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A gym and bike club for cyclists and runners commuting to work in Soho in central London has installed more than 1400 lockers all with smart electronic locks, to provide secure storage.
Next to Carnaby Street, in the London’s media, advertising and entertainment district, H2 Bike Run is the idea of property developer and keen cyclist Piers Slater. Like many cyclists he was fed up with arriving at work hot and sweaty, then having to shower and change in cramped offices or health clubs. The club offers 300 bike parking spaces inside the building on Josta racks – useful in Soho where space and parking, even for cyclists, is at a premium.
From the start of the project Slater knew that security for lockers had to be right first time, as work-bound cyclists and runners were leaving their personal possessions in his lockers. The wireless access control product used was the SALTO XS4 electronic locker lock from SALTO Systems. Chris Saxby of Ansador Ltd, SALTO’s local business partner, says: “Working in consultation with Piers Slater and SALTO we designed and installed a highly secure and flexible access control system to meet all of the security demands of the locker room environment at H2 Bike Run. The XS4 locker Lock can be fully integrated with the SALTO access control solution or be operated as a stand-alone system. Part of the brief was that the lockers had to be flexible enough to allow for change of use patterns, allowing for permanent storage use or variable – maximum 2 hours – use, so to achieve this we fitted 1,400 lockers locks as well as nine XS4 E9450 electronic escutcheon handle sets to provide the benefits of full access control rights programmed via software as required and an automatic audit trail facility to record the last 1000 events at each locker.”
Most OEM lockers come with very basic mechanical locks that offer little in the way of protection, the firms add. Rex Palmer, Area Sales Manager for SALTO Systems, says: “With an ergonomically designed twist operated locking handle making for easy use, even with wet hands, and a durable wipe clean construction that’s highly resistant to chemicals, UV radiation and physical wear and tear, our XS4 locker lock solution has added real flexibility to the security requirement of H2 Bike Run. The battery pack, electronic components and locking mechanism are all located on the inside of the locker door, safe from potential vandalism or sabotage.”
The access reader is built into the locking handle and the ID carrier – key card, wristband, key fob or bracelet using i-Button, Mifare, Mifare plus, DESfire, DESfire EV1, Ultralight C, HID iClass, Legic, Picopass or SKIDATA technology – is presented to the reader and the locker lock will grant or deny access. A family option allows for multiple ID carriers to operate a single locker if required. H2 Bike Run plans to expand and possibly move to other cities.
Given the popularity of commuter cycling in London, Slater invested £1.9m raised from family and friends to develop the first H2 Bike Run, built on the site of a former car park. Eventually he plans to develop the concept into a chain across the capital and believes there is a demand for up to 20 clubs across central London. He has already identified 10 locations for development where the whole potential catchment area is within a five-minute walk.
Also at H2 in Soho are more than 40 showers, and changing area – the women’s ones even with hair strengtheners – 1,400 lockers, sports therapy, a laundry service, bike servicing, cycle retail accessories and repairs and a small gym.
Personal trainers are available, and the whole set-up is designed to fit in with the likely needs and time constraints of commuters. And for cyclists who want more, there is a large spin studio. This is affiliated to the New York-based Spinning programme that guarantees serious quality workouts. A timetable tells you in advance who your instructor is, and whether the session will be an endurance, interval, strength or race/recovery ride. It also indicates the target heart-rate zones. As well as attracting individual memberships, H2 Bike Run believes the clubs will appeal to employers who will see corporate membership as an alternative to providing facilities for cyclists and runners.