Day 19 – August 19th
See the pictures on ToptoTop Picasa Album
Experience electrical bicycle riding and visit the supplier – FLYER Company.
After around 20 days’ expedition with full load of daily hiking, mountain climbing and so on, all the participates already got really tired. Every one is quite happy when the cycling day is coming because cycling normally is a sport which should be more relax than others and our special bicycle – Flyer, has good electrical engine which can provide force assistant to make the riding even easier. All of us were dreaming to take a rest at the end of the expedition and just have fun. But……..hehe, you will see.
At 7:30, after breakfast and the belongings packing, we got a briefing of the electrical bicycle named “Flyer” from Gabi, who is a cycling expert involved in the cycling rules making, cycling signboard design and construction in many cities and villages in Switzerland, also she gives lessons to the kids of the cycling rules, meanwhile she is also Top to Top core member in charge of the financial management. In Switzerland, cycling is very popular because it’s not only a simple sport good to your health, but also natural friendly life style for the environment protection. The electrical bicycle which we experienced today has 8 speed gears which you can choose according to the different path conditions, has electrical engine driven by battery which can provide the different force assistant to make your riding easily, marked as “Eco”, “Standard” and “high”.
We left Hotel at 7:50, heading to Hutwill which is 100KM far away from Biel. During the first 4 hours the road is quite flat and everyone enjoyed the riding so much because it’s quite easy and the scene is so beautiful. The green meadows, colorful wild flowers, corn field, mountains covered by lush forest, clean air, clear river, flying bird, cows with soundly bell, and also the typical Swiss style old buildings……..all the nice things which are described as symbol of beautiful Switzerland you can see, touch, smell and feel along the road.
9:30, Chris, Magerena, Danie (female member of Top to Top, who provided and guided us the boat for yesterday’s sailing, also joined today’s cycling) and me lost the connection with others. We four had to find the way by ourselves, I m very impressed with the amazing route signboards system which is very common seen in Switzerland and is so clear marked with different colors and number showing the direction at nearly every cross. As long as you know the destination’s name, with the help of such kind of signboards, you can easily find the way even don’t need ask so much. What’s funny is when we arrived Burghurf around 12:20, we four found the others were still far away behind us. You see, sometimes the people who got lost can even reach the goal earlier, as long as you can gave up relying on others, and just react self-driven in the right direction.
After around 30 minutes waiting, we decided to move forward. From Burghurf to Emmental, we were not so lucky and easy because there are 11KM mountain road need to be covered, the riding got harder and harder, and the slopes were challenges one after one for us. Even though the distance is short as only 11km, it took us 1.5 hours to arrive Emmental where we waited others coming and took a short break visiting the famous “Emmentaler” chess factory.
14:55, whole team left …. , the road to Hutwill is quite easy because 70% distance of the road was just descending, which made all the participants so happy. After suffering the total pain and sour leg, knee and ass, finally we had opportunity to enjoy rushing down the slope with high speed. Actually, cycling has also a high risk especially when descend from steep slope, if the speed is too high to control, something dangerous will happen. Tiffany just fell down at one turn and got slight wounded with bleeding elbow and knee.
15:40, we reached the destination – Hutwill, where the FLYER electrical bicycle factory is located. In beginning of 1990’s, the founder of FLYER company, Mr. Rotter Bufel, decided to develop electrical bicycle which can not only provide assistant for people cycling, give more fun to the riding, bus also encourage more and more people choose the bicycle instead of Automobile due to the environment protection reason. In 1993, he made the 1st generation of electrical bicycle which was named as “Roter Bufel”. From then, he started the electrical bicycle business with some friends and their company was named as “BK-tech”. In 1995, the electrical bicycle brand as “Flyer” was born. However, the business is not so easy at that moment, even though the 3rd generation of Flyer had cool outlooking and can run faster, the produce cost and maintenance cost during guarantee period make the business suspended temporally and “BK-TECH” didn’t exist anymore. During the break time, FLYER company made a lot of renovation, more and more new models were developed for people to choose, for example, the sport series, urban series and so on. The Flyer what we experienced today is 5th generation of product, which is around 23kg, with force assistant for maximum 25km/h, means if you like ride faster more than 25km/h, the speed beyond 25km/h should be achieved by yourself and the electrical engine cannot help anymore. While the mountain series product can provide force assistant to Maximum 45km/h with 400W engine which is really like motor-cycle but without any pollution. Due to the increasing market, FLYER is expanding the factory and storage and expect to sale 45’000 bicycles this year. For more information about FLYER, please check the website http://www.biketech.ch
As a company concerning on the environment protection product, FLYER constructed their own factory and office also in a sustainable way. The wall is just concrete without any decorations which save a lot of material such as plaster, painting…., also the solar panel is widely used in the company to save energy. As a middle size company in Switzerland, like the others, FLYER consider the benefits of all shareholders and like offer work to locals because the owners focus on long term plan and like the company has sustainable development in the future.