other operators, Pedal Me transport both cargo and people! Intrigued? Read on to find out more.

 

What do Pedal Me do?

We're the largest cargo bike only fleet operator in the world, operating 80 cargo bikes right across London and by September we should have 150 bikes. We're ramping up rapidly!

We cover all London postcodes, operating from a nine mile radius from Ludgate Circus. Our base is on Ewer Street, SE1, where we offer consolidation and warehousing services.

Our customers are anyone who needs a person or item transported around London. We carry businessmen to meetings, children to school, cancer patients to hospital; we carry bougie meal kits to people's houses; deliver between restaurants; help people move house - there are very few movements that we can't assist with. The best bit is that - even before MP Smarter Travel’s Bikes for Business subsidies for cargo bike usage - we're cheaper compared to other delivery services.

For people who want to take a cargo bike instead of a cab to get around London, we offer a discount when you book and use the code #PayYourVATUber. You can find out more about that hashtag on our social media accounts.

 

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How did you get started?

Myself and one of the other directors ran a community cycling project in council estates - teaching people from deprived backgrounds how to ride a bike.

As the project got bigger, we needed to move bikes around to support the project - what had started with a handful people had turned into a mammoth project with individual sessions attracting over 100 participants, and running across four sessions a week.

We tried using vans to do this but found them inefficient and slow - we were only able to carry a handful of bikes at a time, and ended up getting parking tickets and getting stuck in traffic. We then got cargo bikes - and found them far more efficient, from there, we had trailers made to follow behind the cargo bikes - meaning one person could move up to 30 bikes at a time, where a van could only carry 15.

It slowly dawned on us that most logistics in cities were being done by motor vehicle, and if that had been inefficient for us it likely was for everyone else too.

I then spent ages trying to encourage logistics companies to use cargo bikes instead of vans, but they wouldn't listen - so we set up our own company!

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What bikes do you use?

We use specially adapted Urban Arrows built specifically for Pedal Me. They’re fitted with more powerful brakes and other bespoke parts and purpose-built front sections.

The other thing that makes us unique is that we have intense, ongoing training programs designed to maximise the potential of cargo bike usage - so we can carry much more, much further, on essentially the same equipment as other companies.

To give you some idea of the scale of difference - compared to most logistics companies using cargo bikes:

  • We can carry 300kg by cargo bike and trailer rig - most cargo bike rigs are set up to carry up to 75kg
  • We can carry 1 m3 on one of our bikes - and up to 7 m3 between a bike and trailer rig; a conventional cargo bike can carry 0.3 m3
  • We cover a radius of 9 miles - covering 254 square miles of London. A typical cargo bike radius might be 3 miles - or 28 square miles.

 

What’s the most unusual thing you/the team have transported?

A five-metre-high dodo sculpture, probably! We've carried all sorts, carrying up to 30 empty beer kegs at a time is one of our regular gigs in the area!

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What advice would you give to businesses who are unsure of using a cargo bike service?

Get on with it, or give your competitors a competitive advantage!

If you’re a local council or a Business Improvement District who’s looking to implement a sustainable transport project or would like to speak to us about any of our other services such as:

  • Air quality monitoring
  • School travel plan support
  • Public consultation
  • Educational workshops

 

If you'd like to find out more about Bikes for Business and how you could get up to £700 in subsidies towards cargo bike deliveries or for your own bike, then contact our team via email at info@mpsmartertravel.co.uk or call us on 0207 960 2553.

 

Images displayed with permission from Pedal Me

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