Why I cycle to work...
Richard - Cycle to Work Champion
I've almost always commuted to work by bike. I've rotated to different hospitals around the region and sometimes I've been able to cycle the whole journey, sometimes I've combined cycling with a train journey and at KMH I usually combine cycling with a car journey (I drive halfway, park, and then take my bike out of the back of my car). I find cycling to work has a very positive effect on my mood for the rest of the day. Commuting by bike maintains my fitness level without needing a gym membership (or finding time to go to the gym). Another motivator for me is that I feel that my children are more likely to be active because they see me exercising every day.
Claire - Cycle to Work Champion
I’m Claire, I am one of the Trust cycling to work champions, but I don’t fit your imagined cyclist profile. Cycling has been part of my whole life, with lots of different phases and currently, I cycle for pleasure and to keep active. We cycle the hundreds of canal towpath miles the UK has to offer with our panniers full, for a week away free from the constraints of possessions and a vehicle. There is instant peace, tranquillity and lots of wildlife, plus there are watering holes for people along the way!
Cycling to work for me started eight years ago, I purchased my first cycle to work bike complete with a pannier rack and I haven’t looked back. I was working clinically and managing a busy department at the time and the ride to and from work gave me space to think and reflect on the day. I don’t cycle every day, I need to be in the mood and the weather right! Each ride to and from work has an event that wouldn’t have happened in the car. I was once aware that a buzzard was circling above me whilst cycling along the MARR Rd and I really hoped it wasn’t eyeing me up for dinner, what a sight and experience! I have since changed my role and now mostly work from home, so when I do travel into the KMH site I cycle in complete with my laptop, the extra weight helps to improve my fitness!
The route I travel is mainly on maintained cycle paths and I have been known to trim back the hedges with secateurs to keep the paths clear for all of us.
My top tips for cycling to work is to have the appropriate clothing for the weather and have a wash kit at work. Helmet hair can be a put off, but no one has ever said “Claire you look scruffy today!”
Give it a try, even if it's once a week. You will definitely feel like you have won the day.
Enjoy the fresh air.
Tom Adams - Cycle to Work Champion
Why do I cycle to work? I cycle to work for fitness, economic, time saving and environment reasons.
Most of the time I like to cycle as fast as I can for the cardio benefits. Everyone has their own style of riding. Cycling is also very cheap. I don’t pay to park, my fuel is Shreddies and I can fix the common mechanical issues myself. I’ve even sold my car and go shopping with my bike and as a family, we plan many days out just using bikes – the kids love it! Riding bikes does also save me time such as no idling in traffic jams etc. I am highly aware of the great environmental crisis we face and decided to take my own car off the road to aid this cause. We do still have a car for camping trips and big shops. We use the bus a lot also. The car hardly moves really. Being out on my bike at all times I see lots of wildlife I would not see pinging around in a metal box and this aids my mental wellbeing I suspect. I also have many conversations with people I would in no way speak to stuck in my car getting angry at the traffic jams I was part of.
Overall I’m quite a determined cyclist. I ride into work every day of the week in all weather except very high winds; this is my bus day! I do wear the dreaded cycling clothing as its comfortable for the distance I ride in daily. When I’m riding around town etc I just wear jeans and a jumper etc. You just wear whatever is comfortable. I carry pannier bags on my bike and carry in my work kit. I have previously commuted with a laptop for 2 years without problem. I’ve cycled all my life. I seem to cycle more year on year. I began commuting to work 5 years ago, the frequency improving each year to my now 5 day routine and I can honestly say my quality of life has never been better.
Start small, maybe 1 day per week and see how you get on. Give it a go!