Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Update on community cargo bike scheme.

So we've finished the consultation on the community cargo bike scheme and it is going to go ahead! This is the summary we just sent out to people who got in touch:

What is the project about?

We want to put cargo bikes in communities for people to use. They can be used to move big loads about without much effort, so you could do the weekly shop, visit the allotment or maybe even do the school run on one!

Why you?

You will have found out about the cargo bike project because we have been consulting people about it. We posted on our company Facebook. We visited 500 homes in the St James area of Hereford and dropped flyers to them. We also held an event in Hereford where people could see the bike and then held a talk about the project at the Courtyard Theatre as part of h:Energy. 

Are we going to launch the community cargo bike programme?

Yes - it is going to happen! A trial and launch of our first one will be in Hereford for the St James Area. If this is a success we will roll the scheme out to other areas in Great Britain and further away if the scheme can work there. 

What was the feedback like?

Totally crazy! - To give you an idea of just how positive it was over 17,000 people saw info we had posted or sent out and we had responses from people all over the world. 5 community groups already want us to input a scheme for them when we are up and running and people from lots of major cities in the UK and abroad welcomed the idea. 

The most important feedback we had was from the targeted area which we sent flyers to and invited to our talks. Of those we have a collection of about 20 people, who are within a radius of 150m of each other, who would regularly use a scheme like this if they had access to it. In addition to those 20 people there are a further 25 people who would like to use the scheme on an ad-hock basis. We also think that when the scheme does launch that it will naturally attract more people to it.

Some cargo bike manufacturing organisations and a representative from the European Cargo Logistics Federation wrote to us to tell us that they see this sort of scheme as a way of making these bikes really accessible to the masses and overcoming a number of things that prevent regular people from using them. 

In addition to this we also had some great practical feedback about launching the scheme. Suggestions were made about a day where people could try the bike in a safe environment and get more familiar with it, we think this is something we will definitely do.

Where are we going to launch it?

The St James area in Hereford, the exact spot is yet to be confirmed.

When will it launch?

We hope by Spring 2013 the bike will officially have somewhere to live, will have a smart online booking system and will be in regular use. However it is likely that we will have the bike a long time before that so hopefully we will have it in use sooner than Spring. We want people to be talking about the scheme and helping us to develop it. It might be that we lend it to a few people for a week or so and get their feedback.

What happens next?

First of all we have to gather all of our funding for the scheme and then we have some work to do. Simply put we need to get a bike, find somewhere for it to live and make an easy way for people to book it out. 

Once all of that is done we should be somewhere near the official launch time and have a product which we will be able deploy locally and then if successful something which we can duplicate in other places.

How can you help?

Most of the stuff is under control at the moment, very important is we find a space where the bike can live somewhere within 200m of HR1 2RB Our hope is we might be able to get the pod the bike will live in on a road instead of a parking space if not it will have to be on private land. We have some ideas, but if you have any ideas about places it could live them we would love to hear them. Other than that, sit tight and you'll get some updates about what we are doing via this email address. 

How can you get other people involved? 

Get their email address to us and we'll put them on this mailing list, or get them to email - info@herefordpedicargo and we can send them some information. 

So for now that is your update, it looks really positive and we can't wait to get things going, we'll be in touch and please feel free to contact us if you need.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cargo bikes for your community.

Potentially our next big thing…. potentially your next big thing!

We want to pay for and maintain a cargo bike which we can then lease out for a really small fee to a community. We want to provide a safe place for it to live and to create a really easy web and app based booking system. We're holding some events you can come to to find out more information. We've got funding to do this, we're just looking for the people to use it now!

Email us ( if you are keen or come along to one of the events below:

We are in High Town Hereford on Saturday 13th of October with a big bike and big smiles between 10:00 and 16:00, we'll be by W H Smiths.

Then on Monday 15th of October we are holding a discussion at the Courtyard theatre between 16:30 and 17:30 as part of the h:Energy week - it is a free for all and anyone can come and listen to our plans and give us their feedback. 

We want to start this in Hereford but could go anywhere potentially. 

If you are interested in this email us -

Some more info...

