The GCN Cycle Courier Challenge

The GCN Cycle Courier Challenge


– Is the Tour de France, or the Olympics, really the ultimate test for bikes? We’re not so sure that they are. Instead, we think the ultimate
test might actually be the city streets that we ride on a daily basis. So, with that in mind, what is the best type
of bike for city riding? What is the ultimate bike, in fact? – Hm. To find out, for once we’re actually
gonna do some work. We’re gonna be cycle couriers riding for Deliveroo. – That’s right. Matt is gonna be making his deliveries aboard his cutting-edge road bike. Looking cool, aerodynamic, and perfectly at home
as a natural ex-racer. Me, however, I’m gonna be
riding my Cyclocross bike. I’m banking on it being a
little bit more comfortable, a little bit more forgiving, and I think even more fun. And then Dan, seriously mate, where is Dan? – I don’t know. Found a backpack and everything. – [TV Voice] 20! That’s it, it’s coming back. 15. (light upbeat music) – Hey Dan! What are you doing? You’re supposed to be riding a town bike. – Sorry, I was I was just about to do
some extra training first. – I don’t know what you’re thinking, mate, but you’re not gonna need
any extra training today. (smooth music with heavy beat) – [Simon] How is this
all gonna work, then? How do you become a delivery rider? Well, in this case we
signed up 48 hours ago, had a brief interview
and training session, then we downloaded the Deliveroo app. We say when we’re wanting to ride and then Deliveroo will send us jobs. Pick up food or drink, deliver it to customers, simple as that. – Oh, and we get paid. Per delivery. So you boys ready to get started? – Yeah, ready.
– We certainly are. – [Simon] Okay. – [Dan] Doesn’t work without. – You on yet? – I have! It’s just come through. Me first one. – Good luck, mate.
– See ya, lads. Hey, hey!
– Super cool. – See if I can clip in. First time, here we go! – [Simon] Matt is first up, riding his Canyon Aeroad Disc. He is, it has to be said,
at a bit of a disadvantage. Nothing to do with his bike, of course. It’s the fact that he doesn’t
really know where he’s going. – My first collection from Zizzi’s in Clifton. It’s a big pizza order. Let’s do this. For this type of riding, I’m really glad I’ve got to use this road bike, because there’s a lot of ground to cover today. And also what you’ve got to bear in mind, is that on a given shift, a Deliveroo rider can cover upwards of 50kms. And yes, it might seem a little bit weird that I’m riding a bike that’s crafted for aerodynamics, and I’ve got a big rucksack on my back but I am still gonna be
cutting through the air far more efficiently. And considerably more
efficiently than Simon and loads more than Dan. (light rock music) Finally got out. Packed my pizzas, four pizzas on board, and now ready to roll. (light rock music) – Got one. – Alright mate, good luck. – I’ll put it on my handlebars later. – Yeah. You need to see where you’re going first. – [Simon] And Dan’s off, wearing his special city riding outfit and making the most of
his Deliveroo jacket. On paper, should be looking pretty cool. He’s riding his Canyon Urban
bike with flat handlebar, more upright position, disc
brakes, a Conti drive system belt drive, but with fast rolling tyres. – Bikes like this are really
quite nippy and versatile. Kinda feels like you’re
on a mountain bike, but it is, of course, much
easier to ride on the road. Which is a good thing,
because I haven’t exactly made life easy for myself by opting for skinny jeans. Although I am looking good. Right, first pick up. Three pizzas, then a 10 minute ride to destination. Okay, I’ve arrived. Nice and promptly. (quiet jazz music) Amateur. Didn’t see there was a
non-revolving door on the way in. Alright, anyway, success. See you on the road. – Right. I’m on. (dance club music) And that leaves me. I’m riding my Trek
Crockett Cyclocross bike. I’ve cleaned a weekend’s
worth of mud off it, and I fitted some slightly
faster rolling tyres on it. But I still want to leave a little bit of off-road versatility. After all, cities aren’t just about roads. – This bike is normally super comfortable. But the sat nav keeps sending
me down the most awful roads. I mean, I’ve already got
slightly wider tyres on, but really? More cobbles? Here I am. I have arrived with the pizzas, hopefully
with the toppings absolutely perfecto. Hey! It’s a pizza bazookaaaaaa! (family laughing) Hey oh, do you wanna quick, quick check of the toppings? Perfect. – [Mom] Boy, looks good. – [Matt] You couldn’t make that up. Enjoy your food. – Thank you.
– We will do. – And thanks for being my
first ever Deliveroo customers. Cheers guys!
