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Last mile delivery

No green-washing here

Since 2004 one courier company based in Lyon, France has saved 274,000 kilos of CO2. How? By using bicycles as their transport method. Becycle uses a mix of electric cargo tricycles, e-cargo bikes and cargo bikes, plus regular bicycles to offer a range of courier services across the city. If you want it delivering, they can do that cleanly and efficiently.

Becycle are committed to improving the quality of life in Lyon: deliveries by bicycle are quiet and clean so both noise and air pollution are helped by this innovative courier firm. If you want your company to do its bit in helping to ease the strain on the environment, then local deliveries by bicycle are a great way to achieve that. These are proper environmental credentials; no green-washing here.

Plus, bicycles are great within the city. Not only are they clean and quiet but even the largest cargo tricycle is small and efficient in traffic compared with a van. And they can go places you cannot get a motorised vehicle so provide an incredible level of flexibility, too. These couriers know all the short cuts a vehicle can’t take – narrow streets, unsurfaced tracks, maybe even the odd staircase. Journeys become shorter when you aren’t restricted to just tarmac. It all helps the speed of deliveries.

The team of couriers are all dedicated cycling enthusiasts, and many have a desire to do something more positive for the planet than sit behind a computer. From starting with just the two co-founders in 2004 the team has grown to over twenty regular staff. As a further demonstration towards sustainability all staff are on permanent contracts; no zero-hours contracts here, just feeling part of the Becycle family. Many of them take part in other sports in their free time – there is even a bicycle polo champion on the team.

The precise bike used for each service depends on what is needed. An express delivery of a small packet can be delivered within the city inside 45 minutes by a courier on a non-e bike nipping through the traffic. At the other end of the scale last-mile deliveries might require the use of the electric cargo tricycle capable of carrying 300-400kg in one journey. Other deliveries might use either an e cargo bike or the human powered cargo bike. That’s the flexibility of using bicycles for deliveries.  

The couriers tend to cover between 15-20,000 km each year, riding every working day of the year, all year long. They have got to have equipment that is suitable for the job, that is comfortable, long-lasting and adds to the safety of the job, especially given the hazards of cycling in the busy urban environment. Tyres and drivetrain have to be tough to deal with the conditions, and so do the couriers themselves. 

The couriers also need personal equipment that is comfortable enough to wear all day. Just imagine wearing a helmet for the entire working day whatever the weather throws at you. It has got to be right. It’s got to be light enough to wear for hours on end without straining the neck and shoulders yet offer proper protection when it’s needed; it’s got to offer great visibility and all-round vision for city riding; it has to be a fantastic fit whether you have a hat on in winter or are wearing just your helmet; conversely in hot weather it needs great venting to prevent over-heating; ideally it would have features to help make the rider more visible in low light. That’s a lot of demands for one piece of kit. That is why LEM helmets are worn and trusted by the team. 

LEM helmets have been designed so they not only meet all those criteria but surpass them. Light yet tough shells keep the weight down to a really wearable weight while offering superior strength-to-weight protection in the event of a crash; the design allows great visions whether head up or head down on the bike; the fit system offers one-handed easy adjustment on the fly whatever you are wearing; the large number of vents are designed to flow air over the head in hot weather; and there are reflective details on the rear on the helmet to assist with visibility. 

Becycle couriers wear LEM helmets because they are perfect for their needs. There is also a LEM helmet perfect for your needs. 

Words: Joolze Dymond

Images: Alessio Soggetti

Location: Lyon, France, 01 August 2022