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"Action must follow ambition": Decathlon calls for more support from EU politicians for policies to make cycling easier and stop bike theft

The French bike manufacturer has made calls to implement the Cycling Declaration ahead of the European Parliament elections

As the European Parliament elections draws nearer, French sports retail giant Decathlon has launched a plea towards EU politicians urging them to take more initiative to push legislations that make it easier for people to cycle, focusing on infrastructure and bike theft, as well as calling for a sustainable bike manufacturing sector.

In a statement published earlier this week, Decathlon has tried to shine the light on the importance of legislative authorities in trying to nudge a behavioural change, while also asking politicians to do more to help the bike industry that has struggled ever since the end of lockdown following the pandemic boom.

The company has also asked for the implementation of the European Cycling Declaration, an inter-institutional document signed in April at the Informal Council meeting of Transport Ministers with Cycling Industries Europe president Tony Grimaldi emphasising the transformative potential of cycling.

Decathlon's Chief Sustainability Officer Anna Turrell said: "Cycling is not merely about physical activity but a fully-fledged mode of transportation with manifold positive externalities and it exemplifies the need to better leverage the synergies between sport and other policy areas.

"However, now action must follow ambition. We therefore strongly welcome concrete national and European initiatives that further build on the achievements made for cycling in Europe."

Decathlon said in its statement that bicycles bring a "wide array of benefits into our society", such as reducing carbon emissions and democratising mobility through through their low costs and thus wide availability.

> 2024 Van Rysel road bikes and kit for newly-named Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale unveiled (and the prices aren’t too outrageous)

2024 Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale Van Rysel RCR

2024 Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale Van Rysel RCR

At the keynote for the approval of the Cycling Declaration, Grimaldi had said: "Everyone should have affordable access to bikes and it is important to align investments with business commitments to bolster local economies. The industry needs long-term regulatory certainty and a collaborative partnership between governments and the cycling industry to realise the goals of the EU Declaration on Cycling.

"There is no reason to wait to grow cycling in Europe. It is a win-win – mobility transition, job creation, economic growth, promotion of local companies – all available now, all affordable now. Let’s develop a world-class European cycling industry and give boost to European leadership!"

Now, Decathlon believes that to reach the policy targets set in the Cycling Declaration, a safe cycling infrastructure must be developed across the EU to ensure safe and consistent engagement in cycling. Besides, it also addressed the importance issue of bike theft, remarking that it is "one of the major reasons for people to decide against the uptake of cycling". 

Following the French legislation of mandatory bike markings, Decathlon together with other bike manufacturers has proposed such a system for across Europe. "By implementing tracking technologies bike theft can more easily be apprehended and selling stolen bikes becomes significantly more challenging. As a result of the French legislation (APIC), the return rate of stolen bikes rose from t to 10.56 per cent," wrote Decathlon.

Decathlon has also called for more EU support to develop a sustainable, digitalised, and circular bicycle manufacturing sector, for example through the use of recycled aluminium, reports BikeEU. This presents a major opportunity to decrease the environmental footprint of cycling, claims the company. 

> Cyclists blame "utterly ridiculous bike prices" for brands' ongoing struggles, after Giant's sales slashed again

The sports retailer outlines that this can be done to some extent by reshoring a sustainable European bike component manufacturing industry, as approximately two-thirds of the components used in the production of bikes are being imported from outside of the EU.

Furthermore, the company says that by digitalising the bike manufacturing process, significant efficiency and competitiveness gains in the production of bikes can be realised.

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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23 comments

Avatar
S.E. | 1 month ago
0 likes

I don't know about this "French legislation of mandatory bike markings", but I'm riding in France sometimes, and despite riding in a very rich area, cycling lanes are often lacking or even dangerous, ending in high traffic roads, requiring to cross the street, etc. Maybe by 2040 they can have lanes everywhere, but for now they are busy building real estate and roads for cars, like there is no tomorrow.

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cyclisto | 1 month ago
1 like

Kudos to Decathlon for their initiative. It is a shame that bike theft can be somehow mitigated by measures that cost next to nothing if they are organized on a Europe level scale

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notMyRealName | 1 month ago
10 likes

Honestly, every time I see someone riding to work on an entry level triban, I think the availability of cheap but maintainable bikes from decathlon has done more for cycling in some boroughs than the local council. I'm sure there's lots of complicated things about the ethics of such a mass market brand, but what they do to make cycling (and other sports) more accessible is really good.