(family cheering) Cheerio. Hey, hey. – One thing I might change I quite like the clipless pedals from my road bike. It’s a lot hillier in Britain
than I thought it was. Picking up some speed. Ow. My nose. Tempted to get a mineral
water now to be honest. Here we are. Oh, waving. Looking forward to their pizza, I think. – [Family] Woo! – There we go. Hello. Right. This is my first-ever delivery. – Was it?
– Wow. – Hopefully that’s still warm. There you go.
– What do you say? – [Kids] Thank you! – [Dan] Thank you. Enjoy it. – [Kids] Bye! – [Dan] Bye! (quiet, fast dance music) – Right, then. One katsu chicken curry on the way. Tell you what, I feel a real
sense of responsibility. I have someone’s dinner, their actual food, inside this bag. I don’t think I’ve ever gonna
have ridden so carefully before in my life. I’m very glad of bigger tyres, having a curry on my back. Any kind of comfort and suspension is a good thing. Think of the curry, think of the curry. Think of the curry. Think of the curry. – Right. Second delivery completed, and I have to say, I really quite enjoy this. It is a very different experience riding a bike like this, but I can still cover vast distances and I can still ride as hard as I like. Which might not be actually
quite as hard as I would like given current fitness level,
but you know what I mean. The good thing is, though,
is that I can easily sit up, look around and scan any
hazards that might be coming up, and you do feel a little bit
more confident in traffic on a bike like this, which might not be a consideration if you’re a life-long cyclist. But if you just got into it, and it’s your first time
riding around cities, that might well be a consideration. – I don’t think he’s having
quite as much fun as I am, actually, although let it
be said I’m certainly not riding off road with someone’s dinner on my back. That doesn’t seem quite right. But, what I love is the
fact that my choice of bike doesn’t limit my choice of route. It does certainly help that I know this city
like the back of my hand. I know the shortcuts and I know
the most fun places to ride. But a Cyclocross bike helps me to get there. And, yeah, I could’ve
chosen a mountain bike but a Cross bike, is definitely more responsive and it’s a little bit more nimble. It’s certainly more efficient when you’re logging some serious kilometers. And compared to a road bike, I really value the fact that the position here is just a little bit more upright. So it really helps your peripheral vision. Makes you just feel a little bit
more confident as well, on the bike. Now I said that I know Bristol quite well. And that means it’s kind of my choice to ride up this infamous 17% gradient. Good opportunity to get
in a little bit of extra training, isn’t it? With a curry on my back. Think of the curry. Think of the curry. Think of the curry. Speed bump! Think of the curry. Where are we? Oh, here we go. (quiet, upbeat music) Hey. – Hey you, how’re you doing? – Alright. Katsu chicken curry? – Yeah, fantastic. – Alrighty. Here we go. Alright. Cool man. – Thanks very much. – Alright, no worries. Did you want a selfie or anything? – Uh, no, no you’re alright. – Alright, cool. – Bye. – See ya. – GCN fans. – Hey! (Simon sighs) – Doing good? – [Simon] Alright, yeah. Good, very good.
– That was a proper day’s work, isn’t it? – It was, but that was good fun. That was good fun. – It certainly was. – What are we thinkin’ then? The best bike for riding around the city? Road, city, or cross? – Well, I was definitely
glad of my road bike, but I’m pretty sure those city streets take
their toll far more than country roads. – [Dan] Yeah. – And as nice as it was, and
as easy as it was to ride, I’d recommend maybe something a little bit cheaper, considering
you’re gonna be locking up on numerous occasions during the shift. And also, I think, I’d like
just a bit more comfort as well, perhaps. – Yeah, you see I wonder whether the Cross bike could be a winner for that exact reasons. Those big tyres do give you
an awful lot more cushioning and yet, with the knobbles
on, they roll slower. But put big, fat slicks on and
I think I’m gonna be rolling just as fast as you are, and yet, admittedly, with slick tyres, I couldn’t take some of my alternate routes. But I think the novelty of
those is going to wear off pretty quickly. – I think you should hold
your horses there, Si, because I think my city bike
was pretty much the ultimate. It was light, nimble
and agile at negotiating junctions
– Bit like you. and traffic, yeah, very much like me. I’d probably change a
couple of things next time. I would take a lock. And I’d also wear some different clothing. I’m suffering. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the GCN, please do so by clicking on the globe. And we did a challenge,
last year, didn’t we? In 2016, around the city of London. You can find that video in the bottom corner, just down there. – Or, for how to ride in a city, you can click just down here.