'Cycling is the new golf' - Swiss cyclist shares his passion for the sport and staying healthy in the workplace

In conversation with Swiss cyclist Jérôme Bailly, we hear why 'cycling is the new golf' the joys of the sport, and how he maintains an active lifestyle despite working predominantly from the office.

For Jérôme, cycling is a way of life. Based in the Swiss city of Lausanne, the 43-year-old father of two couldn’t ask for a better location, with stunning scenery and smooth roads the setting for a range of iconic cycle routes through the lower Alps, regularly visited during the Tour De France.


“It’s the only moment in the day when I don’t have a screen in front of me, It’s a chance to fully reconnect with my senses and relax.” Says Jérôme when asked about what he loves about the sport. “No computer, no mobile phone. In fact, a few years ago I also removed my bike computer, because I felt the need to just stop. Stop the data. It’s part of my job, and I wanted a moment in life where I can look ahead, look far away, and have all my senses in the moment.”


A passionate road cyclist for over 15 years, he blogs on cycling for Swiss newspaper Le Temps and also see's cycling as a great opportunity for networking. The sport has been rapidly growing worldwide over the past few decades, attracting an ever wider demographic of enthusiasts looking to engage in a more active lifestyle, often in tandem with their professional lives.


“Young, and sometimes not so young professionals are increasingly becoming interested in cycling. They say "cycling is the new golf", and by that, they mean that where before out-of-office business deals and networking was done on the golf course, it is now happening on the road. I think that modern professionals are really looking for something more active, more exciting, and cycling seems to be where it is at."


"I really enjoy the social aspect of cycling, and it is a great way to meet new people and to share great experiences with others. Besides, you are able to go much faster when in a group, you can save up to 50% of your energy when you ride in the middle of the peloton, so it helps with the sport too.”


Jérôme on the last switchback before the Vieux Emosson 1.3km climb, a short but steep segment (averaging 15.2% gradient) - Valais, Switzerland


Cycling through the amazing scenery of the Swiss Alps -  Mittelbergpass, Switzerland

For some, like golf, the technology and precision equipment involved is also part of the attraction, and while Jérôme is by no means a collector, he has some serious cycling kit.


“My main road bike is a Cannondale SuperSix EVO. It’s a lightweight road bike, full carbon, super nervous with a classic line. I wouldn’t say I am a bike freak, but I really do love the bike itself, it’s real precision engineering.”


Jérôme also has two other bikes, a mid 80’s Italian vintage bike. Made of Columbus SLX steel tubing and Campgnolo Record, it is a far cry from the modern designs, but it is beautiful craftsmanship, and Jérôme likes to cycle this for special events like l'Eroica, and also for fun. His third bike is a Longtail Tern GSD10, a bike with space for his two children to ferry back and forth from school, increasing his cycling and overall wellness, something which he takes seriously and into his working life.


“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important to me. I take care of my nutrition and food very closely. You don’t spend 1000s of Swiss francs on a lightweight bike only to add extra weight onto yourself! I avoid cars, preferring to cycle and walk as much as I can. I also take this attitude into the office. I like to balance the amount of time I spend seated with moving around, walking meetings, or phone calls. This has been a bit more difficult with the pandemic though, with so many video calls, and more time in the office.”


Read - Why you should consider active seating


Jérôme cycles his Italian vintage bike to work as part of his daily work schedule


Jérôme's workstation featuring the giroflex 68 chair

Jérôme works for Adnovum, a Swiss-based tech company, where he helps governmental and banking organisations with digital transformation and innovation. The company takes their employees' well-being very seriously, including the provision of giroflex 68 chairs for all their staff, something which particularly impressed Jérôme.


“Before joining I was mostly working on start-ups without any offices. For three years I was either working from bars, at home, or shared offices, not very well-balanced environments. I was not even aware of needing to improve my workspace. At Adnovum I was really struck on the first day as all the workspaces had everything in the top category - sit-stand desk, multiple 4k screens, latest MacBook Pro, and we have the Giroflex chairs.”


Designed by Swiss designer Paolo Fancelli, the giroflex 68 combines an expressive and timeless design with a high level of technical sophistication, featuring a range of fully adjustable components. The trademark Giroflex self-adjusting synchronised mechanism allows the seat and back to align with the body perfectly, providing maximum comfort and support intuitively without the user even knowing it.


We asked Jérôme to explain what it is about the giroflex 68 that he found particularly impressive, and as one would expect, he compared it to his experiences within cycling, “I compare the chair with the fitting of the bike. A 10,000 bike without a pro-bike fitting makes it worthless. Like a bike, there are maybe up to 10 points you can adapt to truly make it a custom fit, and perform at its best, and that’s what makes it special. It’s also great to have a Swiss design chair, to feel the heritage, especially here in Lausanne, where we have a very important design school (ECAL). I think it looks great too.”


“I have seen a real impact on my productivity and I talked about it with a few people in the company. We all spend a lot of time seated and everyone agrees they have seen a direct impact on having the best ergonomic desktop workspace, including seating, with an impact on how people are productive and happy at work."


"In fact, over the last 12 months, I could have worked at home but I asked permission to come into the office during Covid to be seated on the giroflex 68 within this perfect workspace environment.”


Read - What have we learned after a year of working from home?


At Jérôme's office, all employees workstations are kitted out with the Giroflex G68 chair

More Information

Thanks to Jérôme for speaking to us via video call earlier this month and sharing his story. If you’d like to read more from Jérôme, you can explore his Le Temps newspaper blog here.


You can also follow him on Instagram, or if you are keen to see his most recent cycles, his public Strava account can be found here.

This might also interest you