9 November 2021

Author: Gary Smith

The Killat Collective is keen on supporting innovative ideas. The Marineterrein in Amsterdam recently opened the world’s first completely sustainable bicycle wash. In this collaboration between pop-up cycling café Het Verzetje and design studio La Bolleur, everyone can combine bicycle maintenance with some fun, a snack and a drink.

Giving cycling culture a new destination is the idea of Thomas Spronk of Het Verzetje. He travels around Amsterdam’s terraces with his pop-up cycling café, giving enthusiasts the opportunity to watch their favorite sport together in the open air. ‘Because why are we all sitting at home on the couch in the middle of summer watching cycling?,” he wonders aloud. “Isn’t it much more fun to talk about the race together and have a beer?” 

Cycling paradise
In the summer of 2020, Het Verzetje was based at Clubhouse during the Tour de France in order to do just that. At the request of fellow cycling enthusiast Bram Burger from La Bolleur, the lunchroom was transformed into a paradise for cycling enthusiasts. Bram: “In the morning we organised a ride from the Marineterrein and then when we came back, the big screen was ready at Clubhouse for that day’s stage. Getting to know new people, chatting about the race with a well-deserved beer, in short: a wonderful cycling day for all.” 

bikes in the bike wash amsterdam
Bikes are being cleaned

Easy bike maintenance
But while Mont Ventoux was looming on the screen, the bicycles of the amateur riders in the bike rack were dirty from the earlier ride. That got Bram and Thomas thinking. ‘Cycle maintenance is a necessary evil for many city dwellers,’ says Thomas. ‘Carry the bike to the third floor and then clean your rims on your balcony with a sponge. Moreover, many people do not have the right equipment for repairs. We wanted to come up with a solution for that and combine it with the cosiness of Het Verzetje.’  

And this is how the idea for the bicycle wash was born. Bram started drawing and welding in the workshop of La Bolleur, and the end result is that now anyone can do the necessary maintenance on the bicycle next to the terrace of Clubhouse using professional equipment. And all of that is completely sustainable.

Green bicycle workshop
“Sustainability was the starting point of our plan,” says Bram. “Because the car wash is outside, the cleaning agents run straight into the ground. So we use biodegradable products from Dynamic instead of the chemical agents that are more usually used. To rinse the bicycle, we use rainwater stored in large tanks on the roof of building 027. So no drinking water is wasted. There is currently no other permanent place to work on your bicycle, and certainly not one that’s completely ‘green’, so this is the first sustainable bicycle wash in the world.”

More prospective cycle mechanics
So Thomas gets his wish to start a new cycling culture place organised at the Marine Land. But, he says. it doesn’t stop there. “We also want to spread cycling culture to people who might otherwise not come into contact with it. That is why we are aiming to involve young people from the neighbourhood in this project and teach them the intricacies of making and maintaining bicycles under the guidance of professionals. In exchange for some pocket money, they can then carry out repairs on a bicycle while the owner is sitting on the terrace of Clubhouse. And hopefully we will also enthuse them about cycling itself, because the more people there are on bikes, the better.”

Storm steel frame in the bike wash

How does it work?

The bicycle wash is still in the test phase and can therefore be used free of charge. After the test phase, the cleaning supplies will be available at the Clubhouse bar during opening hours for a small fee. Also a range of tools can be borrowed for free. From spring 2022 onwards Clubhouse and Het Verzetje will again be organising and hosting rides with Clubhouse acting as the start and end point. Keep an eye on the social media of Het Verzetje and Clubhouse for dates and registration. 

The world’s first sustainable bike-wash is an initiative by Het Verzetje and La Bolleur, build with support by Killat Collective, Dynamic and BBB Cycling.

Sustainable bike wash Marineterrein Amsterdam

This post was written by killatAdmin

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