Postal workers in Belgium who normally use electric bicycles to help deliver the mail are currently relying solely on pedal power to get around after reports of exploding batteries prompted a recall.
In all, 2,000 employees had been using electrical bicycles on their rounds, but they’re now having to do so relying only on the power supplied by their legs after postal bosses ordered them to hand the batteries back pending an investigation into a string of incidents, reports Reuters.
"Last week, we had one battery on one bicycle, smoke came out and the postman immediately stopped and he took away the battery and it exploded," explained a spokesman for bpost.
Batteries left overnight to recharge are also suspected to be the possible cause of a fire that took place in a post office in Belgium.
"The electrical bicycles can still be used without the battery, so the vast majority of the rounds that are impacted are still being done by the postmen with the bicycles but without the batteries," the spokesman added.
The manufacturer is now checking the batteries, and it is anticipated that they will not be returned or replaced for two months, adds Reuters.
There’s no way of knowing what the French postman played by Jacques Tati in the slapstick classic Jour de Fete would have made of the situation, but we reckon he’d have extracted some comedy gold from it.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.