Tour de Force asks national government, provinces and municipalities to give more priority to promoting employee bicycle use. The reasons for this, as provided by the government, are as follows:
- cycling makes people more mobile and healthy: thirty minutes of cycling is thirty minutes of exercise;
- cycling reduces medical expenses;
- cycling makes cities more attractive, greener, quieter, healthier and safer;
- cycling offers freedom, expands the surroundings, and eliminates limitations that arise from the cost of transport;
- cycling contributes to the achievement of climate and energy targets related to reducing to CO2 emissions;
- the bicycle helps maintain access to economic centres;
- bycling supports social and economic interests.
Most employees share some of these motivations, but also have other reasons for choosing to cycle:
- cycling reduces the cost of petrol and parking;
- cycling to work can replace the gym;
- cycling is often faster than using the car or public transport in the city;
- cycling is healthy.
However, many Dutch people also have reasons for not riding a bicycle – such as bad weather, dropping the children off at school first, the number of bags they have to take to work (most employees carry a big bag with a laptop and other necessary equipment.)
In order to effectively encourage employees to travel to work by bike, more is needed than just communicating the reasons given by the government. Solutions that address the situation of the individual employee are also required, as is using employees’ interests as a starting point. Consider, for example, good cycling waterproofs as a Christmas gift for employees, flexible working hours and safes at work for laptops. In addition, an allowance for the purchase of a bicycle or an e-bike could form part of the remuneration package.