Shopping by bike

Shopping by bike

There are many benefits of shopping by bike:

  • You do not need a car park.
  • You can park close to the shop door and for free.
  • You save money on fuel and running costs.
  • It can be easier to carry things on a bike compared to walking.
  • You can exercise as part of a shopping trip.
  • It can be easy to stop and talk with friends while on your bike.

Here are some tips:

  • Find a route that suits you. Usually the fewer hills and cars the better, especially if carrying heavy items.
  • Many shops do home deliveries so you can buy a big order and still get it home.
  • Buy less but shop more often and have the benefit of fresher foods and more exercise.
  • Shop on the way home from work or school.
  • You can carry items in baskets, panniers (bags that attach to the bike), backpacks, on a bike rack or even in a bike trailer.
  • Lock your bike even if you are leaving it for just a minute.
  • An increasing number of shopping centres and local shops are providing bike parking. If your centre does not, speak with the shop keepers or centre management.

Bicycle friendly businesses
There are many benefits of catering for people on bikes if you run a business. Most people on bikes that shop in their local area tend to buy less but shop more often because of their limited carrying capacity. Cyclists can be drawn to businesses by good parking or other facilities because it is easy to stop and park a bicycle. Cyclists can potentially spend more on shopping as may spent less on cars and petrol.

People on bikes can form a significant part of a business's customer base. Retail businesses can attract bike riders by providing:

  • convenient and secure bike parking
  • a delivery service for bulky items or big orders
  • a drinking fountain or other access to cold water
  • restroom facilities.

Retailers can work together with the local council to ensure good facilities are provided for people who ride and to enable a safe route to shops.

Many people enjoy strong coffee, plenty of water and energy foods such as pastries at cafes after a bike ride. Cafes can also become regular meeting places for cycling groups who can be encouraged with discounts and other incentives. Bike parking near the cafe will save clutter around the tables.