While many small catering businesses were wondering how they could operate during the coronavirus pandemic, a number of them are beginning to see the benefits of using e-cargo bikes to make fast and efficient deliveries of essential goods to their customers - and transport consultant Beate Kubitz has shared how she managed to support local shops by hiring a Riese & Muller e-cargo machine to make deliveries.
Writing on beatekubitz.com, the author explains how she hired a Riese & Muller Packster 80 from Manchester Bike Hire, and recruited a number of cyclist friends to make deliveries on behalf of local businesses in and around the West Yorkshire town of Todmorden. She explains:
"Our main suppliers are the Todmorden Indoor Market – which has hurriedly gone online so that people can order and pay for vegetables, meat and cheese online – and the Tod Almighty wholefood shop which takes phone orders. On market days we get a list of addresses for deliveries around 12.30. The wholefood shop texts a list around 4pm. Our rider sets out about 1.30, and on busy days completes about 15 orders for the market and a 3 or 4 for the wholefood shop over the next 3-4 hours.
"In our first 10 days, we completed 87 deliveries in 135 miles. Some days were many drops within a small area – one Friday we made 19 deliveries in 17 miles. Another day there were more ‘drops on the tops’ and it took 25 miles to complete 10 drops."
It's described as a trial during uncertain times, but Beate is hoping to make e-cargo delivery "a permanent part of the transport landscape" in the Calderdale valleys.
Coincidentally, Riese & Muller have just introduced a new e-cargo bike rental concept, developed for small enterprises to deliver their goods during the pandemic without having to worry about parking or traffic while keeping employees healthy:
“During these current times we are seeing a high demand for alternative delivery possibilities, especially for local companies", explains Riese & Muller's founder and MD Heiko Müller.
"With our new RENT concept we would like to enable small companies in particular to switch easily to E-Cargo Bikes for fast transport of goods delivered carbon neutrally. We kept the entrance hurdle consciously low by the favourable price."
Participating companies can rent the bikes through dealers for a fixed amount of either £360 or £450 depending on which model of bike is required, after which they can return or buy it at the end by paying off the difference. The bikes available are the Packster 60 RENT Edition and the Load 75 RENT Edition, both equipped with high sidewalls and a tarpaulin cover - and are available for collection from dealers with "a very short delivery time."