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London facilities may make self-powered commuting more attractive

In a move that appears to have been paritally inspired by the cycling zeitgeist, a private members' club geared towards runners, walkers and cyclists is currently being developed in central London.

Bikebiz reports that property developer Piers Slater, is planning to roll out his H2 Clubs at locations in London, offering facilities that will make commuting by bike and on foot into the capital a more attractive proposition.

The first club, a £1.5m development, is scheduled to open in Soho in April, and according to Slater  will offer commuters: "Somewhere to freshen up, change, store bikes and clothing, and further improve their fitness and well-being through its gym facilities and additional therapies.

"H2 offers the customer a flexible, high quality approach to health and fitness at very reasonable prices, helping them to stay fit and healthy, keep travel costs low and personal grooming standards high, as well as cutting the capital's carbon emissions and congestion levels.”

He continued: "The Department of Transport Cycle to Work Guarantee encourages the provision of proper bike storage, changing facilities and safe cycle routes and H2 provides exactly that. Cycling to work beats public transport, which may be over-crowded, there’s no congestion charge to pay and it’s more sustainable than other forms of transport.

"Our team has received huge demand from corporate clients’ employees. Membership to H2 is an easy way for a company to hit carbon reduction targets and please employees."

Bikebiz reports that the cost of H2 membership will be £27.99 a month for off-peak membership and £39.99 a month for peak, with corporate discounts available. A £29.99 joining fee is being waived in advance of the opening of the first club.

The H2 Club in Soho will offer 230 cycle parking spaces with CCTV coverage, 40 showers and 1,200 lockers, a spinning studio, a laundry, a bike workshop and a bike shop.

It’s an intriguing proposition that may appeal to those who want to ride into central London, shower and change before heading off to work and have the added bonus of being able to fit in a gym session or even a run before the commute home.

There is significance too in the notion that a private members' club would be based around activities that were until relatively recently considered outside of the mainstream and largely working class.
 

5 comments

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bikecellar [268 posts] 5 years ago
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Any discount for those on means tested benefits?

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lokikontroll [51 posts] 5 years ago
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Love it.

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Simon E [2539 posts] 5 years ago
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I have corrected a few typos:

"Somewhere to freshen up, change, store bikes and Rapha clothing, and further improve their fitness and well-being through its gym facilities and additional therapies."

and

"H2 offers the well-heeled customer a flexible, high quality approach to health and fitness at inflated prices, helping them to stay fit and healthy, keep travel costs low and personal grooming standards high, as well as contributing to the capital's carbon emissions and congestion levels."

Joking apart. Heavy use of important words and phrases in the piece. I wonder what's wrong with Soho cyclists' current grooming standards? I do think they're milking the sustainable, CO2-reduction cow a bit too hard to be true. Perhaps they expect to persuade those who currently pay a hefty fee for parking their big car to switch to cycling. If it proves to work and no cyclist is harmed in the process it is surely a good thing.

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step-hent [718 posts] 5 years ago
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Not sure they are especially expensive, to be honest - they seem to offer the same facilities as many cyclists would use in the gym. Compared to a lot of gyms in central london, their pricing is rather reasonable - especially if you manage to get one of the secure bike parking slots. And £30-£40 a month is certainly a lot less than a monthly travel card.

Agreed they are over-playing the environmental friendliness - having a freshly laundered towel every time you take a shower could hardly be described as eco-friendly...

Nonetheless, lets hope it's part of the continuing 'cycling revolution' in the capital.

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Simon E [2539 posts] 5 years ago
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step-hent wrote:

Compared to a lot of gyms in central london, their pricing is rather reasonable - especially if you manage to get one of the secure bike parking slots. And £30-£40 a month is certainly a lot less than a monthly travel card.

A quick calculation after my original post brought me to the same conclusion - the benefits are actually quite good for what most people would consider a relatively small outlay (even more so in London, I guess). After all, £40 per month would be less than £2/day if you're doing a 5-day week.

Either way it's a positive development and may prompt employers or other enterprises to do something similar.