On your bike

Interesting article in the Guardian today, flagging up how 'the transport secretary, Andrew Adonis, will launch a scheme today to encourage companies to improve cycling facilities for their employees, part of a plan to make cycling one of the mainstream ways for getting people to and from work, school and college.'

My own experience has been that my workplace has emailed me about the cycling scheme whereby it helps you buy a bike by taking money out of?? your pay packet, so it's tax free. Or something. I didn't really take much notice as I was interested in cycling to work but already had a bike. I would guess that's probably the case for a lot of people.

No, the thing initially keeping me away from cycle commuting was the lack of showers or bike locks. To quote the Guardian article:

'The health secretary, Andy Burnham, said: "We can't expect people to cycle to work if they can't have a shower or store their bike safely when they get there ??? that's why we need a cycle-to-work guarantee from employers.'

I found out from another cyclist that there are showers in my campus. They're very well hidden, as part of disabled toilets on one floor, behind a door with no sign of any kind, but they are there. To be honest, there's a selfish part of me that would like it to stay that way so no one else uses them. The reality is that in all the details my workplace sent me, they failed to mention that key shower information.

They have also installed bike racks in the car park, but they're not much use to me as my journey is quite long (9 miles) and means I only ride to or home from work any day. The racks aren't safe enough to leave my bike overnight without getting stolen. So every time I cycle in I'm dragging my bike up to one of our spare office rooms. Not ideal, but just about workable.

Also interesting:

'The cycling guarantee forms part of a wider strategy to get people more active that will be published next month. "We're investing ??140m in improved facilities for cyclists over the next three years," Adonis said. "This includes more support for cycle lanes, dedicated cycle paths, and I'm a strong supporter of the mayor of London's plans for cycle highways."'

I must say, I'm intrigued by the idea of cycle highways…

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One Response to On your bike

  1. MattHogan says:

    I would add that bus/train station cycle facilities need review and investment as part of this government incentive. One Saturday morning some months ago, I used 3 locks to secure my high spec mountain bike to Coventry Rail station’s cycle shed. I returned that night to find it stolen, only my helmet and lock remains left behind.Depsite having posters encouraging cycling, the Coventry Station site CCTV doesn’t cover the inadequate and poorly maintained sheds. Cyclists struggle to find anywhere to secure bikes in the designated area so bikes are all over the place, attached to any going pole, pipe or fence.I then purchased a purposely less-desirable hybrid bike through the Cycle To Work scheme. First day of cycling to work and securing at Coventry Rail Station, the brake pads were stolen! These poor cycle facilities at the train station will have personally cost me over ??650 in stolen goods and after paying off the scheme.Thanks to a Policeman’s tip off, I’ve since found a very good place to secure a bike at the station, which I’ll keep a secret, if you don’t mind 😉

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