Seattle's bicycle delivery man on a mission
SEATTLE -- Dan Kohler is a slim, bearded, unassuming guy who wants people to notice his bike.
"It has turn signals," Kohler said while standing next to his bicycle and its attached cargo box. "I get ogled a lot when I'm riding around on the street. People are really intrigued by what we're doing."
Kohler worked for 15 years addressing climate change issues with a non-profit before deciding to combine his passions for the environment and cycling by creating Freewheel, a carbon-free cargo-delivery company.
"In a dense urban environment like Capitol Hill or downtown, you don't necessarily need a van or truck to make local deliveries," he said.
Every day, Kohler stocks his cargo container with sandwiches and salads and whatever else companies want delivered to Seattle businesses. He can haul up to 400 pounds and uses an electric assist to to handle the hills.
On a recent trip, Kohler pulled up and parked right in front of Bauhaus coffee shop, where he delivers fresh food. The shop's manager, Grace Heinze, also bikes to work and sees the benefit of leaving the car behind.
"He doesn't have to circle the block looking for parking. He's happy and I don't have to smell diesel fumes from a big truck. It's great," Heinze said.
Freewheel has one bike and Kohler is the only delivery person. But he hopes to expand.
"We just started a week ago. So far so good," he said.