Advertising needn’t cost millions.

I’ve got my hands on some iron-on T-shirt transfer paper and have plans to turn a couple of simple white Ts into stylishly simple posterboards for cycling. I admit I’m not normally a T-shirt person, but the weather is dazzling and I have ideas to share.

I’m sharply aware that cyclists can be their own worst enemies sometimes. Criticising cars doesn’t make you many friends. (In fact just mentioning cars gets people thinking about… cars, rather than, say, bikes.) Gushing about bikes also wins you few favours.

I’m aware that just getting out there on my bike and looking good (as always!) is the best advert for cycling. But the occasional clever little slogan might help spread the message too. 🙂 Here are some I’m weighing up.

(Some, if not most of these, are based on slogans I’ve seen here or there. If you invented it, drop me a line and I’ll happily mention you. 😉 )

Light-hearted ones: t-chocolate

  • “Transport that runs on chocolate.”
  • “Bike to work: weird outfits optional.”
  • “Bikes. Adult fun. Nakedness optional.”
  • “Less oh, poo. More woohoo!”

Or statistical:

  • “912 Miles Per Gallon (so far)”
  • Saving the taxpayer: [in the form of an addition sum] £137 in congestion + £28 to NHS + [wish I had the patience to find more figures!]
  • Cutting my risk of heart attack by 50%!

Telling people your story:

  • “My other bike’s a bike.”
  • “I own a car, but cycling’s easier.”

Or normalising it (letting normal people relate):

  • “Bikes: not just for getting to work”
  • “When will you next cycle?”
  • “Have you biked to work yet?”
  • “If you don’t ride because it’s cheap and environmental, ride because it’s easy and fun.”
  • “Have YOU cycled to work yet?”
  • “Older and wiser” [with a photo of an elegant older person on a bike]

Giving people a reason to like it (without gushing):

  • “Cycling: Easy. Fast. Like driving used to be.”
  • “Cycling gives you a sexy (down-pointing arrow)”
  • “Transport which keeps you fit.”
  • “Does this bike make me look slim?”
  • “Bored of traffic jams & parking charges?”
  • “Anti-ageing cream for your health.”
  • “Worried about obesity? Go by bike.”
  • “Exercise is just a by-product.”
  • “Exercise. Bike.”
  • “Future-proof transport.”
  • “Less noise, more poise.”
  • “Use your time better: go by bike.”

To educate the ignorant:

  • “Go by bike. Because you can.”
  • “When overtaking, allow at least as much room as you would a car – Highway Code”
  • “3 times faster than walking, for the same amount of energy.”
  • “21st century transport”
  • “The fun way to get to work.”
  • “the safest, cleanest, most efficient, healthy, and fun means of personal transport that exists— BMJ”
  • “Love me. I’m reducing your congestion.”
  • “Bikes cost X% less to taxpayers.” (Anyone know the value of X??)
  • “Your car is damaging your health. And hers.” [alongside a photo of a pensive girl in a car window]
  • “By the time you’ve reached the car park, I’m halfway home.”
  • [winter version of the above, probably NOT on a T-shirt:] “By the time you’ve deiced your windscreen, I’m halfway to work.”
  • “Give kids a chance… to play in the streets again.”
  • “What if we loved our kids more than our cars…? Go by bike. Please.”

Car ad style:

  • “On a bike, people see you. Looking good is essential”
  • “Cycling: the intelligent option.”
  • “The most intelligent vehicle ever created.”
  • “The world’s most advanced engine.”
  • “If you were sold on your car being a joy to drive… try your bike.”
  • “Offer your loved ones a healthier future.”
  • Vorsprung durch Viktorianische Technik
  • Maybe she’s born with it… Maybe she cycles.
  • “If you were sold on your car being economical… try your bike.”
  • “Timeless elegance”
  • “Contribute to a better-looking town: cycle chic.”
  • “Feel alive again.”
  • “Intelligent design”
  • “Style over speed.” (credit: the Copenhagen Cycle Chic motto, obviously)

I’m styling my designs similarly to the eyecatching black+red+white typography of the I amsterdam and Mayor of London campaigns.

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