Our Philosophy or: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bike
Imagine a vehicle that can whisk you across town, through the congested streets of the busiest rush hour. Strong enough to carry both a few kids and your shopping, this vehicle also provides you with the exercise that doctors recommend in order to diminish the risk of an extensive list of modern lifestyle diseases. And last but not least, imagine, if you will, that this vehicle also produces zero carbon emissions, and protects you (and your passengers) from the worst of the city’s pollution.

No, this invention is not the crown of modern technology, and no, it is not expensive. Moreover, if this transport form was more widely adopted, it would be the end of traffic as we know it, and the roads would be safer and more pleasant for everyone.

As you might have guessed, the vehicle in question is of course the humble bicycle. Only this vehicle offers the simple solution to some of our greatest problems, and it is precisely this idea that is at the heart of the Flying Dutchman philosophy. Of course, there are innumerable reasons why people choose to ride their bikes, but in terms of riding for utility, we have complied our Top 8 Reasons why it makes sense to cycle – enjoy!

  • It’s Quick: In and around urban environments, motor vehicles get caught in traffic, but bikes can utilise a considerably denser road network of shortcuts, bus lanes, and bike lanes, as well as filtering techniques to maintain higher average speeds over short distances and especially at peak hours. Add an electric assist motor and you can really fly!

cycle london, cargo bicyle, utility cycling, daily commuting

  • It’s Cheap: Per mile travelled only walking is cheaper! A bicycle will cost between 3-7p per mile, compared to 20-40p per mile for a bus, 20-60p per mile by train, and 30-150p for a small car. No fuel, licence, insurance, MOT, or Vehicle Excise Duty is needed to ride a bike, and this not only saves people money but also removes a lot of the red tape associated with using the roads. Good-quality bikes represent a strong long-term investment as well, and don’t depreciate in value to anywhere near the same degree that motor vehicles do.
  • It’s Convenient: Unlike with public transport, a bicycle journey starts at your front door and ends precisely at your destination. Parking is never a problem either, as every lamppost is a potential (cost-free) parking spot! Also, our Dutch bikes are designed to fit around you, rather than requiring you to adapt to the bike with specialist clothing and aftermarket safety equipment.
  • It’s Efficient: A chain-driven bicycle is undoubtedly one of the most energy-efficient forms of transport. Incorporating exercise into a person’s lifestyle is also a tremendous time-saver, and can go a long way towards making gym memberships redundant. In terms of space on the roads, the bicycle is also a highly efficient mode of mass transport, easing a city’s congestion and improving everyone’s journey times.

air pollution

  • It’s Green: Not only do bike riders save money by by-passing the fuel pumps, they are also reducing their carbon footprint and producing no harmful emissions. In the UK, more than 29,000 deaths a year are linked to air pollution, and so the need for Greener transport solutions is greater than ever. With neighbouring cities like Paris making real efforts to combat air pollution, London needs to step up its game if it is to remain an attractive place to live.
  • It’s Versatile: Depending on which of our bikes you choose, it could be possible to adapt it for a wide variety of tasks. If you want it to be a simple commuter, then perhaps a rear rack is all that you will need. If you want to ride it all year round, mudguards and lights might also be welcome additions. Need to do some shopping? Just throw on some panniers. If your family should grow, adding a child seat or two is not a problem. Need to shift some serious cargo? Fitting an ultra-strong front rack is so simple that it can be done at home with little more than a spanner. The adaptability of our bikes is definitely one of their best features.

utility bike, cycle london, bike local buy local

  • It’s good for you and the local economy: Riding a bike is a low-impact form of exercise, and for trips to the local shops it’s ideal. Even if an individual can’t necessarily commute via bike, the EU-funded initiative Cyclelogistics[1] concluded that over 90% of all grocery trips could be made via bicycle. People who shop by bike buy locally, and so urban centres benefit and regenerate after many years high street decline.
  • It’s Commercially Viable: From the perspective of our commercial clients, cargo bikes have huge potential. The study by Cyclelogistics[1] estimates that 51% of all urban goods-related motorized trips could realistically be shifted to cargo bikes. On that front, DHL has replaced 10 percent of its Dutch fleet (33 vans), with cargo bikes, saving themselves more than £300,000 per year, and saving the planet more than 152 tons of CO2 per year.

[1] The study can be found on the Cyclelogistics website (http://cyclelogistics.eu/), but a more interesting analysis of the data was done by the Copenhagenize team (http://www.copenhagenize.com/2013/10/the-massive-potential-of-shifting-trips.html). 

 

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.”

– Elizabeth West, Hovel in the Hills