Giving a second life to postal workers’ bikes
La Poste is a fleet of 18,000 bicycles. 4,500 are renewed every year. Until now, they all went to the junkyard. For 5 years, this famous bicycle, produced in France by Gitane, was our postmen’s working tool for their daily rounds. Since they are amortized in the accounts after five years, they are taken out of the accounts. Take out and throw away!
From cyclable to recyclable
Jean-Marc Pierret, former director of a post office was uncomfortable with all this mess: despite a significant mileage, the vast majority of these bikes could still run for many kilometers and many years. He therefore proposed to the Post Office to organize a chain of reconditioning of these bicycles. This is how the Recyclo-Project program led by the Nouvelle Attitude company was born two years ago.
Bikes like new come out of the reconditioning workshops. (DR)
These bicycles, work tools, are of course maintained with care and rigor when they are still dedicated to the missions of the Post Office. When they arrive at one of the reconditioning workshops (Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, Strasbourg, Indre-et-Loire) the bikes are completely dismantled. The frames and all the parts are inspected.
Serge Da Silva, head of development at Nouvelle Attitude, confirms this “Today, on average, with three bikes, we reassemble two. And the objective in 2023 is to further improve this rate of recycled bicycles. Some frames (in steel) have micro cracks. If we undertook welding work, we would save even more bikes. » By talking with the company, we understand that there are certain elements, such as the saddle, which are not recoverable in the vast majority of cases.
Nouvelle Attitude works with the ESAT Les Alisiers workshop in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges. “We are an integration structuredescribes Da Silva. Our employees, for the most part, are at the RSA. They have been away from the labor market, for some for a very long time. We first take care of accompanying them in a process of know-how. Then they learn a job as a bicycle mechanic, they leave after 24 months with know-how. » Bicycle mechanic, that’s a precious know-how. Moreover, Da Silva adds: “Our employees cannot stay in our structure for more than 24 months. 80% of them find a permanent contract at the end. »
Custom paintings are offered. (DR)
There are seven hours of work on a bike, excluding paint, between the moment it is placed on the workshop stand and the moment it is reassembled. Seven hours to give a second life to these robust, practical bikes, which will be able to roam the streets for another 5 years or probably more. “We are the first to be surprised by the enthusiasm of individuals for our bikes”, slips Serge Da Silva. It must be recognized that this Gitane, considered a cargo bike, has enormous sympathy capital.
A la carte bikes
When ordering, customers can request a custom paint job. Prices are from €1,200. There is only one way to order them: sending an e-mail to the company. Da Silva confirms it to us, she is working on a platform for putting bikes online. In the meantime, if you are interested, you can contact her here. However, plan for a few months of delays, which should be shorter in 2023, since the company aims to open a workshop in Lyon and another in Rouen.