He usually works at Ikea’s customer service in Sint-Denijs-Westrem, but this week Manu Dehauwere from Ghent is cycling past all Ikea branches in Belgium in five days. To do this, he makes a trip of no less than 800 kilometers on a self-made bicycle, powered by solar energy.
Yesterday at 5:09 PM
On Monday September 5, Manu Dehauwere (55) started his courageous journey at the Ikea in Ghent. Why? To show that you need to slow down and de-stress once in a while. “I work in customer service, where people come with all their complaints. Then it can be good to find peace on the bike,” he says.
With his tour, he also draws attention to sustainable mobility. And he himself supports a social cause. Manu receives a bicycle allowance and for every kilometer he travels, the money goes to Belgian Centers for General Welfare (CAW). Not only his own kilometers are important, but also the kilometers of customers who come to Ikea by bike this week. They are counted with his.
170 kilometers a day
Every day Manu covers about 170 kilometers. It departs around 9am and arrives at its last stop of the day between 9pm and 10pm. As an experienced cyclist, he did not specifically prepare for this trip. (read more below the picture)
He designed his bicycle himself and it is powered by solar energy, but the autumn weather meant that he had to cycle mainly without support. “Cycling is going very well, but Thursday evening it was very tough because I was in the storm. Other than some muscle pain, I don’t have any problems for the time being. It is a beautiful route with many gravel tracks through forests.”
His journey goes through the Ikea stores in Wilrijk, Hasselt, Liège, Arlon, Mons, Zaventem and Anderlecht. He will be back in Sint-Denijs-Westrem on Saturday. “I am always very well received in the stores. They also take care of my lodging and food. For example, I have already gone to sleep at colleagues’ homes, booked by them in a hotel and on Friday night I sleep in a tent in a colleague’s garden.” (read more below the map)
On Saturday, Manu would arrive in Sint-Denijs-Westrem around 7.30 pm. He already looks back positively on his adventure. “I would recommend it to everyone to get a breath of fresh air on the bike for a few days or even just a few hours. It feels so good.”
You can follow Manu’s current location via this link.