This entry was posted on Friday, June 20th, 2008 at 11:54 am and is filed under Bicycle advocacy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
I think it’s great that the UK Department for Transport is coughing cash to make a whole bunch of extra towns - and a city - into beacons of cycling excellence.
Yesterday’s announcement of £100m for a further 11 Cycling Demonstration Towns - with Bristol as the first Cycling City - is good news and got a lot of positive media coverage. But I’m worried about stench.
Are cyclists really as rancid as some would make out?
Part of the PR for Bristol’s winning bid includes this promise:
“Building a state-of-the-art facility for cyclists in the city centre providing showers, bike parking and lockers so commuters can have a wash and brush up before starting work.”
Part of me says this is welcome because it shows the needs of cyclists are being addressed. But a much bigger part of me (the part not doused in aluminium chloride) says this is sending out the wrong message. It says ‘Cyclists smell’.
Now, don’t get me wrong, if I lived twenty miles from work and time-trialled into the office in full-on Lycra gear I’d want a spritz and a spruce-up before mixing with co-workers. But are showers really necessary for the great majority of cycle-to-work journeys?
They don’t seem to be necessary in Copenhagen, where the cycling populace tootles about in civvies.
So, tell me, do you smell? When you cycle to work, that is.
How far do you cycle? Do you think workplace showers are an essential provision for an employer, or over-kill? Is BBO (bike body odour) really the problem it’s said to be? Would a pack of Wet-Wipes, a sink and a dash of cologne freshen you up just as well as a shower?
Do you really need to cycle to work in cycling gear, smelly or otherwise? Is this not sending out the message that cycling is a thing apart, not normal and, by extension, abnormal, to be avoided?
As ever, I’d welcome your feedback.