4 June, 2021
Yesterday was World Bicycle Day. This week is National Bike Week. And this month is Love to Ride Bike Month. So, let’s talk about cycling.
The case for ditching the car in favour of a bike has never been stronger. Cycling is emissions-free, provides great exercise, and, with new electric bikes, is accessible to riders of every ability. Over the last four years, the total length of London bike routes has increased five fold. Add to this that nearly 60% of car journeys are under five miles long and it’s clear that starting your engines is often totally unnecessary (the point made hilariously in this ad from the Bike is Best campaign).
Innovation is making cycling even more accessible, flexible and sustainable. France is on the verge of approving a new law allowing people to trade in an old car for a €2,500 grant towards an electric or foldable bike. New business models are also helping. Monthly subscriptions for bike ownership, including servicing, insurance and locks in the price, are becoming more popular. Swapfiets gives you a basic functional bike for under £17 a month, and The Bike Club has a subscription for kids bikes that allows you to exchange models as they grow taller. This is the cyc-ular economy in action!
Businesses can also help people get cycling. Beyond traditional Cycle to Work schemes, subscription services like Buzzbike are allowing employers to provide their bicycles as employee benefits through salary sacrifice, making it even more affordable for people to get out of the car and on their bikes.
By Ben Wood