Does your office offer these three cyclist facilities?

When I used to cycle to work on Gray’s Inn Road in central London I was always pleased my office offered these facilities. The first and most important I believe was secure bicycle parking. While bikes outside were getting stolen or rusty from the rain mine was securely away in the garage. After hassling the security guards for long enough they even gave me a key fob so I could swipe in without having to wait for them at the buzzer.

blue shower is it one of your bike office facilities? Next there was showers. Not enough of them but none the less they were there. It feels ten times better arriving at work and been able to have a shower before starting. It also meant I could cycle faster without worrying about sweating. Plus the oldest trick in the book was saying hi to my boss so she knew I was there and then heading off to take a shower. What?! I’m in the office so its fine. Don’t look at me like that! Okay I was a bit of a slacker, anyway, you didn’t hear that trick from me.

Finally my office offered lockers. Plenty of them to put my shoes in. They even had big lockers to hang my suit up. Pretty great really.

What I’m really interested to hear from everyone is the following:

  • What kind of facilities your office offers?
  • If it doesn’t offer any of them then how do you cope without them?
  • Have you ever tried to convince your office to add them and was it successful? (They can get £1000 match funding for providing these facilities)
  • (If you’re in the UK) Does your office participate in the cycle to work scheme?


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21 Responses to Does your office offer these three cyclist facilities?

  1. James Pellatt 15/10/2009 at 9:04 pm #

    As a developer we provide more and more of these facilities with our schemes. The biggest problem is when people abandon thier bikes in the office blocking use for others. We also have to have a fortnightly cull of the towels and smelly clothes left in the office.

  2. Andreas 15/10/2009 at 10:53 pm #

    @James – we had to do that occassionally aswell, anything good went to charity.

    Good response rate to this poll, thanks everyone who has replied!

  3. Will 16/10/2009 at 7:47 am #

    Secure parking is definitely the highest priority. After 2 thefts and one attempted theft which resulted in a bent frame (first time I’ve had a bike that’s been written off) I’ve ended up riding a second hand bike with no real value. I’m based just off Tottenham court road, it’s so busy all the time, but people either ignore it or don’t notice, a friend had 2 locks on his and they still managed to get it, sad times.

  4. Andreas 16/10/2009 at 10:03 am #

    The attempted theft sounds pretty brutal. The whole second hand bike thing is not a bad idea. If your bike looks really good I would always consider at least taping over the frame so they can’t tell the make etc. You definitely want to consider bicycle insurance if they are going to so much effort as to break through 2 locks.

  5. Phil 16/10/2009 at 12:32 pm #

    We have all the facilities including a towel drying room Still stinks in there though. It works really well, we get about 25 cyclists a day out of about 200 odd staff which is very good, over ten percent cyclists.

    My bike only cost £250 new, so I don’t suppose it would be that attractive to thieves, but I don’t think we could operate the scheme without the secure parking. There are numerous bikes in there everyday worth well over £1,000. I don’t know why people spend so much, but regardless access, to our bike store would be bike thief paradise.

  6. sweek 16/10/2009 at 1:21 pm #

    We have a small office and we just all put our bikes in one corner of the office… not sure if that counts as secure parking but it’s certainly very nice to be able to do that! Locker rooms or anything like that is not really needed when you’re only 20 people in the first place and you trust everyone. A shower would be great though and I’m going to suggest it to the guys.

  7. Teresa 16/10/2009 at 1:47 pm #

    We have a bike store in the basement of the building (the building shared by 4 companies), with a bicycle rack etc. They’re just putting another rack in (in the summer it was full.

    Apparently westminster council do some sort of council tax/rent (something or other) rebait if a building landlord provides a certain amount of secure bike parking per head in the building. Quite good i thought!

  8. Andreas 16/10/2009 at 1:52 pm #

    @Phil – good to hear such a percentage of people travel in on their bike. I guess some people like to spend lots on bikes in the same way the like to spend lots on anything.

    @Sweet – Sounds like a nice small office environment. If you suggest it to everyone see if London Cycling Campaign can hook you up with some funding towards the shower.

    @Teresa – Yes I think lots of schemes like that exist I just don’t think that many people know about them.

  9. sweek 16/10/2009 at 2:25 pm #

    @Andreas any idea what a shower would cost? I’ve been looking online and can’t seem to find out very easily.

  10. Andreas 16/10/2009 at 3:29 pm #

    @sweet – no idea! Get a plummer in and put in a shower, complete guess £500. I guess if you need to add tiles to the room etc then more.

  11. Chris aka KarmaCycle 16/10/2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Hey – that’s funny – I put up a post this morning encouraging the workers of London to campaign for an airing cupboard in every office! The call came after a random exchange with a cyclist who was complaining about putting on wet clothes at 6pm. Yuk.

