Bonett's and bicycles
Back in mid to late ‘90s, we had three, yes three, company bicycles, bought from Freedom Bikes in George Street by St James Street. For years, we used them and they serviced them. Sometime around 2001, with changes in staff, we ended up with a general non-cycling team in the office. The bicycles were quite knackered by then and, except for with me, they fell out of favour.
I have continued to cycle daily, winter and summer, rain or shine, reflecting the well known proverb ‘It’s never the wrong weather, it’s just the wrong clothes’. So, when you invite me around to your home to give you advice, I’ll generally turn up on my bike. Failing that, I will turn up in a City Car Club car. This car-sharing scheme has been in Brighton for a number of years and, typically I suppose, we were an early adopter. In fact, I think we were the first business in Brighton to open an account with them. So, if I have to go out to Rottingdean or Patcham and it really is chucking it down, in the CCC car I go, booking it out for an hour at less than a fiver! When I return to the office, there’s a CCC space 10 metres away, specifically for that car so, unlike the average motorist, I’m not circling around the streets of Kemp Town, looking for a space; we’re saving on fuel and congestion. Others in the firm can use the same car, so we don’t need a fleet of cars outside the office, clogging up St Georges Road.
Recently though, we have seen the return of the bike; these quotes reflect our current thoughts on bicycle use:
“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” ~ H.G. Wells
I thought of that while riding my bike. -Albert Einstein; on the theory of relativity
“Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out in a gym.” ~ Bill Nye
I have a team in the office who realise that the practical, timely and enjoyable way to get around to our appointments on time and easily is usually by bike. So, we recently bought a bike for staff to use to get around. To ensure we cycle legally, you can see our logo on our bikes as we go about our business! We have taken a leaf from continental and Japanese cyclists, by fitting bike stands so we do not upset people by locking our bikes to their railings. We can park discreetly on the side of the road, away from pedestrian traffic, not cluttering up your ‘manor’.
We do retain one ‘pool’ company car with a ‘B’ on the bonnet (!), but expect you’ll see our bikes around a lot more often…more sensible, more fun, more friendly, more healthy, more sustainable…it’s the future of City estate agency. Are any more agents going to take a leap of faith, relinquish ‘the motor’ and get to their appointments on time? Only time will tell.