You have probably seen him around in the streets of Lille, driving on a white and blue cyclette, either all geared up with cleaning equipment and his cap, or with his whole family in the trunk for a ride.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Vincent Lengagne and his son about a month after Vincent started his new, sustainable, on-wheel-business: La Vitro Cyclette, where he offers eco-friendly window cleaning for both professionals and private houses.
After 5 years on the road as a driving salesman for Michelin, Vincent had it with driving, cars, roads and long hours. He decided to improve not only his own life quality but also his impact on the environment. Which made him consider different carrier choices… Urban Farming.. an internet platform for nursery homes and day-care… But the one who stood out was window cleaning. Not just any kind of window cleaning, one on a 3-wheel bike just dealing with eco-friendly products!
´The idea came from having a housekeeper, which did a great job, except from the window cleaning. I did them better myself… I have cleaned windows since I was little and know quite a few tips and tricks. I heard around and got it confirmed, there was a market for cleaning windows.
In order to keep the service as eco-friendly as possible, I didn’t want to use conventional cleaning products. Regular dishwashing soap and vinegar does the trick just as good and leave the windows clean with a clean consciousness!
I wanted to offer an eco-responsible choice cheaper than specialized companies. So I put the wheels in actions. ´
One thing led to another, so as soon as the 3-wheeled bike was bought, the logo and graphics came into place, the company LaVitroCyclette was born: The bike took the place of the car in the garage and the business started rolling.
´Not only can I enjoy providing an eco-friendly cleaning service. I can also meet new people, get exercise, breathe in the fresh air, take responsibility for my eco-footprints, and spend more time with my family – it all makes me happier than I have ever been in the 5 years of working as a salesman. ´
The whole philosophy and vision behind LaVitroCyclette builds on the story about the hummingbird: ` One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest. Frightened, all the animals fled their homes and ran out of the forest. As they came to the edge of a stream they stopped to watch the destructing their homes. Every one of them thought there was nothing they could do about the fire, except for one little hummingbird. It swooped into the stream and picked up a few drops of water and went into the forest and put them on the fire. Then it went back to the stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again and again. All the other animals watched in disbelief; some tried to discourage the hummingbird with comments like, “Don’t bother, it is too much, you are too little, your wings will burn, your beak is too tiny, it’s only a drop, you can’t put out this fire.” And as the animals stood around disparaging the little bird’s efforts, the bird noticed how hopeless and forlorn they looked. Then one of the animals shouted out and challenged the hummingbird in a mocking voice, “What do you think you are doing?” And the hummingbird, without wasting time or losing a beat, looked back and said, “I am doing what I can.”
´I will be happy to see other people starting up business on bikes in Lille as well– seeing the plumper, the painter an others biking to work ..`
If you have some windows that need cleaning, call up Vincent on 06 76 93 87 62 and he will come rolling with style!