Abdelillah, the electrician who offers a zero emission service
Dressed in black and all smiles, Abdelillah arrives at job of the day: an apartment in Forest. The electrician, Abdelillah does all his trips by bike. Today, it is to sort out a ceiling light. Abdelillah has taken all the equipment needed in his two saddlebags and his backpack. Generally, the two saddlebags are enough but today he needs a camera to allow him to see under the suspended ceiling.
Abdelillah became a cycling electricity by accident. Ten years ago, in the midst of inspiration, he went to recharge his batteries in the mountains. There the idea was born: he would start working as an electrician. But as he did not have much money, he decided to do his trips by bike. To give him time to put money aside to buy a van.
“At first, I was embarrassed to come by bike,” Abdelillah recalls. I parked it further away because I thought it was not very professional. But people found me young, motivated and cool. I was recommended by word-of-mouth”.
After two years as a secondary self-employed profession, he decided to take the plunge at 100%. “During these two years, there was huge media coverage of climate change. Along the pedalling, the idea was born to create a zero-emission service,” explains Abdelillah. Initially for financial reasons, the bike because an environmental choice.
Today the environmental issue is increasingly present at works sites through the use of environmentally-friendly materials. But to Abdelillah, “we don’t consider the trips by van that the technicians make. Sometimes just to give an estimate or to get a screw. I wanted to get of this and offer a global vision.”
The environment therefore became a true philosophy of life for Abdelillah. Initially, the bike was a temporary solution, so he hadn’t bout specific equipment. “It was painful,” he remembers. “I didn’t have any saddlebags and my clothes were not suitable,” he recalls.
Since he has invested in adequate equipment, his trips have become much more enjoyable and comfortable. “Specialised equipment is extremely important. Against the cold, I apply the principle of three layers as in the mountains: one base layer, a warm layer and a waterproof layer. My saddlebags are super robust, waterproof and easy to transport. And I have found light and compact material,” he explains. He notably has a 9 metre ladder which when folded is 3 metres long. To transport it, he uses a small trailer that he attached to his bike. If he has to carry more equipment, he uses a van. “In that case, I am no longer zero-emissions; I offer a service that moves towards zero,” he says.
“At first, it was not easy by bike. Especially, as I started in the winter but I told myself I had to persist. To be sure not to crack, I did not pass my driving licence,” he says smiling. Today, Abdelillah does not consider buying a van at all. “once you get over the first hurdle, the bike is pure enjoyment. When the weather is fine, you can wear shorts. And then, life evolves on a human level.”
On average, he covers 10 kilometres a day. At present, he would like to have colleagues but also convince other trades (plasterers, etc.) to move to the bike to offer environmental sites at all levels.
An article from Violaine Jadoul