    I work for a very large company – we have lovely showers, good secure parking … but nowhere to put your clothes to dry. My desk is always strewn with disgusting smelly often wet clothes. Difficult to think of a solution for that – other than airing cupboards for all! here’s the post about it:
    http://karma-cycle.blogspot.com/2009/10/is-it-time-for-change-in-eu-law-in.html

    Chris

  12. Andreas 16/10/2009 at 6:20 pm #

    I think the best choice is just providing the funding for companies to achieve projects such as showers for cyclists. I know its not possible at all workplaces. It is pretty horrible at the end of the day having to put on wet clothes isn’t it!

  13. Steve Russell 17/10/2009 at 7:10 am #

    My employer, Wellcome Trust also has a dedicated cyclists’ drying room.

  14. danceralamode 18/10/2009 at 9:49 pm #

    My office doesn’t have these facilities; however, my gym is just across the street, so sometimes I use their showers and lockers.

    They don’t offer secure garage parking, but the new bicycle racks installed are inside the museum park and right next to a 24-hour guard station.

    Showers and lockers would be awesome.

  15. MarkA 20/10/2009 at 10:31 am #

    I work in Mayfair where most offices are quite small or old houses – none of the corporate glitz of bike parking, showers and drying rooms! I have to leave my bike on Berkeley Square every day (hence why I cycle on a piece of crap, but it gets me there and it’s no great shakes if it gets nicked)

    I think cycling facilities should be included under planning law ie. you have to have 10 bike racks for every 10 parking spaces, you have to have showers and locker rooms if you’re going to build an office for say, more than 50 people. If you’re going to build a road you have to build a cycle lane beside it etc – eventually the velorution would build itself!

  16. Lee 20/10/2009 at 11:08 pm #

    I work in Glasgow, in a factory of nearly 600 employees. About 20 people commute by bike as there are very few facilities for us to use.

    Firstly; we have a bike rack that holds only 8 bikes, with the rest locked to fences. As the factory repairs expensive & desirable devices, we have a security perimeter within the building, so you cant take any items into the 2 showers available in the factory. As such, you have to leave all your items in one of the 50 small cloak room lockers outside the perimeter, if your lucky enough to have one.

    As for the bike to work scheme; they would not support it as they deemed it ‘difficult to implement’. To quote our communications officer “There is too many forms to fill in”. Sad really.

  17. Andreas 22/10/2009 at 8:42 am #

    MarkA – Agreed! I mean 10 cycle parking racks probably take up as much as 1 parking space so it does make sense. I think there is some planning laws in place but I don’t know how far they are enforced. Experience has shown however that the facilities need to be there before people step out of their comfort zone and start cycling.

    Lee- Sounds like the company really is not making an effort there. It is a shame to see that companies are failing to realise the benefits.

  18. Andreas 22/10/2009 at 8:43 am #

    Thanks for everyone’s comments, I’ll be doing a write up next week about some of the ultimate cycle friendly offices. I’m pleased that some of you said your offices provide facilities but as always it is a shame to see others let down by their company, especially when there are so many benefits to be hand.

  19. purpaboo 28/10/2009 at 10:40 am #

    I work in Soho, on Berwick Street. Luckily we have showers and secure parking for bicycles. No proper drying facilities, but plenty of space to hang up wet clothes. I feel very fortunate to have these facilities, as I would not cycle to work otherwise.

  20. Petet 18/05/2010 at 9:16 am #

    We have 350 Staff, and about 80-100 cyclists, we have 8 showers (4 male and 4 female), have open lockers (so they don’t get filled and left to smell) if you leave something valuable in there thats your problem, this works really well, we give free towels so we can deal with smell and deal with cleaning quite easily,

    The lockers work very well as it stops people carrying rucksacks with wet clothes to their desks and cluttering the office floor. We have suit/shirt cabinets also in the changing area that seem to be very well appreciated.

    In our old offices had same number , no facilities worth talking about and about 15 cyclists.

    For me the facilities are the most important thing to get right, dealing with oversubscription is a good problem to have. We have had to take car spaces from our basement to facilitate bikes..

    Works very well

  21. John 30/08/2010 at 11:45 am #

    In the school where I work we had an offer from the council to supply 2 covered bike racks that would take up 2 parking spaces, You would not believe the opposition this met with, albeit we have parking for about 80 vehicles!
    Any way it went ahead, now we have included another new covered area for the kids to park there bikes which holds around 40 bikes,.all paid for by various green transport ideas.
    For the staff if they wish to shower they can use the staff showers in the sports hall and have special open box lockers in the staff workroom area (although most do not use them).
    Thats an awful lot of vehicles taken off the roads in the way of staff and school runs and a whole lot more fitter staff and kids.
    If the argument is pressed for cycle facilities against car drivers opposition then many will use them as they see others making use of them.
    Secure covered parking now for around 60 as opposed to 2 parking bays!

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