15 January 2010

Biking in the office supplies

We chatted to the friendly bloke cycling this delivery bike for Office Depot the other day. They deliver boxes of printer paper and other stuff to offices round London.

It's a vital service. Without them, nobody's personal emails, holiday booking details, cake recipes, or Google maps of the friend's house they're going to next weekend, would ever get printed.

Office Depot seem pretty modest about their environmental image - I couldn't find anything about their bikes with a cursory online search. (But see the comment below.)

They're electric-assist rather than pedal-only jobs, but they cart around an astonishing quantity of stuff. You could hold a small party in the back - Labour after the next election, perhaps.

The street is Austin Friars, one of the City's narrow and quaintish cul-de-sacs. (With not enough cycle parking.)

It's quite short - there are City-bistro wine lists longer - but it manages to have three 90-degree bends. That makes it unsuitable for lorries (which nevertheless try to get through, with sometimes disastrous consequences). But perfect for bikes.


  1. See also www.lapetitereine.com


  2. Cool! They do similar bikes. Their English-language page (union flag link at top right) says:

    Our company is in demand because the means used for transporting goods by other delivery companies in town are very often too large for the goods they transport.

    On average a delivery van weighs more than one metric ton, it delivers less than 100 kg of goods while delivering its load within a total distance of only 15km.

    Our vehicles weigh 100 kg, have a load capacity of 180 kg and an autonomy of 30 km. Most importantly they are not pollutants! They are “ecological”.

    We are capable of delivering all kinds of goods compatible with the volume of our vehicle Cargocycle ® (1500 litres).

  3. Sorry have a downer, but have you written anything about the Royal Mail's plan to phase out postal workers delivering buy bicycle? Seems a shame to me. I haven't seen any evidence of it yet. I notice though that if people have ordered items over the internet or catalogues a bloke in a Royal Mail Transit van comes delivering, often at high speed and the letters are delivered by a chap on a bicycle. I suppose it would be tricky to deliver scores of Amazon packages by bicycle.



  4. Rob,

    Please don't forget to mention zerocouriers.com, the longest established bike freight business in London

  5. Of course I wouldn't forget... sorry, who were they again?

    Ah yes, Zerocouriers. Everything from an envelope to a washing machine, they say.

  6. Wow this is pretty cool - I didn't realise they were so environmentally friendly! Do they only do this in London? It would be great if I could receive my office supplies in this way!