To some, a year seems painstakingly slow to get their product delivered. But to build a commuter bicycle like the Valour, we’ve moved at the speed of light to build an ecosystem of hardware, electronics, data architecture and software.
After almost a year in development, design, engineering, testing and production – the Valour is ready to ship out on July 15. Its a remarkable feat and one that we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish without the support of our community. Now, we’re more eager and excited than ever to ship the bicycle of the future. The Valour is not just a step forward in innovation; its a behavioural leap towards the smarter cities of the future. This humble bicycle might one day help us build cities around people.
When we started working on the Valour, we weren’t out to reinvent the wheel. We wanted to retain the bicycle’s design elements, ones that have been carried since its inception in 1890, whilst introducing the functionality that it deserves for the evolving world around it. Its quite a bummer to think that the only innovation we’ve seen in the industry have all been focussed on gears, brakes, weight and locks. At Vanhawks, we think that innovation has to be geared around the people using it.
Think of everything in our lives touched by innovation; in the name of user experience, our phones have gone from rotary dials to beautiful touch screens. Long distance travel went from steam ships to air travel with jet engine and cars are moving from combustion engines to electric drive-trains. The things we invented centuries ago, evolved and changed over time for the users. Yet the humble bicycle, which saw so much innovation in late 1800s and an entire US patent office devoted to such inventions, has more or less stayed the same.
We aren’t just building a smart and sexy commuter bicycle; we’re building a personal transportation ecosystem and a community of Valour users to make cycling better-suited for the city. The first-ever cyclists shared roads with horse-carriages and not speeding cars and buses. Avoiding traffic congestion wasn’t always a part of our daily lives. The last mile of the journey was never a problem. People used navigation devices and compasses to find their destinations and not to avoid grid locks and congestion delays.
Its time we think about sustainable cities and personal transportation like the Valour is ideally suited for urban commuters in today’s world. As Valour riders, we’re challenging the mindset that the car is the only viable mode of transportation in cities. Electric cars and on demand car rides like Uber, Lyft, and Hailo won’t solve the congestion problem at hand.
The Valour’s features are targeted at hesitant cyclists who would otherwise drive. It hasn’t been easy to put all the pieces together but the Vanhawks team has lived up to the challenge. We are hard at work and nearing the finish line. We truly believe that technology empowered by big data will transform our cities. As Valour riders collect the data, cycling will start to make more and more sense to the average citizen for a short or medium-distance trip. As we focus on delivering the Valour, the software team focuses on the users that will help us grow this infrastructure for better and always.
The concept of finding the perfect ride for the city is constantly unwrapping. We’re taking the first step towards the future of personal urban transportation and hope that you’ll join us to shape and transform the cities of tomorrow.
We’re sure that you have many questions on your mind. We invite you to join us for a live Q&A next Thursday on April 16th at 12pm EST and we’ll work to answer any questions you have.
Sohaib, Co-Founder and CEO of Vanhawks