In Paris, a new style of transport from funeral home to gravesite has been making headlines. Le Ciel et la Terre (“Sky and Earth”) funeral home manager Isabelle Plumereau introduced the ‘corbicyclette’ (loosely translated, ‘body bicycle’) to allow families to mourn in a different way.
According to AFP, Plumereau says the new bike allows for a funeral procession “to the rhythm of the steps of the people.”
You can watch it in action here:
The bicycle hearse has e-assist, making it easier to bring the heavy load longer distances as needed.
“The Corbicyclette is to propose a new ritual for families that I accompany, especially at the cemetery. It allows a slow, silent, quiet procession, to the rhythm of the steps of the people who walk behind and who make the procession,” Plumereau said. “For me, it is very important to accompany the families by giving them meaning in the ceremony, but also by giving them beauty. Because beauty is what will also bring comfort.”
“Of course, we will not prevent sadness,” she noted to France.TV. “But we can still bring a touch of originality so that the funeral is not a sordid moment, but a celebration.”
She isn’t the first funeral director to utilize the bicycle: Bike hearses are in use in the UK and (of course) Oregon. But her e-cargo bike version is the most traditional and vehicular one that we’ve seen. Others have tended to be more lightweight, designed for bamboo caskets, but the Corbicyclette creates a more traditional funereal vibe.
That’s partially due to French hearse specifications. Caskets must not be seen in a hearse, so essentially, Plumereau needed to create a cabin on wheels. It’s a heavy load: the bike itself weighs 180 kilograms and can carry up to 200 kilograms.
Poppy, a funeral home in the UK with a focus on sustainable techniques, notes: “A bicycle hearse won’t be the right choice for everybody. But for some people, it will provide the perfect send-off.”
Without sounding too morbid, imagine the possibilities of a bike hearse and the potential for, rather than a procession of follow cars, a procession of bikes down the streets. If you gotta go...
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