Ditching The Bike For… A BMW!

I’m used to working long days; I do it five days a week, but yesterday’s visit to London for the Games Maker training was exceptionally long. I set off from Reading at just after 5am and trundled from station to station across Berkshire and through the western suburbs of London to Paddington, arriving at Brunel’s masterpiece about an hour later before setting off to travel from west to east and the perimeters of the new Olympic Park where the training day was taking place.

The plan had originally been to try out the Barclays Bikes, the ‘Boris Bikes’ that I have posted about over the last week or so. However, the lack of time (the training started at 8am and finished in the early evening) and the atrocious weather beat me and that little adventure will have to wait until another day…

I did spend quite a few hours on Saturday afternoon driving or being driven by other Olympic volunteers in one of the BMWs supplied for use at the London Olympic & Paralympic Games. I extol the virtues of cycling on this blog whenever I possibly can and there may be those of you out there that would say I’m being hypocritical by accepting a driving role at the games but I hang onto the following information about the green credentials of the cars that will be used, courtesy of;

BMW is proud of the fact that the fleet is very low-emission. The average is 116 g/km of CO2, which is below the official Olympic target of 120 g/km. According to research by environmental website,, BMW is now the world’s most efficient car manufacturer in terms of the amount of CO2 emitted for every horsepower generated. BMW points out that its Olympic fleet has an average power output of 157 bhp, despite its low CO2 figure. In contrast, the average car sold in the UK emits 126 g/km of CO2, but only produces 126 bhp. The fleet will include 160 electrically powered 1 Series in a total of 3200 cars and 25 motorbikes (BMW being one of the very few companies that can supply both cars and motorbikes, of course). About half the total will be BMW 320d Efficient Dynamic models. At 68.9 mpg, they are one of the lowest polluting cars on the road, despite their size and performance.

Am I absolved of my guilt? At least my commute from Paddington toย my Olympics base will be 100% environmentally-friendly on a good old Boris Bike. And when driving around the capital in July & August, I will be a considerate, careful driver, especially to cyclists.ย Guaranteed!

Categories: Cycling

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