A “car nut” who has been “radicalized by the bicycle”

In the last two years, Yvan Reynaud, a motor racing enthusiast, has become a “young radicalized motorcyclist”. For his daily trips, he chooses soft mobility. He made this choice to reduce his carbon footprint. Jhm accompanied him daily on a journey from Chaumont to Bannes.

“I was crazy about cars,” says Yvan Reynaud, who now considers himself a “radicalized young biker.” Last year he traveled 8,000 km by train, 4,400 km by electric bicycle and 3,000 km by car. He thus hopes to be able to contribute with his stone to the construction of the big question of the century: climate change.

With his use of soft mobility, Yvan Reynaud has emitted 618 kg of CO2 over the past year, including 567 kg of CO2 for the car alone. If he only used the car the same distances, he would have emitted 2,947 kg of CO2*.

Enlightened or pragmatic? daily jhm followed him on a journey to realize the pros and cons of his choices. Yvan Reynaud works in Chaumont and lives in Bannes, near Langres. Instead of 40 minutes by car, his journey takes him just under an hour, an extension of about fifteen minutes.

“If we stick to a monetary calculation, we don’t see the impact we have on the environment. This approach is not suited to the physical problems of climate change. »

To go from Chaumont to Bannes, Yvan Reynaud starts by going to the station. It takes him about ten minutes on his bike. So he catches his train and 20 minutes later he arrives at Langres. Then he gets back on his bike for fifteen minutes. In addition, there is a few minutes of waiting time from right to left.

Transition to cycling full of benefits

“My cycling training came slowly. At first it was just a few short rides. From confinement, things fell into place more seriously,” says Yvan Reynaud. To do his shopping, he equips his bike with two bags and that’s it. He also prefers soft mobility for his leisure activities. “For my last holiday I went to the Ardèche. I took the train and when I got there I had 45 km of bike left. »

The “radicalized youth on the bike” lists several co-benefits to choose from. “It gives me the opportunity to do more sport and be in better physical shape when I do activities at the weekend […] Driving every day is tiring. That [dans le train] I can take out my laptop or my computer to get on with my work. Sometimes I do nothing and just watch the creature out the window. In addition, there are many regulars on the train. I see people, I chat a little and it expands my social field. »

Some of these advantages can sometimes turn into disadvantages: “Sometimes in the morning you don’t want to meet people. But you’ll still have to keep the conversation going, because the next day you’ll see them again. »

Car used sparingly

Yvan Reynaud also recognizes certain limitations. “Having to adhere to timetables and opening hours, being dependent on a means of transport, means giving up part of your freedom. “That he qualifies: “It allows you to take your time. I come a little early and watch the people. We get used to the slowness. It is when you take the car that you say to yourself: “How fast it goes!” “He also puts an inverse to certain clichés:” The delay of trains, it is rather the exception. »

Furthermore, he laments the social costs of change. “One of my friends started cycling, but her colleagues laugh at her. You have to be able to endure it. To overcome some of these disadvantages, he advises: “You must be followed in your approach. The important mechanism is to make these changes as a group. The fact of sharing a moment with someone removes the sacrifices we make elsewhere. »


After all, Yvan Reynaud has not yet sold his car. “I only take the car when I have to transport something heavy, when the weather is bad and I don’t want to stand the rain. A return to old habits that can also come when he is tired. “I’m 53 years old, I don’t always have the form to take the bike. A year ago I had tendinitis and sometimes my back hurts. »

Julia Guinamard


* Source: “My CO2 converter”, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe). All data are in equivalent per person.

“I’m Beyond Planetary Boundary”

“How do you know you are a good transfer student or not since there is no report card?” asks Yvan Reynaud. To find your way around, it is better to be able to assess yourself. To do this, in particular, it is possible to turn to the “My CO2 converter” tool of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe). If the latter makes it possible to quantify the CO2 footprint of different activities, it is still necessary to have a basis for interpreting this data. According to the Carbone 4 association, a French person emits an average of 9.9 tonnes of CO2* per year.

The Paris Agreement calls for a reduction of the individual carbon footprint to two tonnes of CO2 in order to keep the increase in global temperature this century below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. According to data from Carbone 4, on average a French person emits 2,650 kg of CO2 just for transport. This is the main rod.

Next comes food with 2,350 kg, housing with 1,900 kg CO2, consumption with 1,600 kg CO2 and public expenditure with 1,400 kg CO2. transport, against 2,946 kg of CO2 if they had all been carried out by car, the saving is not enough to be linked to the commitment made at COP 21. “I am beyond planetary boundaries”, he laments.

* All data are in equivalent per person.

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