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Do More, Pedal More: The Untold Story of Deliveroo Cyclists

Updated: Mar 20



Intro

Do More, Pedal More: The Untold Story of Deliveroo Cyclists In recent years, the streets Of the UK have witnessed an ever-increasing fleet of Deliveroo cyclists, zipping through traffic to deliver our favourite meals directly to our doorsteps. This burgeoning brigade of delivery riders, often seen as the face of the gig economy on two wheels, plays a pivotal role in the fast food delivery revolution. Yet, their story remains largely untold. As members of the cycling community and advocates for fair labour practices, we must ponder - is Deliveroo giving cyclists a bad name? And, as cyclists, should we rally behind these riders, offering our support against the backdrop of their daily grind? This blog aims to shed light on the untold story of Deliveroo cyclists and explore how we can contribute to their cause.

The Rise of Deliveroo and Its Army of Cyclists

The inception of Deliveroo marked a significant shift in the food delivery landscape, bringing with it a new era defined by convenience and efficiency. Central to this transformation is the legion of Deliveroo cyclists, a varied and dedicated group who have quickly become ubiquitous on towns and city streets. These individuals, donning the company’s distinctive gear, tackle the urban maze daily, ensuring that meals are delivered promptly to awaiting customers. Their relentless efforts, often under challenging conditions, are the engine powering Deliveroo's promise of quick, reliable service. Despite the visibility of these cyclists in the fabric of city life, the recognition of their toil and dedication remains markedly scant. As they navigate the complexities of gig work, facing unpredictable weather and the hazards of dense traffic, their story – one of resilience and commitment to the task at hand – unfolds largely in the shadows of the bustling cities they serve. This chapter in the Deliveroo saga highlights not only the company's rapid ascendancy but also underscores the human effort that underpins the convenience it offers, inviting a deeper appreciation of the cyclists' indispensable role in this revolution.

The Public Perception of Cyclists Post-Deliveroo

The introduction of Deliveroo cyclists onto our city streets has significantly altered how the public perceives those on two wheels. These riders, distinguished by their vibrant attire and the parcels they carry, have become emblematic of the fast-paced, on-demand economy. However, this change has not been universally embraced. While some residents appreciate the convenience and dedication of these cyclists, others associate them with a negative shift in urban cycling culture, citing concerns over traffic disruption and safety risks. This ambivalence underscores an evolving narrative around urban mobility and the place of delivery cyclists within it. It beckons a greater understanding and acknowledgement of the complexities these riders navigate, bridging the gap between appreciation for their service and concerns for urban cohabitation. As the fabric of our cities transforms, the dialogue surrounding these cyclists prompts a reevaluation of how delivery services integrate with existing traffic ecosystems, aiming for harmony over discord in our shared urban spaces.

Challenges Faced by Deliveroo Cyclists

Deliveroo cyclists navigate a series of demanding obstacles in their daily endeavours. The physical strain of incessant cycling, particularly in adverse weather conditions and over extended periods, cannot be overstated. Such exertions are compounded by the precarious nature of gig economy employment, which often leaves riders grappling with financial unpredictability due to fluctuating work volumes and the absence of a guaranteed income. The lack of formal employment rights, including essential protections such as sick pay and insurance, further compounds their vulnerability, leaving many just one accident or illness away from financial peril. Additionally, the necessity to maintain their own bicycles and the cost of repairs places an added financial burden on these riders. Encountering sometimes hostile urban environments and navigating the perils of dense traffic add a layer of risk to their daily routines, making their work not just a test of physical endurance but of mental resilience as well. These challenges highlight the pressing need for a more supportive framework for Deliveroo cyclists, underlining the importance of community and union backing in their quest for fairer treatment and improved working conditions.

The Role of the Cyclists Transport Union

The Cyclists Transport Union is instrumental in championing the rights of Deliveroo cyclists and those in similar positions within the gig economy. It serves as a pivotal advocacy group, pushing for the implementation of fair labour standards and the provision of adequate safety measures. By facilitating dialogue between cyclists and policymakers, the union seeks to ensure that the voices of delivery riders are heard and considered in legislative processes. It campaigns for essential protections that many gig economy workers lack, such as a minimum wage, access to occupational health and safety measures, and the right to unionise without fear of repercussion. Moreover, the union’s efforts extend to educating cyclists on their rights and the resources available to them, fostering a community that is both informed and engaged. Through collective action and negotiation, the Cyclists Transport Union endeavours to secure a more equitable working environment for cyclists, highlighting the power of unity in addressing the challenges posed by the evolving landscape of urban delivery services.

How Can We Support Deliveroo Cyclists?

Lending a hand to Deliveroo cyclists calls for actions both small and significant, from the choices we make as individuals to collective efforts that can bring about substantial changes. As customers, making conscious decisions such as choosing ethical delivery options, which prioritise the welfare of riders, can create immediate positive impacts. Generosity in tipping, reflecting appreciation for their swift and often challenging work, can also provide direct financial support. On a broader scale, advocating for enhanced cycling infrastructure in our cities not only benefits Deliveroo riders but promotes a safer environment for all cyclists.


Engaging with and bolstering the efforts of the GMB Union is paramount; their work in fighting for the rights and protections of gig economy workers is critical. By joining their campaigns or even just spreading awareness of the issues faced by Deliveroo cyclists, we can help amplify their voice. Further, fostering a culture that respects and values the hard work of these riders can change societal perceptions, ensuring that delivery cyclists are seen and treated as essential contributors to our urban lives. Together, through both personal actions and collective advocacy, we can significantly improve the working conditions and lives of Deliveroo cyclists.

The Future of Delivery Cycling

As delivery cycling evolves, the integration of innovative technologies and a shift towards greener alternatives promise to redefine its landscape. The advent of electric bikes and more sophisticated routing software can alleviate the physical toll on cyclists and enhance efficiency, presenting an opportunity for a healthier work-life balance for riders. However, these advancements must be matched with a concerted effort to uphold and improve workers' rights within the gig economy. Ensuring equitable treatment, secure employment conditions, and access to necessary safety measures will be key in sustaining delivery cycling as a viable and respected profession. The focus must also extend to urban planning, with cities adapting their infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of cyclists, ensuring their safety and the seamless integration of delivery services within the urban fabric. Embracing these changes, with a keen eye on the welfare of riders, will define the trajectory of delivery cycling, making it an indispensable and valued element of urban life in the years to come.

Conclusion: Pedal Towards a Better Future

The journey of Deliveroo cyclists is one marked by unwavering commitment and sheer perseverance. In the realm of urban delivery, they stand as unsung heroes, navigating myriad challenges to keep our cities moving. As part of the wider cycling community and as advocates for equitable labour practices, it falls upon us to extend our support to these hardworking individuals. By fostering a culture of solidarity and recognition, we can advocate for meaningful change, ensuring that the rights and contributions of delivery riders are acknowledged and respected. Encouraging a dialogue that values their service is crucial in redefining their role within the urban landscape. Our collective actions, from supporting riders on the ground to engaging in broader advocacy efforts, can pave the way for a future where delivery cycling is not only viable but also valued. Together, we can drive forward a vision of urban delivery that champions the welfare and dignity of every cyclist, embodying a spirit of community and shared responsibility. Let's embrace this challenge, championing a brighter and more inclusive future for delivery cycling.

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