New business guide supports more riding

Employers who want to make it easier for staff and customers to ride to their businesses can now get help from Bicycle Network’s Bikes are Good Business guide.

The guide was released on National Ride2Work Day and will be useful for employers as well as staff who want to advocate for better conditions.

Staff who ride to work tend to be healthier, more punctual and take fewer sick days so it makes sense to encourage more of them to ride.

Including bikes in workplace fleets and encouraging more staff to ride can also reduce some business’s environmental impact.

The short guide is broken into six main areas where businesses can act and includes links for more information and advice on the different areas:

  1. End-of-trip facilities

Staff want to know there is somewhere secure and convenient to store their bike and a place to change and potentially shower if they are going to ride to work.

Bikes can be hung on a wall, but floor-based or wall-based parking for people who can’t lift their bikes is also necessary, especially with the rise of heavier e-bikes. Hooks to hang wet weather gear, showers and private changing areas, lockers to provide security for clothes and other possessions are all necessary, and thoughtful extras like irons and ironing boards, well-lit mirrors, hairdryers and bike tools make it even easier to ride.

  1. Salary sacrificing

It should be clear to employees that they can salary sacrifice a bicycle, especially more expensive e-bikes, and that they will receive extra cash payment by foregoing a car for a bicycle. At least two companies now provide e-bikes for leasing and businesses can have employment agreements with staff to help buy a bicycle.

Businesses can also take out Bicycle Network corporate memberships and Rider Rescue memberships for staff.  

  1. Staff fleet bikes

If staff have to travel to meetings or site visits in areas with traffic congestion and parking difficulties, having a bike/bike fleet at their disposal can make it much easier. Including electric bikes in the fleet means staff don’t have to worry about getting sweaty or taking hilly routes. On some routes bikes may be quicker and cheaper to use than cars.

  1. Cargo e-bikes

For businesses that have to make deliveries of smaller items or carry tools and equipment, a cargo e-bike may be quicker, easier and cheaper in the long run than a car or small delivery van.

Cargo e-bikes with front or back storage boxes can be branded with business logos and contact details, just as vans can.

  1. Helping staff to ride

Some staff may need more support or confidence to ride, some of the things employers and workplace bicycle user groups can do, include:

  • Organising a ride to help staff build their skills and confidence on a bike.
  • Provide bike maintenance courses at work – this could be organised with a local bike shop.
  • Set up a buddy system in your workplace so experienced riders go out with newer riders to help them build their confidence.
  • Organise an e-bike session at work where a bike shop or organization brings in several e-bikes so your staff can go for a test ride.
  • Celebrate Ride2Work Day with a breakfast for staff who ride in on the day.
  1. Helping customers to ride

E-bikes and good quality mountain and road bikes can be expensive, so more riders are looking for secure bike parking when they are out and about.

Having bike parking close to the entrance of businesses or inside is a great way to welcome bicycle riders, along with signage to let riders know where to park. If businesses have people staying for longer periods, such as overnight accommodation, then bike lockers or secure room/cage may be needed.

Businesses can also work with local councils to have bike parking installed on the street.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.

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