ABE gets rolling with electric bikes Thursday, 1 September, 2011 Our new consumer show, an English translation of TSR’s popular TV programme A Bon Entendeur, kicks off with a report on electric bicycles—from the advantages climbing up those steep Swiss hills and whizzing through gridlocked city streets to one big inherent danger: speed. Plus the winners and losers as the team tests 13 e-bikes available on the market. Download/Print Test Results (PDF)
The Traveller: Swiss sightseeing on Segways and electric bikes Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 Celeste Neill continues her look at wacky ways of sightseeing in Switzerland. One option is touring on Segways, self-balancing, two-wheeled, scooters that you stand up in. A company offers training on how to use them and tours across the country. Electric bicycle packages are also becoming more popular. Neill offers her favourite tour that runs through the beautiful landscapes of Ascona in the canton of Ticino:
Shock as cycling deaths double in '09 Wednesday, 24 February, 2010 Wheels are spinning in pro-cycling circles following surprising figures released yesterday by the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention: Twice as many cyclists died in road accidents in 2009 as the year before. In all, 55 cyclists were killed last year and 850 seriously injured. WRS’s Mark Butcher spoke with Jean-François Steiert, president of Pro Velo Schweiz in Bern, the country’s leading cycling lobby, who says it’s too early to give a serious analysis of what’s happened:
Cyclists race to sign up for more lanes Monday, 28 September, 2009 In German-speaking Switzerland, 8 percent of people use a bicycle to get to work. Cross into the French-speaking part of the country and that figure drops to 3 percent. To tackle the problem, cycling advocacy group Pro Velo has launched a petition for more cycle paths in Romandie. So far it’s collected 18,500 signatures, significantly more than expected. WRS’s Eloi Ruegg spoke to Manon Geiger from Pro Velo’s Suisse Romande branch, about why the petition was launched:
Corners peeling on bike vignette program Monday, 31 August, 2009 Cyclists in Switzerland are obliged to buy a 5-franc “velovignette” each year to display on their bikes. These stickers are unique identifiers that can help recover lost or stolen bikes, but more importantly they serve as an insurance which covers damage costs in case of accidents. Cyclists seem to think the benefits are well worth the small cost, but some say the decades-old program is obsolete—and now its future is on the table. WRS’s Eloi Ruegg has the story:
Clash over cycling helmet rules just gearing up Wednesday, 29 July, 2009 The Swiss Council for Accident Prevention wants to make helmet use obligatory for cyclists aged 14 and under. Taking an unexpected stance, Switzerland’s national biking association Pro Vélo argues that helmets aren’t necessary for kids or adults—mainly, it seems, because it worries this would give the impression that cycling is dangerous, which could mean less bikes on the road, which would be more dangerous. Lucas Chambers asks both sides for an explanation—and goes to the playground to find out what the kids think about all this.
Cycling the world Monday, 22 June, 2009 Michele Mischler meets Claude Marthaler, the legendary round-the-world cyclist who has pedalled his way to the world’s most remote parts, about his experiences and the motivation behind his epic self-powered trips.
Have bike, will pedal Wednesday, 17 June, 2009 The hills are alive with the sound of mountain-bikers. At least that’s what tourism officials in some parts of the country are hoping. Mountain biking is a growing trend. In German speaking countries alone, there are an estimated 13 million bikers compared to just four million skiers. St Moritz recently announced plans for a new mountain bike concept for its ski slopes. The small resort of Savognin – also in canton Graubunden – has been welcoming bikers for years. Our reporter Vincent Landon saddled up to hit the trails.
Swiss commuters told to get on their bikes Monday, 15 June, 2009 They used to be sports junkies or odd balls, but today they’re top managers, donning helmets and strapping down their pants at the heel. Over the next month, 50,000 employees from over 1,000 companies around the country will be cycling to work, as part of a new nationwide cycle-commuting initiative. “Bike to work” is an event organized by the Swiss cycling association, Pro Velo. It hopes to convince ever more people of the health and wellbeing benefits of cycling, benefits they have scientific studies to prove. But the röstigraben—the imaginary divide often used to symbolize differences between the Latin cantons and the German-speaking part of the country—is proving a hard, steep climb. Lucas Chambers went to ride it for us:
How cycle-safe are Swiss roads? Wednesday, 10 June, 2009 Just when you thought it might be time to get on your bike and do your bit for the environment, you might want to think again. It’s been reported in the news that Switzerland has a relatively average record when it comes to cycle safety. According to the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention, up to 60,000 cyclists get injured every year, half of them on Switzerland’s roads. WRS’s Adam Beaumont spoke to Marienne Fässler from Pro Vélo - the country’s leading cycling lobby group – and began by asking her if she was alarmed by the figures.
Cycling groups support ‘vignette’ policy Monday, 1 June, 2009 Pro-cycling campaigners are continuing their calls in support of the national policy which requires bikes to be registered using ’vignettes’ or stickers, which allow bikes to be traced, and provide their owners with insurance if they get into an accident. Last week, the Senate voted to bring an end to the practice, with supporters of the move saying most cyclists are already covered by their personal liability insurance. Those in favour of retaining the stickers say that, at an average price of CHF 5 countrywide, they guarantee affordable insurance for everyone.
Green: Electric bicycles Monday, 18 May, 2009 You can’t escape them. Everywhere you look, you see people peddling away and gliding with unjustified speed up hills thanks to the battery powered motor on their bike. The age of the electric bike seems to be very much upon us. On the first edition of the new weekly environmental podcast Green, Pete Forster spoke to the owner of Easybikes in Lausanne. He started by asking why the bikes—which cost around CHF 3,000 for a basic model—are so expensive?
Living the e-bike life Tuesday, 21 April, 2009 Sales have doubled every year for the past three years. In 2008, 11 thousand electric bicycles were sold across the country. The government is strongly in favour of these two-wheeled wonders as they reduce congestion, noise pollution and CO2 emissions. In fact many municipalities across Switzerland offer subsidies for purchasing new e-bikes, and it seems to be resonating with urban families. Now more residents are opting to use a combination of bicycles and public transportation instead of a car. WRS video journalist Amy Wong raced local parliamentarian Michèle Künzler to City Hall to find out more.
Electric bikes in fashion this Spring Monday, 20 April, 2009 With spring comes bicycle-riding weather, and more and more two-weelers hitting the streets of Switzerland are of the electric variety. The federal government, local cities and environmental groups have for years encouraged them as a clean alternative to cars or motor scooters, and one better suited to long distances or hills than regular bikes. This spring Genevans are at the center of a campaign to get them to try them out. Both the motoring group TCS and the green transport group ATE are offering various financial incentives to people there to get on a battery-powered two-wheeler.WRS’s Jordan Davis tried one out in Geneva’s Parc des Bastions with ATE’s Emilie Flamand.