Culture 06/08/2020 Nick Dormon

A Smooth Ride

It is Cycle to Work Day today, so I am using this as a cheeky excuse to remind everyone of our work for WD40, where we took an iconic single product brand and expanded its appeal and utility to a range of specialist products. Perfect for every aspect of keeping your pushbike in tiptop condition!

Did you know that according to DofT, the British completed 14.7 billion cycle miles in 1949 compared to only 3.3 billion miles in 2018 – that is quite a drop! Back then, the car was a rarity and the bike offered an affordable mode of transport for everyone. We have seen a 32% increase over the last 20 years, yet today, TfL say that only 14% of cyclists in London are in lower income brackets and only a quarter are women.

Riding a bike to work is cheaper, healthier and, in many cases, far more convenient – you don’t ever need to find a parking space. And there are fabulous wheel lubricants now available for a smooth ride. The government will even subsidise the cost of your bike purchase through the Bike2Work Scheme. So why don’t more people ‘get on their bike and go to work’ as Norman Tebbit infamously said in 1981?

Here are some commonly heard excuses:

“I don’t want to get sweaty!”

If you go to Holland, they don’t get sweaty cycling to work – it’s not a race, take your time, wear some peddles pushers and a good deodorant.

“I don’t look good in bike-wear”

See above. 

“It’s not safe!” 

In 2018, 13 cyclists were killed in London – a terrible statistic; one is too many. Yet in the same year 58 pedestrians were killed – over 4 times as many. Yet this does not put us off walking in the streets, in fact, you will find that walking is the most dangerous form of travel! The 20mph speed limit in London was a significant step in road safety.

“It’s too polluted!”

A Leeds University research programme showed that cyclists are exposed to half the number of pollutant particles on the same commute as people in cars and buses and nearly 5 times less than if walking. So that doesn’t wash.

“I’m too unfit!”

You’ve got to start somewhere, so why not your commute? This way, you’re incorporating exercise into your working day, so there is less need to hit up the gym after work (unless of course you’re a fitness fanatic!)

“I don’t live in London!”

Get a folding bike and cycle to and from the station.

Any more excuses? No?  Get yourself a bike, a handy can of WD40 and I’ll see you on the streets.