The 2003 Shimano Cycling Concept Award - and £8250 - has been won by a Belgian environmental organisation with a project that could be replicated and rolled out Euro-wide, especially in already bike-friendly cities such as York.

Belgian ‘Shopping with the bicycle’ project wins Shimano cash

Bond Beter Leefmilieu Vlaanderen is a non-profit organisation that has been promoting shopping by bicycle since a pilot project in 2002. BBLV’s “Shopping with the Bicycle” project involves keeping track of shoppers who arrive at shops on bicycles.

This cycle usage is monitored by participating retail outlets, which distribute ‘shop by bike’ cards to interested individuals. Every time a customer arrives at the participating shop on a bicycle, the customer gets a stamp on the card. When the card is full, it is handed back to the shop and it goes into a prize draw.

All retailers can participate, from bakers to bike shops and from butchers to supermarkets.

The BBLV pilot project was conducted in 43 towns and cities across Flanders. 13 000 people registered for cards and one million stamps were collected. Obviously, that equates to one million cycle journeys, many of which would not have happened without the attraction of a prize-draw.

BBLV hopes that once shoppers can see the benefits of doing their shopping locally and by bike, they will be less inclined to use cars for the same purpose.

The BBLV project received a lot of positive publicity in Flanders, including when, as a means of demonstrating bicycle load-carrying capabilities, a Belgian football star transported a refrigerator home by bicycle.

With the £8250 cash award from Shimano Europe, BBLV plans to double the scope of the project by having participating retailers in 80 villages, towns and cities in 2003.

Frank Peiffer of Shimano, chairman of the SCCA judges, said:

“We want to congratulate this organization and we hope our prize can help to make this project grow year after year.”

The SCCA jury consisted of Peiffer and three editors from cycle trade publications: Jack Oortwijn of Bike Europe, Carlton Reid of BicycleBusiness, and Michael Bollschweiler of Radmarkt, the German trade mag.

The Shimano Cycling Concept Award is an annual award for "not-for-profit organisations which aim to increase the amount of cycling in their locality." Last year the award also went to Belgium, see link below.…/index_flash.html

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