In the text below you can find answers to the most common questions we receive regarding our products and their applications. If you have more questions, feel welcome to get in touch at email@example.com .
Q: Isn’t a wooden path slippery?
Wooden surfaces, even wet, are not slippery in themselves, see the report of our innovative research project on the topic. If they are not well-maintained, a thin film of micro-organisms will build-up over time and combine with water to lubricate the surface under wet conditions. This can lead to a slippery surface.
To avoid this, wooden paths and decks should be cleaned at least twice a year, for example together with leaves and gravel removal. More details are available in our tailored maintenance manuals.
Our products are furthermore developed so that a good grip is guaranteed year-round, and naturally draining so that black-ice is less likely. This can be further reinforced in bends and slopes to ensure outstanding cornering grip, even at high speed.
Q: Isn’t a wooden path short-lived?
Our cycling paths are designed for a 40 years technical lifetime with limited maintenance, when placed in Northern European climates.
We designed our products based on century-old lore about how to handle timber with care, to ensure a reliably long usability.
In specific environments, or upon request of the customer, the path can be coated to improve lifetime, durability and aesthetics. There are many options, so get in touch if you have some ideas.
In general, the key to a long-lasting wooden product out in the nature is a combination of:
- good engineering, choice of materials and construction
- no permanent contact with the ground
- give the possibility for the wood to dry in-between wet periods
- good understanding of wood parasites likely to affect the wood in the area
Famous examples of well-preserved centuries-old wooden constructions include:
- Hōryū-ji (1280 mm of yearly precipitations)
- Paramaribo Cathedral (2220 mm of yearly precipitation)
- Gliwice Radio Tower (420 mm of yearly precipitations)
- Heddal Stave Church (770 mm of yearly precipitations)
- Kapellbrücke (1170 mm of yearly precipitations)
- Kyrkboden i Ingatorp (700 mm of yearly precipitations)
Q: Isn’t it dangerous to fall on wood?
It is generally recommended not to fall while biking. If you do, however, loose balance, the contact with the ground is usually the direst consequence.
To minimize the risks, wear appropriate clothing and adequate gear, with an eye on the weather. Do not bike at speeds you are uncomfortable with or that are inappropriate to your track’s topology. Accompany younger or inexperienced cyclists, and make sure you select a path adapted to their skills.
Wood being flexible and relatively soft, it will absorb more of the shock than other materials, and therefore reduce the risk for blunt injuries.
Q: How much CO2 is being stored in your wooden cycling paths
Each kilometre of our paths bind about 200 tons of CO2e in their wooden body.
This can be compared to an asphalted path that will generate well above 20 tons of CO2e per km for its production and installation (climate-improved asphalts notwithstanding).
Q: How do you preserve your wooden product?
Our products are designed to be low-maintenance. Proper cleaning of the wear surface twice a year or more often will ensure good friction and absence of obstructions at all time.
Depending on the environment in which the path is placed, It may be required or recommended to improve its durability by extra coatings as for other wooden products used outdoors. Such surface treatment will require regular maintenance at 5 to 10 years intervals depending on location and traffic quantity.
On a lifecycle basis, it is not expected that wooden structure will entail higher maintenance costs than an asphalted path, but the maintenance schedule and type of actions will be different.
Regular inspections should be done (every two years is recommended) to detect any possible issue at an early stage, so that corrective maintenance can be initiated.
Q: What are the maintenance requirement for such installation?
Twice-yearly cleaning of the deck to ensure all organic growth is removed before it affects user’s safety. This can be done with the addition of wood-nurturing vegetable oils that will help keep the deck healthy and strong over time.
Regular inspection of the path and under-body (once every two years) to detect early signs of damage will ensure corrective maintenance can be undertaken as soon as possible.
If required or desired, the wooden surfaces can be re-coated at intervals between 5 to 10 years.
Loose boards should be replaced early, especially before the start of the snow season since ploughing can accentuate any existing damage.
Special attention should be given to supports locations and connections between modules.
In general, the key to a long-lasting wooden structure is to keep it dry as much as possible, and correct any issue as early as possible.
Q: What kind of vehicles are allowed on such path?
According to our own research, all maintenance activities for such infrastructure (cleaning, sanding, salting, gravel and gravel recuperation, …) can be performed with lightweight vehicles. We do not recommend motorized vehicles using our paths for other reasons than maintenance and emergencies.
Our standard elevated sections are dimensionned according to the Eurocodes for the following characteristic loads:
- Service vehicle load of 4,5T (GVW)
- Single axle load of 3 T
- Axle track of 1050 mm (wider tracks are allowed, for shorter tracks, contact us)
- Wheelbase of 1800 mm (longer wheelbases are allowed, for shorter wheelbases, contact us)
Removable bollards or similar should be used to prevent overweight and unauthorized access to the infrastructure.
