A French Connection
Since the birth of Electric Pedals and formation of the first kit in a small garage in SE London in 2007, we have been lucky to meet fellow-minded bike lovers and enthusiasts from across the world who share our appreciation of pedal power.
One of these international partnerships is with a fantastic French energy company Ludik Énergie. Their mission is to provide ateliers et animations sur le développement durable et les économies d’énergie (workshops and activities on sustainable development and energy savings).
When looking at the similarities between the bike-powered activities they have been offering people in France & the pedal power challenges & events we have been doing in the UK, it only seemed natural to strike up a partnership with our French amis across the channel.
Ludik Énergie are quite an inspiration for bike-powered activities and we can learn a lot from them. They have an endless variety of interactive & pedal-powered workshops for children & adults that fit under three main sustainability themes:
- Mobilité (mobility): Workshops to help participants understand how to use the everyday bike through their bike school & to promote carpool options.
- Carbone (carbon): Workshops to help participants understand and reduce their own carbon footprint and assess their CO2 emissions.
- Énergie (energy): Workshops to help participants to understand the daily energy consumption and to produce energy ourselves during the activity.
As an organisation, education is their main focus and this is why their workshops and activities are so important, however, as France has a history of being a nation filled to the brim with cycle enthusiasts, using pedal power for entertainment seemed like the natural next step and one we were keen to be involved in.
Our conversations began in November 2014. By May, everything was signed, sealed & almost delivered when Matthieu & Vincent set off from Rennes en France, arriving 700km later in Peckham with very little sleep but ready to test the Big Bicycle kit we had built them.
We provided the Hub Generators, a specialised Power Station (that looks much more high-tech than our own trusty but slightly bashed Power Station in a wheelie bin) and a LED Voltage Tower which represents the amount of voltage cyclists are generating in order to power the system. We worked together to fit our Hub Generator Wheels to their bikes and after electrical hiccups, the test was complete and away they went back to France, but we hoped with excitement about the expansion of pedal-powered opportunities ahead of them.
Almost a month later and it seems they are speeding ahead with bike-powered music stages (we were able to attend one concert in Lille, more on our Facebook), cinemas and who knows what else! And this is all alongside their normal offerings of Energy workshops and lessons. Incroyable!