Is cycling finally cool? In the UK it’s been a great year, with more than two million turning out to watch the Tour de France, and the centre of London shut down again for tens of thousands of bikes one sunny September Sunday.
If the Observer is to be believed then classic Pashleys have taken over from SUVs as the must-haves of the UK’s middle classes. Across the Channel, Europe’s gone crazy for commuter friendly cycle hire schemes.
Now something’s sealed the deal. A humble car advert.
Yes, the makers of the Vauxhall Corsa, one of Europe’s most popular cars, have launched a new ad campaign pushing the merits of its integral bike rack. These pop out bumper racks aren’t entirely new – Opel – the international Vauxhall brand, introduced them last year. Still, it’s the first time I’ve seen a bike-friendly feature used as a selling point in the UK.
The Flex-Fix® racks, which can fit up to two bikes, cost an extra £500 – much more than a standard rack, and are currently only available on selected models – no doubt we’re a long way off from the standardisation of inbuilt racks.
But when a car company tries so hard to appeal to cyclists, and one of the UK’s biggest bike sellers announces a 10 per cent sales boost maybe opinion finally is moving in the right direction.
If you want to have a look at the rack in action, click on the Corsa micro-site on the main Vauxhall Corsa homepage.