• The United Nations has designated June 3 as World Bicycle Day, an opportunity “to draw attention to the benefits of bicycle use – a simple, affordable, clean and environmentally friendly sustainable mode of transport”.

    20 Minutes

    has therefore embarked on a journey of cycling in France from Lille to Nice, from Nantes to Strasbourg, via Paris or Toulouse.

  • In the Alsatian capital, where the bicycle is king, the little queen has at times been difficult to repair.

    It took a lot of patience.

  • And now then?

    “There are far fewer delays,” assure professionals in the sector.

"There is no more room", "I do not have an appointment possible for a month" or "call back at another time, we are overwhelmed"... At the end of the first confinement in May 2020, that's it the kind of answers that cycle shop customers might hear.

Especially in Strasbourg, one of the most bike-friendly French cities with its 600 km developed.

“People were coming out of their homes and there were a lot of parts supply problems,” recalls a manager of Esprit Cycles, two shops in the Alsatian capital.

“Not to mention the flow linked to the “bike boost” launched by the government.

“Either an aid of 50 euros per person for any repair.

The device was discontinued on March 31, 2021, obviously a small relief for professionals in the sector.

"We hadn't done it but listening to my colleagues, I don't regret it", slips Antoine, mechanic at Cyclable.

“There was a fairly heavy administration and management.

To the comma, the file could be refused, complete a competitor.

Frankly, we certainly had a lot of people, but I'm not asking if it wasn't ultimately at a loss..."

“A revision in maximum 24 hours”

These many individuals, many of whom took advantage of it to bring out the old bicycle from the attic, no longer come to take advantage of the windfall today.

But have the queues been reduced?

"It runs much better," dares the metaphor Adrien, from Rustine and Burette.

“There are far fewer delays.

For example at the moment, with us who work by appointment, it's about a week, two weeks max of waiting.

Last month, it was more like three because everyone got back on the bike with the sun.

»

A finding shared by other repairers.

Esprit Cycles even claims “a review in a maximum of 24 hours” when Cyclable ensures “slots always available for minor repairs, such as a puncture because it is not foreseen”.

But these are small jobs.

For the most complex, the delays can be extended.

The fault is… a lack of parts.

“For chains, brake discs,” says one side of the workbench.

“Anything related to transmission”, we say on the other.

“Overall, we get by by finding solutions with other suppliers,” summarizes Mehdi, co-founder and technician at ECO Bike, in Illkirc-Graffenstaden.

Blame it too, on a growing number of new cyclists.

“Yes, even in Strasbourg where there were already quite a few,” confirms Fabien Masson.

The president of the Cadr 67 association notably links these conversions to the current high fuel costs.

“It's difficult to give a precise figure of the number of users today.

But each year, on the counter installed on the Place de l'Etoile, we observe, for example, an evolution of 150,000 to 200,000 passages..."

Open cycle mechanic training

What even more overloaded the repairers?

"That's why I advise people to go to self-repair workshops," replies Fabien Masson.

You pay an annual fee and you can maintain it at a lower cost.

Often, these are small things to do on your bike.

“Little things that can be learned.

At the start of the 2021 school year, cycle mechanic training was launched at the Marcel-Rudloff high school in Strasbourg.

Our bike file

"We had 24 students, twelve in apprenticeship and as many in continuing education, explains Valérie Sidoli", who oversees all of this with Arnaud Schaeffer.

“In September, we are going to create two additional promotions, one to become a cycle technical advisor and one of a cycle option sports product sales technician.

There is a huge need for these profiles currently and very little training.

You can write it: those who join it will find work without any problem.

The bike has the wind at its back.

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