Positive reactions to presentation of 100% Limburg Bikejanuary 26, 2020
‘Menno from the bicycle project’ is a busy man
The project 100% Limburg Bike was presented in November at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen, and no one was more aware of this than project leader Menno Smeelen. The responses came from as far away as Thailand. They wanted to know if the organization was still looking for partners, if there were jobs available, and of course when the innovative racing bike would be available, and what it would cost.
Menno Smeelen is the project leader for the 100% Limburg Bike project, based at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen. A consortium of small and medium-sized companies from Limburg along with companies with premises at the campus are developing an innovative, lightweight racing bike that is tailored to the bike’s future owner and his or her wishes. As soon as the fully personalized, unique and safe racing bike is ready for sale to consumers, the consortium will market the bike from Limburg.
Menno Smeelen has already noticed that the presentation of the project this past November has caused quite a stir among cycling enthusiasts. “You're always curious how something like this will be received. It may be nerve-wracking for us, but it's also important. The bike itself is of course the ‘proof in the pudding’, but the advance expectations can really help you see if you’re falling behind.” This really helped a lot, as the project leader now knows. He was constantly getting questions about the bike from family and friends, and would even be approached in the supermarket about it.
These days, he even gets introduced as “Menno from the bicycle project”. “This is also really great, but what’s even more interesting obviously is what people are saying and writing about the bicycle. And the questions people are asking about it,” Menno Smeelen says.
He has just given information to Bikerumor, a leading technical cycling blog based in the United States. He is very curious about “what they make of it” and if the tone is just as enthusiastic as in most of the other trade magazines and on cycling websites.
Trade journals and websites such as Grinta and Fiets indicated their positive assessments with article headlines such as “Limburg Ingenuity”. An entrepreneur from Thailand wanted to know if they were still looking for partners for the cycling project, and a well-known racing bike manufacturer has contacted them to talk about a potential partnership. Vista College wants to make a video about the project to pique the interest of future vocational school students enrolled in technical study programs. There has also been interest from the world of sports, involving adaptations to the bicycle.
A publication in three languages on the Innovation Origins website also attracted a lot of attention and reactions. The reaction on Twitter from the Dutch consul in New York was also a huge bonus of course. Jobseekers interested in a position with a small- to medium-sized business are already contacting us to ask if they can apply for a job. The organization isn’t ready to take action on any of these developments yet. They expect the prototype to be finished in a couple of months and then the consortium will be responsible for the actual production.
A tweet from New York dated January 11: ‘Ever dream of owning an unbreakable bike, made to fit your needs? 🚲 A consortium of companies from the #Dutch province of @limburg is developing exactly that, using innovative materials & 3D printing technology. Find out more:’ This was followed by the link to one of the articles written about the 100% Limburg Bike. This The tweet was posted by Dolph Hogewoning, Dutch consul general in New York.
Companies based at Brightlands have also expressed enthusiasm to Menno Smeelen. “They’re very curious about how the supply chain cooperation between the campus and small- to medium-sized enterprises works.”
The project manager was of course happy and pleased to see so much interest. He is convinced that it won’t be long before the 100% Limburg Bike will live up to the high expectations. As for the question when exactly this will be, Menno Smeelen has the following to say. “This is the most frequently asked question. Well, apart from the question how much the bike will cost. I can’t give an answer to either question right now. This isn’t up to us within the context of the development project; this will be the consortium’s responsibility later on. They are the ones who will be launching the bicycle from Limburg onto the market.”