Do you work in Shoreditch and make the 30 minute commute by bike from Camden Town or Kentish Town? If so, you are now eligible for a new, free cycle scheme.
But here's the catch...you'll become a mobile advert. Buzzbike has just launched its new outdoor advertising channel, urging Shoreditch workers who regularly commute by two wheels to apply for a free lease on a £700 bike. Each cycle is complete with oversized rear mudguards, with the first wave of 200 bikes bearing the logo of online payments firm Braintree.
The firm wants to specifically target people in Shoreditch and the bikes are seen as a great way to get the brand some targeted exposure. In return for peddling the company name in the Shoreditch community (excuse the pun!), riders get to lease the Cooper bike for free, and are given a bike lock, puncture-proof tyres, a Brooks saddle and insurance against theft.
There are, however, conditions attached. Users must download the Buzzbike app, cycle on the branded bike to Shoreditch at least 12 times a month and lock the bike on the street, with the cyclist's activity tracked by a clever Bluetooth beacon attached to the bike. Cyclists not active enough in the right location will have to surrender the bike and its perks.
What's your opinion? Is this a great way of reducing commuting costs and encouraging more people to take up an eco-friendly mode of transport, or is this 'dressed up' exploitation with consumerism at its heart?
Cyclists who apply on Buzzbike’s website for these bikes must work in Shoreditch, where Braintree wants to promote its brand. They will have to pay a £100 deposit, cycle to work at least 12 times a month and lock the bike on the street.