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ben.mitchell's blog

Test riders - Commuters

The final group of bicycle users that we are targeting during the testing phase are commuters. Commuters make up a large percentage of bicycle users throughout Kenya and East Africa. Commuters travel a wide variety of distances getting to and from places of work, markets and shopping centers. Commuters again are at the lower end of the economic spectrum and rely heavily on bicycles. We have several commuters who have been testing milele tubes with a great response.

Test riders - Boda Boda

The most colorful and noticeable group of riders in Western Kenya, boda boda (bicycle taxis), are found hanging out on street corners waiting to carry passengers or goods to their destination. Boda boda drivers are generally young men who cannot find other work. They either own or rent a bicycle for the day and earn roughly $.25 per passenger they carry. On a good day, they will carry up to ten people resulting in a day’s earnings of a little over two dollars. Keep in mind that their lunch and any bicycle repairs (tube patches) are deducted from that $2.50.

Test riders - Long Haulers

Long haulers know how to abuse bicycles. Most long haulers are massive, muscular men that load their bikes down with 150-200kg worth of cargo. The loaded down bikes are then ridden and pushed up to 100km on remote roads, or trails, littered with potholes and ruts and hours away from the nearest bike mechanic. These riders carry bags of maize or potatoes to markets, cement to construction sites, freshly cut firewood from the bush to town, etc.

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