Higher Service/emergency vehicles loads are possible upon request.
Q: Why wood?
Wood is a local product, that has a very positive impact on the environment. It binds CO2 during its growth, and, in our case, keeps that CO2 bound into the path for its lifetime, while new forests are grown in its extraction location.
Furthermore, wood is lightweight, easy to re-use, or recycle, meaning none of it goes to the dump. It provides for a circular product.
It is also healthier to work with wood than most other road materials.
It is more easily transformed, so modifications and adaptations are quick and easy.
Finally, it is beautiful, or at least, we think so.
Q: How fast can you deliver?
Depending on the kind of customization degree you require, lead times can vary.
Standard products in stock can be delivered in Europe within 4 to 6 weeks.
Fully-fledged projects where detailing is required will have a lead-time of 4 to 12 months, including detailed design.
Q: I want other dimensions, customize, is that possible?
Everything is possible. It is however always so that the higher the customization grade, the higher the cost.
We have a standard offer with standard prices and construction. Many deviations are possible, but they should be discussed specifically.
Q: Which kind of terrain is suitable for VelSol?
VelSol is suitable for most terrains and weather.
It is particularly suitable in protected areas with delicate nature, since it has a very limited imprint on the undergrowth and surrounding ecosystems.
It is even advantageous in rocky environments where it takes a more “bridgy” configuration, with supports every 6m or so. No need to dynamite away the path’s imprint.
On existing hard surfaces that need to be upgraded or renovated, a more compact version can be made that will be laid directly onto it.
Another interesting option is to place it above draining ditches alongside country roads, allowing good cycling infrastructure without encroaching into more nature or private land.
Depending on the terrain and location, construction, surface treatment and maintenance requirements may vary.
Q: Does it work with electric bikes, moped, electric scooter, stegway…?
We have taken into account a large variety of active mobility modes in our design process.
In any case, you can run, bike, jump, dance, brake, drift… on our products without danger for breakages or unexpected skid. You shouldn’t expect more punctured tires either.
We are continuously on the lookout for new active mobility solutions, and how would they interact with our products. If you wonder about some specifics, get in touch with our customer service.
Q: Is there a way to have the advantage of wood with an equivalent rolling surface to asphalt?
In specific cases where a specific rolling surface is required, we can deliver an extra layer on top of the wooden deck to provide a similar experience to asphalt.
This will increase maintenance requirement, as well as improve durability.
Q: Why are you saying your product makes cycling safer?
The flexible wooden deck will soften the blow when falling.
Since our product is self-drained, it decreases dramatically the risk for puddles freeze-overs and the like, improving conditions in the near-freezing days. Large puddles are likewise a thing of the past.
By placing the pedestrians and cyclists above the motorized traffic, it decreases the likelihood of obstructions, traffic swerving onto the biking lane through separation.
By offering an economically and ecologically attractive solution to gentle mobility, we hope to help increase the spread of such infrastructure that inherently increases gentle users safety by separating them from the heavy traffic.
Q: What essences of wood are you using?
Our standard offer relies on slow-growth Nordic Pine and Spruce with the adequate treatment and processing.
Q: Do you have a minimum order
We don’t, but as always, marginal costs go down with order size, so the price per meter is higher the smaller the quantity.
Our smallest module is 6m long.
Q: How does your product fit within the circular economy?
Our product is essentially wood and steel, with limited amounts of watertight materials.
Our modules can be re-used an unlimited amount of times within their rated lifetime, as long as they are not damaged, and they are installed and stored according to recommendations.
With proper care and regular inspections, lifetime can be extended. Expert advice is recommended.
When the product needs to be discarded, we provide a recycling instruction sheet to ensure all fractions are re-used in the best possible way.
If you want, you can also build our paths in circles, that works too.
Q: Why don’t you make the deck smoother by placing the boards side-by-side without a gap, like in my home flooring?
In order to ensure the wooden boards can swell and shrink with temperature and humidity variations, a minimum gap is required between them. We unfortunately cannot avoid it.
If you are looking at a smoother deck profile, we are developing add-on surfaces to place on top of the deck.
Q: Do you only provide the construction product?
We intend to be a complete enterprise supplier. We can help with the detailed designing of the paths, selection of the products, all the way to the actual installation.
Things we expect the client to cover: geological survey (if required), permitting.
Q: Are you the first ones to do this?
No, as this example illustrates, although we hope to be the first one to successfully deploy it in significant and sustainable lengths for pedestrian and cycling applications.
Q: How fast can you run or bike on a wooden path.
As fast as you safely manage. As this event has shown, you can bike pretty fast on a wooden track, provided with the right conditions.