As a company we're over five years old, we've tried lots of things out and all in all we have had some great successes. One of the most amazing things for us has been just how much stuff we've been able to move using bikes. We figure that it would be great if everyone had access to a cargo bike. 

Cargo bikes have never been something we've been using because we couldn't afford a van. We have used them because they have been the best way of getting big things around a city in a quick, environmentally sustainable way. We can get into areas that cars can't, at times that fit our customers and we can do it fast. People always seem amazed when they see huge loads arriving on the bikes and our customers love using us. 

We think that if people had access to cargo bikes they could replace some of their short car journeys, save money on fuel, do something good for the environment and keep healthy, all at the same time! We want to provide bikes which we can rent out at a very tiny fee (maybe less than £1.50 per user per week) to communities. We want to maintain them for that price too and also provide an online and app based booking system. We think it's possible. 

In some European places like Copenhagen 17% of the population have access to a cargo bike and of that 25% of people use it as a car replacement. To put that into perspective that would be like having 3000 cargo bikes zooming around Hereford. We understand that might be a little unlikely but we can't help notice a growing trend in cycling and a growing trend in the use and sale of bikes, child seats for bikes, pannier racks and baskets and of course the growing sale of cargo bikes in this country. We want to help people to get involved in that. 

We've noticed that cargo bikes are pretty expensive and in some cases a bit of a fashion statement in certain places. Hopefully we can solve that problem by providing a (albeit very cool) practical and cheap opportunity to have access to a cargo bike. 

So I guess the next thing to mention is how much work we have done regarding this so far. The answer is a lot but not all of it. As much as we can at the moment. It is of course fine for us to have this idea but what we now need to do is find out if people would want to use a bike if they had access to one. We need to work out how much they would be prepared to pay for it too, what one person expects for £1.50 a week might be very different to someone else's. There is also quite a lot of work to be done to decide how many people, and in what density, we could satisfy with a bike. So in big company terms… we've gone out to consultation.. in our terms… were asking some people. Here's what we are up to right now:

Last week we delivered 500 flyers to a particular area of Hereford. We targeted the St James area and covered most of it. Specifically we dropped flyers to almost every house on - Green Street, Park Street, Hampton Street, Harold Street, St James Terrace, Vicarage Road, St James Road, Grenfell Road and Grove Road. We are hoping that in that area we can get enough people who are interested to come forward, if so we'll be able to justify sticking a bike in for them to use. Why that area? Because the people in that area seem to be receptive to this sort of idea, they recently started a car club and they also get regular residential deliveries by our cargo bikes. The bikes should be know to them and hopefully that'll help. That being said we are yet to settle on a specific area, if there is a need hopefully we could put a bike anywhere. IF YOU THINK THE AREA YOU LIVE IN COULD DO WITH ONE GET IN TOUCH - email

The flyers say a little bit about the scheme and ask if people are interested. They also invite the household to two events which we are holding to gain further information about the potential project:

We are in High Town Hereford on Saturday 13th of October with a big bike and big smiles between 10:00 and 16:00, we'll be by W H Smiths.

Then on Monday 15th of October we are holding a discussion at the Courtyard theatre between 16:30 and 17:30 as part of the h:Energy week - it is a free for all and anyone can come and listen to our plans and give us their feedback. 

So in a nutshell that is the background behind our plan to give communities access to cargo bikes that they can use. 

WHAT WE NEED IS FOR YOU TO SPREAD THE WORD. We think this is a great thing, but we need your help to tell people about it, share it with your friends, link people to this if you think they would be keen and make sure you email us - if you want to be involved. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Haiku from Hay - Hayku

So this year we worked at the Hay Festival, our pedicabs took many people to and from the festival site.

As part of the festival people were writing Haiku, which I think are short poems with 3 lines and 17 syllables. At the festival they were called Hayku.

Simon Armitage wrote this, which we thought was pretty good:

Hayku #13
The Rickshaw
The journey from town
was a smooth one, but the view
was complete buttocks.
Thanks to our friend Heather 'The Shovel' Soulsberry for the info.

All rise to welcome the new boy

Got a new chap in helping us out with some delivery stuff.

He bought a double rainbow to work on his first day.