Since September 2020, Brownies&DownieS from Assen has been using the Huka duo bike to deliver lunch dishes and sweet treats. They do this with a special team of employees with a mental disability. “The duo bike makes it possible to escape the hustle and bustle of the restaurant for a while. We are really enjoying ourselves along the way”, says Lianne, franchisee of Brownies&DownieS Assen (The Netherlands).
“Our team of 13 special employees with a mental disability work with us from day care. They are people who are up for a challenge, where we work with learning goals. The most important thing is that they are like you and me. They just need a little extra attention. We are all equal colleagues and focus on job satisfaction, what they would like to learn and what they can still learn.” Says Lianne.
“The idea to purchase a duo bike came about because I was looking for a means of transportation to deliver lunches together with the people from the day care. I had written to several bicycle stores in Assen to think about this. Then the bicycle store Anjo Jager came up with the idea of a duo bike. At first we thought of a cargo bike or tandem, but that did not weigh up against the advantages that the Orthros companion cycle offered us. The Vinci Foundation, which sponsors people with a social purpose, found our organization interesting and eventually sponsored the bike.”
Escape the hustle and bustle at Brownies&DownieS
“The companion cycle makes it possible to escape the hustle and bustle of the restaurant for a while. We then really enjoy a moment on the road. You cycle next to each other, making it easy to make contact and have a nice chat.”
“It’s nice that everyone can join in on the Orthros, and everyone can cycle along in their own way. Some are fanatical and older employees have the option of not cycling and putting their feet on the footboard. The seats are also adjustable. It is nice that the passenger seat can be rotated, so that our special employees can get on and off easily.”
Out and about and in motion
The delivery with the duo bike gives an extra dimension, because they really enjoy doing it. They have a lot of fun. In the beginning, we regularly made a schedule of who was allowed to ride the duo bike, so they could take turns.
Swen (19) “I usually deliver, but we always swap who is allowed to go. I like cycling on the duo bike. You’re out and about for a while. I don’t have to race, you know. I always sit on the right side. It doesn’t work out if I sit on the other side, haha.”
Vlogging on the duo bike
Jasmijn (19) has made a vlog once. “I made a video once when I went cycling with Peter. I posted this on Instagram. I was going to tell about our bike ride and that we were going to deliver. I always cycle along fanatically myself. I would like to cycle to grandpa and grandma again. What I enjoy most is delivering my favorite dishes, the salads with salmon and carpaccio.”
Sometimes an extra detour to Brownies&DownieS
“Sometimes we make an extra detour during our delivery or we bring our people home on the Orthros duo bike. When it’s not so busy, we also take the bike to get some fresh air. In addition, the bike goes to Anjo Jager once every few months for periodic maintenance. We receive an email that it is time for the periodic maintenance. The bike is checked and the tires are inflated. Usually we get the duo bike back the same day.”
“The environment also responds positively to our duo bike. People start waving enthusiastically. We are very recognizable in the city. In the future we may open a second branch in the form of a shop-in-shop, which would make the duo bike extra useful for delivery between the branches.” Says Lianne.