Per Nicolas Campitelli
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For several weeks, the family Vaugenot form a strange team on the streets of Mayenne. During the holidays of spring 2022began to use a new means of transportation: a cargo bike lent byFree Wheel Associationand made available to the latter by the City of Mayenne.
This association has been encouraging the use of bicycle in the city, in particular campaigning with the city council for an urban development favorable to this means of transport. “At Mayenne, we start from a long way,” he points out David SerinPresident of the association.
From the “pleasure bike” to the utility bike
“When I found out about the creation of the association, I joined in support, but I didn’t think I had time to start,” says Marc Vaugenot, a father who ended up adopting cycling with his whole family.
“When the price of petrol approached € 2 per liter, we thought we had to find a solution.”
We’ve been doing “pleasure cycling” for a year and a half now, with regular outings. We like it, it’s not a task “, adds Valentine Vaugenot, under the approving gaze of her four children.
In 2020as part of his bicycle plan, the city council invested € 4,500 in a cargo bicycle that it made available to La Roue libre. Interest? “It can replace a car,” says David Seurin.
“I can easily put two kids and three shopping bags in it,” confirms Valentine, who has started using it for daily travel. Mayenne ia Moulay “I barely got in the car for a week,” he says, a few days after taking the plunge.
In the big basket at the front of the machine, it looks like 5-year-old Iseult and 2-year-old Orion, the younger of the siblings, are enjoying the rides. “People we know have the right to smile, hello,” laughs his mother. For her, it is a bicycle asset: “It can bring peace. It’s a state of mind. “
Of course, this requires adaptations. At the time, for example:
“There’s no bad weather, just bad clothes. And then it often rains three drops. If you can, you only have to postpone the trip for a quarter of an hour. Otherwise, you don’t have to take the bike every day. If you can do it every day in good weather, that’s fine. “
“Over a year, the rainy weather is ridiculous,” confirms David Seurin. He has been cycling for 20 or four years and would not return to the car for anything in the world.
“It gives me a sense of well-being, a reconnection with my immediate environment. It’s silly but rich when I come across a squirrel, I’ve learned to recognize the cry of a deer.”
The 90 members of La Roue libre now expect the city to have safe facilities for cyclists. “Real tracks, not just paint lines,” says David Seurin, who points to the lack of security. “In 99.9% of cases, people pay attention. The problem is the remaining 0.1%. Everyone should have a space. »
This lack of space was noticed by Valentine Vaugenot while cycling with her two older children, Clervie, 11, and Merlin, 9. “I thought I’d lose them several times!”
The members of the association have the enthusiasm observed from the bicycle confinements: “There has been an explosion, both in urban and rural areas, confirms David Seurin. The more bicycles there are on the streets, the more space there will be. »
Economically, there is everything to gain: according to theBicycle alliancea federation of associations, “16% of the budget of low-income households is devoted to the car.”
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