Why choose a bicycle hearse?

A bicycle hearse in Lambeth cemetery, Poppy's, London funeral director

Two minute read

A few months ago, we shared an image of a coffin on our social media channels. Nothing unusual about that. Except this was a cardboard coffin being transported home for family and friends to decorate. And it was on the front of a bicycle hearse.

In the many social media comments that followed, one word kept coming up — brilliant.

The amount of interest took us by surprise, but it shouldn’t have done. Environmentally friendly funeral options — like swapping petrol for pedal power — are increasingly popular. And funeral choices which reflect a person’s life and passions are something we always support and encourage.

A personal choice

For Dave Lofthouse’s family, the choice of a bicycle hearse for his funeral reflected both his interests and his values. “He cycled everywhere,” his daughter told us. “And he cared deeply about the environment.”

She was happy for us to share the picture above from his funeral because “it was so personal and special — it would be cool if more people went for the bike hearse option as a result!”

A big impact

A funeral with a bike hearse can have a big impact — and not just on the family and friends of the person who has died.

Piab Flowers works for cycle courier company Pedal Me. Providing and riding a bicycle hearse for a funeral procession during lockdown, changed his whole approach to life and death.

“The person who had died was a cycling activist and very involved with Extinction Rebellion,” he explains. “The eco side was very important to her. After I arrived with the cycle trailer, and her friends and family decorated it with flowers — it looked stunning.

“Her husband explained to me all about natural burial and the importance of preserving green spaces. My mind was blown. It was not something I had ever considered before.

“I was insulated from funerals and death until I left home. It was not talked about, there was no emotion allowed around it. Then, at 19 years old, I was faced with losing my partner. I had no point of reference at the time to deal with the truth about death, the permanence of it.

“After taking part in this cycle funeral, I went home and got straight on the internet. I found out about eco-funerals, composting, aquamation, all these options. Why aren’t these as accessible as they should be? It was so poignant for me to see what was possible.”

How we can help

“At Poppy’s, it’s important to us to listen to what you want and need from a funeral. A bicycle hearse won’t be the right choice for everybody. But for some people, it will provide the perfect send-off. If that’s the case for you, then we can give you all the practical support you need to make it happen,” says Poppy’s funeral director, Hannah.

“It doesn’t matter how unusual something is, or whether it fits with any preconceived ideas of what a funeral should be like. What matters is that it’s right for you.”

Read more on our blog about how to plan an eco-friendly funeral or about what options are available if you don’t want a black hearse.

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