Tony Grimaldi of Cycleurope was the founding President of CIE and has just been reelected for a further two year term. We thought this is the right time for him to become Member of the Month, so we chatted with him on Zoom for his thoughts about cycling and CIE as he kicks off his next term of office.
1. Can you give us a brief description of Cycleurope?
We, Cycleurope, are a European-based company, comprised of bicycle companies with a platform of mainly 15 European brands: Bianchi, Crescent, Monark, and strong local brands with a tradition of cycling. What’s coming in more and more, and active in the future of mobility, is ebikes! We have a development base in Europe and four production units in Europe: two in Sweden, one in France and one in Italy.
2. What trends are you most excited about cycling by 2030?
I can say that for me, it’s a fascinating journey! It’s an interesting perspective that cycling is now, thanks to the development of the ebike, becoming very, very strong – going from a low level of ebikes in 2006, to now growing nearly 20-30% every year. Today, we can see with this accelerated growth, our industry is becoming important, and Europe has become the most important bicycle market in the world.
We are all taking a much stronger position in the future of mobility, so with this development you could say that within 5 years, cycling could double. And by 2030, you’ll see that this will be even stronger – I believe the ebike will drive that. The bicycle market will go from 20 million in total today and come up to a level of 30 million – it’s a fascinating trend!
It’s also fascinating to see, thanks to the electric assisted bike, e-cargo transportation and last-mile deliveries are really changing how we think, and I think we’ll see big changes going forward. The ebike is the driver, but cycling will follow – the good thing here is that the ebike is active mobility, which really contributes to a healthy way of living, reminding us that the ebike also means you have to pedal and use your muscles!
3. What do you see as a major challenge in the cycling industry and how can CIE play a role in overcoming that challenge?
The most important is to gather and bring companies together. We’ve realized in order to have a say and to make sure that the cycling industry can have an impact, we must establish ourselves in Brussels and have a dialogue with the EU commission. To secure that, companies must be visible. We are now bringing companies together in the corridors of Brussels. The challenge here is to fully realize that together, we can take the tension from the big dominant car industry, from the big dominant energy industry, and from the other big dominant industries. If we do the things right, which I think we can do, with having an understanding of the importance of lobbying, and advocacy, we can have an impact.
I think this is the most important thing: to realize that we can actually do things. The challenge is to make sure companies come together and see this. CIE’s role is very important here, and this is the role that CIE has: to try to remind, to be seen, and take the tension from other industries, and secure that we are visible.
4. What/who in the cycling industry inspires you?
There are so many things! What inspires me is what we’re doing now: companies coming together. CIE is an inspiration, a new step in lobbying, and a new way to do advocacy. What inspires me is that we have a dialogue with Frans Timmermans, and I’m also inspired by the EU Green Deal. Cycling will be an important part of that. Frans Timmermans has an important role here, and we have a dialogue with him, he’s responsible for the EU Green Deal! We see a real change in a true concrete dialogue at the moment. We have a glorious future!
5. Describe in 5 words how cycling is saving the world
Lee, from the CIE staff in Brussels, interviewed Tony Grimaldi to hear firsthand how he thinks cycling is saving the world: