The 2019 that just ended was a busy but rewarding year for us at Bikenomist. During the past 12 months, we have tried in every way to combine our social vocation, guided by the motto “Let’s turn Italy into a bikeable country,” with the needs of a private company that must necessarily have economic sustainability.
The first great satisfaction of the year is our team has grown: we hired three people in 2019. Gabriele, a young urban planner and recent graduate of the Milan Polytechnic who offers us a youthful and innovative vision to the management of the road; Barbara, who after more than a decade serving territorial promotion bodies, has decided to engage with us in the spread of bicycle tourism; and Omar, a graduate in exercise science and a partner in the company, whom we have finally managed to regularize.
The growth of the workforce led us to look for a new location, and so we opened an office in Milan, at Corso Garibaldi 71, which will flank the operational office in Monza where our mechanical training school will continue to operate.
And it is precisely our training school that has been a source of extreme satisfaction: during 2019 we trained 842 people in 156 courses between mechanics, biomechanics, training and cycling mobility, with a growth of more than 60 percent over the previous year, all without sacrificing quality, as evidenced by the extremely flattering reviews on the courses.bikeitalia.co.uk.
The greatest satisfaction, however, comes from the effects of this training activity: to date, 31 mechanic workshops have been opened nationwide by those who have attended our mechanic courses.
Also our editorial activity through our newspaper, Bikeitalia.it, has continued unabated to churn out articles to chronicle the best practices of sustainable mobility throughout Europe, to goad our local politicians who are still stuck in twentieth-century logic, and to offer instruction to everyday pedestrians on how best to do it. In 2019 alone, we published more than 1,000 original articles, and traffic on Bikeitalia.co.uk increased by about 10% compared to 2018.
Also on the publishing front, in 2019 we have also strengthened our publishing activities through the publication of 15 new free e-books for the further dissemination of knowledge and awareness on the topics of health, sustainable mobility, mechanics, and cycling.
In addition to training and publishing, 2019 was also a good year for consulting and projects: we were part of the team that drafted the cycling mobility guidelines of the Emilia Romagna Region, and right now we are working on updating the Municipality of Reggio Emilia’s biciplan together with Architect Matteo Dondé.
And on the project front, we are particularly proud of what has been done with the Moses White School of Monza with which, after a classroom training activity that included wheelchair excursions and road speed surveying, led to the creation of a campaign of posters on proper road behavior that have been on display in the Brianza capital.
There was also no shortage of opportunities for institutional recognition, such as convening the House of Representatives Transportation Committee for the amendments to the Highway Code and participation in the round table at the Ministry of the Environment during the European Sustainable Mobility Week during which we made proposals for action that were then transposed within the Climate Decree.
So 2019 has ended with satisfaction for us, and this has led us to also financially support those entities that are most committed to supporting sustainable mobility, namely FIAB and its AIDA project of which we are proud sponsors and the Michele Scarponi Foundation.
At the same time, 2019 ended with some bitterness in our mouths, as we continue to record our country’s backward status on the sustainable mobility front, both at the national level and at the level of individual cities whose policies are still abundantly unaddressed.
Therefore, 2020 just around the corner will see us increasingly engaged on this front: in March we will organize the first Bicycle Tourism Fair to be held on March 28 and 29 in Milan, we will again be a media partner of Velo-City (the world’s largest conference on bicycle mobility), we will launch a project for a urban greenway connecting Milan with Monza (our two locations) and a collective effort that will involve the main industry associations and institutions to finally achieve a National Cycling Mobility Plan.
2020 will be an exciting year in which we hope to see our dream come true: To turn Italy into a bikeable country.
Paolo Pinzuti – CEO Bikenomist