Snow-covered bike paths? The AutoMat association pulls them through with the help of a cycle plough. We can come to you as well - Do práce na kole

Snow-covered bike paths? The AutoMat association pulls them through with the help of a cycle plough. We can come to you as well

Snow-covered bike paths? The AutoMat association pulls them through with the help of a cycle plough. We can come to you as well
24. 12. 2022

Autumn cleaning by volunteers from Cyclists for themselves or fans of non-motorized transport, and the lack of maintenance of cycle paths and cycle lanes complicates life. In autumn it is falling leaves, these days it is snow again. Enthusiasts with the AutoMat association, which has been promoting sustainable transport in our cities for two decades, have come up with an original solution. With the help of financial contributions from the public, they have built a prototype of a cycle plough (and a cycle brush), with which they are dragging the busy Prague paths themselves. And they are also collecting tips on places that need to be pulled through.

In autumn last year, the AutoMat association announced a crowdfunding campaign in which supporters of year-round cycling pledged money for a new cycle plough to clear snow and, in the next phase, fallen leaves, gravel and other obstacles from cycle paths. The cleaning of cycle paths and cycle lanes is particularly slow in winter. Thanks to 59 enthusiasts from the Friends of AutoMat Club, the necessary amount was raised. In mid-January, the designer Jirka Štrupl finally had the prototype ready, and just a few days later, the first snow of 2022 took place with a test drive.

Cyclists for themselves

With the “brush” attachment, the cyclo plough got to work again in the autumn, when it got involved in cleaning up the cycle paths of the Cyclists for Themselves community. And now the AutoMat association is again clearing the snow, for which, as usual, no one in Prague was prepared. The idea itself, however, comes from Hradec Králové, where cyclists cleared the snow with cyclo plough in 2012. The biggest boom came between 2014-2018, when different versions of the plough were created, with which enthusiasts, including Jiří Štrupel, maintained the Elbe cycle path. In 2021, the word was out and the AutoMat association acquired its own bike plough. Donors from among our supporters and fans contributed to its production within the crowdfunding campaign.

Autumn cleaning by volunteers from Cyclists for themselves

Did it snow in your area?

On Monday, 12 December, when most of the country was covered with snow, our slightly improved cyclo plough went into action again. In the early morning hours, AutoMat´s matador Vrat’a Filler took it through 22 kilometres of Prague’s cycle paths. “The new model is a bit more compact, folded it fits into a 50 cm crate. We tried it on new snow, it takes well, when it is trampled by pedestrians, it doesn’t scratch, but we didn’t count on that,” says Vrat’a. It was because of the fans of non-motorized transport, who might be surprised by the new snow, that he spent several hours on Prague’s roads.

We tested the cyclo plough for the first time in January 2022

If your cycling infrastructure maintenance is also lacking, let us know. Send us your tips on places that could be worth pulling through so that we can continue to ride happily on them to: vratislav.filler@auto-mat.cz.

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