6th July 2017
Hilton London Bankside has launched its own fleet of bicycles for guest use. In partnership with local business, Bamboo Bicycle Club, the hotel offers guests use of 6 custom-built unique bamboo bicycles, built from scratch by hotel staff – under the expert guidance and tuition of the team at Bamboo Bicycle Club. Fully tested by bike-riding engineers, the bicycles are beautiful, robust, easy to ride and environmentally friendlier than standard bicycles.
With its focus on good design, and on supporting local London businesses, Hilton London Bankside wanted to offer guests something a different to the “Boris-bike” and engaged the east London based Bamboo Bicycle Club, which teaches people to build their own bamboo bike from scratch. Set up by cycling enthusiasts James and Ian, The Bamboo Bicycle Club has created a community of bike builders, creative thinkers and cyclists across London and further afield. They have conducted research with Portsmouth University and worked closely with Oxford Brooks University & UCL to advance the development of bamboo bikes.
The bicycles have been made in Bamboo Bicycle Club’s London based workshop. The bikes were first designed digitally to test the build and allow for initial analysis. A frame-building jig was then set up which allows the frame to be built accurately with the correct alignment. The bamboo tube is cut to shape using a mitered join, and once cut to size, the tubes are joined together using a hemp composite wrap. The frame is then finished and waterproofed and finally the components including the wheel and handlebars are fitted.
“We are delighted to partner with Bamboo Bicycle Club to create these brilliant bespoke bicycles for our guests to enjoy. The building process was a great team building exercise for our six chosen bicycle-builders from different areas of the hotel staff. Hilton London Bankside constantly invests in team member development and this shows clearly in our consistent positive staff feedback and job satisfaction. Each of the bicycles will be named after the team member that built it, with a message to let the rider know who hand-built their bicycle”.
The bicycles will be securely stationed outside Hilton London Bankside and available for hotel guests to use at any time during their stay, free of charge. There are cycle routes taking in some of the best of London – taking in Borough Market, the micro-breweries and foodie venues in and the green spaces of Greenwich Park.
Hilton London Bankside will also create its own bicycle trail map of the local area and guests can purchase a delicious picnic box from OXBO to enjoy on their bike ride.