The forester: a ride through the forest on an E-Bike.
15.01.2024 | Sustainability
Six foresters are switching over: the employees of the state-owned company Forst Brandenburg are keen to find out whether Riese & Müller E-Bikes and Cargo Bikes can replace using an off-road vehicle in the forest. We spoke to Diana Morch, Head of the Briesensee Forest District, and asked her whether the Nevo had proved its worth on challenging terrain.
Hello Ms Morch. How did the E-Bike trial phase get going?
Really well! My area is 15 kilometres from my home. I now travel there and back three times a week on my E-Bike. There are also other routes that I cover by bike within the area itself – that is in the forest. Alongside my bike, a further two district foresters and a forest work school also took delivery of E-Bikes. One district forester was given a Load Cargo Bike. The project will continue for two years. During this time, we will document our experiences and trips on the E-Bikes to evaluate the project afterwards.
How has the Nevo proved itself in your everyday working life?
I am really impressed by what the bike is capable of. All my equipment and food fit perfectly into the saddlebags. And I also have a trailer should I need more space. I can always be easily seen in the shady forest with the daytime running lights. The E-Bike has a sturdy construction and its broad tires provide good grip on rough terrain. I feel really safe on the bike. And the elevation gain that I need to cover in my area poses no problem at all. What is more, I am more agile and often take a detour that I wouldn’t manage in a car. I feel more independent biking on rough terrain.
How do passers-by react to the E-Bike?
There are lots of people working in my area and I am now easier to reach and contact. I really appreciate the fact that I can also act as a role model in these situations with my E-Bike. I would like to show people that you don’t have to travel everywhere by car, especially in the forest. Of course, I can convey this message more convincingly if I am travelling without a car myself. Generally, people respond very positively and take interest.
» I feel more independent biking on rough terrain. «
How does cycling affect your connection to the forest?
Overall, I have a better feeling of well-being since I have been riding a bike. I feel more satisfied, and my body is dealing really well with the additional exercise. And on the bike I am not as cut off from my surroundings as I am in a car. You feel right in the heart of things and more in contact with nature. I hear more and, of course, I am also faster than walking. Two weeks ago we experienced a storm in the forest. I had to look at the damage to the trees. Taking the E-Bike, I was able to reach the affected areas really easily. And the pushing aid helped me at trickier spots.
What condition are the forests in at the moment?
My area is typical for Brandenburg. 90% of the forest is made up of pine trees. We have had massive problems due to the drought in recent years. The older trees in particular lack water. They are weaker and are suffering under the strong sun. Bark beetles then cause up to 50 trees all die at once. That is why we are trying to move away from a monoculture and manage Mother Nature’s natural rejuvenation of deciduous trees and supplement this with plantings. Our aim is to achieve healthy and stable mixed forests.
What expectations are linked to the E-Bike project?
The E-Bikes are part of our employer’s health management scheme and are intended to keep me and my colleagues fit and active. They are also a good solution for doing something for the environment and getting around without producing exhaust fumes. I am very positive about the project and will definitely continue using the E-Bike. My husband has also been bitten by the bug. (laughs) He has now also bought himself an E-Bike and is enjoying getting out and about on it.
Thank you for talking to us and continue enjoying riding your bike!