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hawkinspeter replied to notMyRealName | 1 month ago
4 likes

notMyRealName wrote:

Honestly, every time I see someone riding to work on an entry level triban, I think the availability of cheap but maintainable bikes from decathlon has done more for cycling in some boroughs than the local council. I'm sure there's lots of complicated things about the ethics of such a mass market brand, but what they do to make cycling (and other sports) more accessible is really good.

I agree. When someone is considering getting into cycling, then they're not going to want to spend a huge amount of money when they're not sure how they're going to get on with it or whether the new bike will end up unused, rusting in a shed. It's not until someone has spent some time riding a cheaper bike that they realise that it's a lot of fun and they may want to devote more money and energy to cycling. (I've never ridden a Triban, but they sound really good value for money and perfectly serviceable.)

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The Larger Cyclist replied to notMyRealName | 1 month ago
2 likes

notMyRealName wrote:

Honestly, every time I see someone riding to work on an entry level triban, I think the availability of cheap but maintainable bikes from decathlon has done more for cycling in some boroughs than the local council. I'm sure there's lots of complicated things about the ethics of such a mass market brand, but what they do to make cycling (and other sports) more accessible is really good.

Regarding ethics there was/is this back in 2020:-

https://theferret.scot/french-sports-firm-decathlon-profiting-songbirds/

 

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cyclisto replied to The Larger Cyclist | 1 month ago
0 likes

If animal lovers want to be offended, I really believed they can be offended by anything. E.g. the Road.cc background is white and that causes larger energy consumption in certain screens and that causes global warming and that can increase stress to my dog. Ok I pay other people to kill animals to feed my dog (PETA very wisely says make your carnivore pet can have improved health by going vegan, but I guess like the 1% must actually do it), but it will be the end of the world ethics if it gets stressed by the 1.5°C heat increase.

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Rendel Harris replied to cyclisto | 1 month ago
6 likes

cyclisto wrote:

If animal lovers want to be offended, I really believed they can be offended by anything. E.g. the Road.cc background is white and that causes larger energy consumption in certain screens and that causes global warming and that can increase stress to my dog. Ok I pay other people to kill animals to feed my dog (PETA very wisely says make your carnivore pet can have improved health by going vegan, but I guess like the 1% must actually do it), but it will be the end of the world ethics if it gets stressed by the 1.5°C heat increase.

The trouble with your amusing [sic] argument is that your examples are totally stupid whereas the actual issue raised in the linked article, the selling of shotgun cartridges specifically designed for killing songbirds and migratory birds, the populations of which are declining massively and indeed in some cases in being put in danger of exctinction by "sport" shooting in Europe, is an extremely worrying issue and one definitely worth at least debating, rather than making up silly parallels and claiming people who are concerned will be "offended by anything".

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cyclisto replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
0 likes

My theory is that sport shooting is being done by men with tiny dicks that want to carry something long once in their lifetime, so we probably have the same views on the issue.

But I am just really tired of elaborate efforts to find excuses "cancel" to everything. Today we have mountains of critisism and constantly shrinking creation. Decathlon has a great range of products at great prices and among them they seem to sell hunting equipment, since the government allows selling such products and there are a ton of other companies that sell similar equipment, it is no big deal to me.

Animal ethics are totally incomprehensible to me. Where do they start and where do they end? Should we allow cockroaches in our houses since they are wild animals? Who will adopt the stray one eyed rat I found on my yard? Do trains speeding killing precious for the flower bees, should travel at 20mph instead of 120km/h? Should stepping on an insect be prosecuted?

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Rendel Harris replied to cyclisto | 1 month ago
3 likes

cyclisto wrote:

Animal ethics are totally incomprehensible to me. Where do they start and where do they end? Should we allow cockroaches in our houses since they are wild animals? Who will adopt the stray one eyed rat I found on my yard? Do trains speeding killing precious for the flower bees, should travel at 20mph instead of 120km/h? Should stepping on an insect be prosecuted?

Again, you undermine any semblance of being interested in a reasonable argument by making up idiotic examples. If you want to find a good place to start with ethical treatment of animals, not harming or killing any animal just for fun is a good place. If people want to withdraw their custom from a business that facilitates or encourages people who enjoy doing that, that seems a perfectly reasonable response.

