The network of cycle paths in the region of Bodensee-Vorarlberg has increased greatly in recent years. They take you to the loveliest places, in particular to the numerous natural spectacles worthy of protection where cars are banned. An innovative one-man company from Lustenau is living proof that cycle couriers also have their use in a relatively vast, rural area.
Ralph Hollenstein has always been a passionate cyclist – in 2014 he made his dream of a CO2-friendly courier service come true, jacking in his job at an international haulage company, and starting to deliver packets to addresses in Lustenau with his cargo bike. In the matter of just one year, he managed to win a vast transport network, a large clientele and the hearts of the population of Lustenau. Neither snow nor heatare good enough reasons for the enthusiastic cyclist to swap his trusted bicycle for a car – he elegantly leaves most of the town drivers standing, and gets to his destination quicker than the rest. His biggest vehicle can carry up to 250 kg and a load volume of 1.6 ccm. He currently provides his services within Lustenau and its environs as far as Höchst and across the border into Switzerland, with his radius constantly growing. His medium-term goal is to service the entire Rhine valley, although this would entail using an electric car to deliver to the region’s locations where the local bicycle couriers would be waiting to deliver to the outlying addresses. He is already planning to employ one or two part-time members of staff this year, and should the cooperation with a company from Vienna he has planned materialise, then the small business could grow to cover a large network in one fell swoop.
Since the start of the year 2016, this has been offering mobility-restricted people the chance to travel free of charge by bicycle rickshaw.
He is also the co-founder of the “Radeln ohne Alter” (Ageless Cycling) campaign: since the start of the year 2016, this has been offering mobility-restricted people the chance to travel free of charge by bicycle rickshaw. The project is run by voluntary cyclists, such as Ralph Hollenstein, who recently took a 100-year-old lady on a two-hour rickshaw trip along the Alter Rhein. It is one of the aforementioned natural highlights which is not accessible by car. She hadn’t been there for 40 years since the territory is too rough.
As this confirms, the clean form of mobility has few limits. In future it will be just as possible to overcome the at times steep slopes of the region as to believe in the inevitability of CO2 emissions. All you have to do is believe in your vision – and get pedalling!