On your bike!

One morning on my way to work I took the above picture. Can you think of a better way to get to work? For me, it certainly beats being stuck on Punt Road or squashed between a banker and a student on the train.

Being Danish, I was brought up on a bicycle. 50% of all Copenhageners commute to work or study by bike, so when I moved to Melbourne I was surprised that only 8% of Melbourne’s commuter traffic was by bicycle. For me, Melbourne is the perfect bicycle city so why don’t more people cycle? And how can we get Melbournians moving?

In the UK, the government introduced the ‘Ride to Work’ scheme, which allows employees to purchase a new bicycle (for commuting to work) without paying tax on it. Basically a small amount will be deducted for your gross pay each month until the bicycle is paid off.

As if the obvious reasons – it’s free, better for the environment, and health benefits – aren’t enough, a new London startup company ‘Buzzbike’ is offering you a bicycle, lights, lock and insurance all free of charge. The company is developing a series of new technologies that could turn bikes into a huge media platform. How does it work? Well each Buzzbike is sponsored by a brand. This gets the brand seen around town and the cyclist a free bike.

All the user needs to do in return is follow three simple steps.
1. Connect their bike to the rider app so Buzzbike can track their progress.
2. Ride to work a minimum of 12 days a month.
3. Park the bike securely on the street.

Some will argue that this type of effort turns people into human ad platforms but aren’t we already with our branded clothes, branded bags and branded phones?

Why aren’t all companies providing their employees with branded bikes? Since exercise is proven to increase your productivity and wouldn’t it be a great advertisement for any company to have a fleet of bicycles with your name on out there?

I’m thinking that soon I might actually be paid to cycle to work.