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cyclisto replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
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To you it seem idiotic, but imagine how idiotic it would seem if you were like a stranded in a remote island, finally caught a huge fish and your also stranded said, "man, this is a wild animal, please let it go". Most hunters eat their game so yes in theory they could claim they are doing to be fed. And since you can perfectly live on a vegan diet even maybe more healthy, isn't eating animals really a hobby? And since PETA suggests that your pet can perfectly live on a vegan diet even maybe more healthy, isn't feeding your pet animals really a hobby?So animal ethics, are very very very wide area to be offended in any way possible.

Our societies have great differences between different times and different places. I am just tired of people being very efficient in critisizing and very lazy in creating. If you have imagination you can cancel even Jesus , so attempts to cancel a company that offers something that few (or maybe none) others can offer such as high quality bicycles in not ridiculous prices, while among their huge portofolio they offer something that is already being offered by else, seems idiotic to me.

We probably have different views of what idiotic is and let's agree to disagree to save time and energy, to spent these in real production, not elaborate ways to cancel.

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Rendel Harris replied to cyclisto | 1 month ago
3 likes

cyclisto wrote:

To you it seem idiotic, but imagine how idiotic it would seem if you were like a stranded in a remote island, finally caught a huge fish and your also stranded said, "man, this is a wild animal, please let it go".

Of course, there is absolutely no difference between killing an animal in order to preserve your own life and choosing to do so for fun. Yet another idiotic example. "If you have imagination you can cancel even Jesus" - what the blazes are you on about?

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Mr Hoopdriver replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
2 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

"If you have imagination you can cancel even Jesus" - what the blazes are you on about?

"If you have imagination you can cancel even Jesus" - what the blazes are you on ?

FTFY  1

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hawkinspeter replied to Mr Hoopdriver | 1 month ago
5 likes

Mr Hoopdriver wrote:

Rendel Harris wrote:

"If you have imagination you can cancel even Jesus" - what the blazes are you on about?

"If you have imagination you can cancel even Jesus" - what the blazes are you on ?

FTFY  1

I think Jesus was cancelled quite a while back - something about nailing him to a cross?

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Rendel Harris replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
6 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

I think Jesus was cancelled quite a while back - something about nailing him to a cross?

That was just a temporary suspension.

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hawkinspeter replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
5 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

hawkinspeter wrote:

I think Jesus was cancelled quite a while back - something about nailing him to a cross?

That was just a temporary suspension.

You nailed it!

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cyclisto replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
1 like

It is an example. If you feel Jesus so easily cancelable you could replace him with one of others hard to cancel guys, like Nelson Mandela or Keanu Reeves.

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hawkinspeter replied to cyclisto | 1 month ago
4 likes

cyclisto wrote:

It is an example. If you feel Jesus so easily cancelable you could replace him with one of others hard to cancel guys, like Nelson Mandela or Keanu Reeves.

Well, I haven't heard anything from Nelson Mandela in the last 10 years...

(Meanwhile, I've been enjoying Keanu's performance in Cyberpunk 2077 as Johnny Silverhand - he really got stuck in my brain for some reason)

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chrisonabike replied to cyclisto | 1 month ago
4 likes

Odd choices.  I mean, I'm a fan of Mandela and all, but I hardly think he's up to the level of Keanu.  And was Jesus even in the Bill and Ted movies?  At least Lincoln and Genghis Khan made totally excellent appearances.

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brooksby replied to chrisonabike | 1 month ago
1 like

Station!

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OldRidgeback replied to chrisonabike | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

chrisonabike wrote:

Odd choices.  I mean, I'm a fan of Mandela and all, but I hardly think he's up to the level of Keanu.  And was Jesus even in the Bill and Ted movies?  At least Lincoln and Genghis Khan made totally excellent appearances.

Abraham Lincoln was pretty good in Star Trek too. He's obviously a capable actor. Who knows, he might even follow Ronald Reagan's lead and be US  president one day  1

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hawkinspeter replied to OldRidgeback | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

OldRidgeback wrote:

Abraham Lincoln was pretty good in Star Trek too. He's obviously a capable actor. Who knows, he might even follow Ronald Reagan's lead and be US  president one day  1

I have actually watched this movie: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2246549/

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hawkinspeter replied to hawkinspeter | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

OldRidgeback wrote:

Abraham Lincoln was pretty good in Star Trek too. He's obviously a capable actor. Who knows, he might even follow Ronald Reagan's lead and be US  president one day  1

I have actually watched this movie: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2246549/

Also this one: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1611224/

Avatar
Boopop | 1 month ago
5 likes

Decathlon are great. My 2012 Triban 3 is still going, rode it in the sun today following a wireless electronic groupset upgrade  1

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