We’ve teamed up with our friends at Cyclescheme to promote Cycle To Work Day 2015. Here are our top five of reasons why you should join the 760,000 people who regularly cycle to work.
Cycle to Work Day is a national event encouraging everyone to hop on to the saddle and cycle to work on 3 September 2015.
According to census data, 760,000 people in the UK cycle to work regularly. While we know that this number continues to grow steadily, our friends at Cyclescheme (the organisation behind Cycle to Work Day) are aiming to make those numbers skyrocket so that by 2021 one million people are regularly commuting to work by bike.
We know that cycling to work may feel like a bit of a challenge. Why give up the car, bus or train which may seem more convenient than digging out your bike and pedalling in? At CTC, you won’t be surprised to read that we think cycling is by far the most fun way to start and end your day. We’ve brought together our thoughts, tips and myth-busting facts to help make your move into the saddle that bit more enticing.
1. Work is closer than you think
One of the first and most obvious arguments against cycling for your commute is that work is just too far away. But in fact, our recent YouGov survey revealed that some 47% of the working population live just five miles or less from their place of work. At a leisurely pace, that is only 30 minutes of pedalling from your front door. The same survey also told us that people who cycle to work are less likely to be frustrated by their commute than those travelling by car or public transport.
2. Get your bike checked over for FREE
OK, you agree that 5 miles to work is a readily cycleable distance, so you unlock your shed or garage door only to be confronted with a flat tyre and a buckled wheel. What to do. This year, Cycle To Work Day has teamed up with bike retailers nationally to offer you the chance to take up a free bike health check. Between 24 August and 3 Sept you can take your bike to your nearest bike shop, have them check it over and right any wrongs there might be. If you’ve not got chance to get your bike along for a free check, our top tips for keeping your bike in working order will help.
3. Cycling: No Sweat
As cycling takes up a third less energy than walking the same distance, cycling isn’t really hard work so it shouldn’t make you sweat. All you need to do is dress right for the ride and then there’s no need for a shower or a change of clothes. Of course, if you dress a little too warm or ride that little bit too hard, then cycling will make you sweat. Make sure you simply remove those layers (lose the jumper) and slow your speed a little. If you approach cycling like you might walking and give yourself enough time for the trip then this will help to avoid the dreaded sweat patches. It’s also worthwhile carrying your bag on your bike rather than your back – it’s more comfortable and you’re even less likely to sweat.
4. Cycling saves you cash
It’s true that bikes aren’t all that cheap, but how much are you spending on your existing trip to work? If you’re filling an average sized car with fuel once a week, then you’re likely to be spending about £45 a week. If you are travelling for about 30 minutes on a train during peak times, you’re likely to be spending closer to £100 a week. As a guide, we think £500 is more than enough to buy a good quality bike – and if you buy one via Cyclescheme, you can save at least 25% on the price and spread the cost by making monthly payments through your payslip. You could also have a look on our forum for any great deals on secondhand bikes. Once you’ve got your hands on one, bikes cost very little to run, because they are fuelled by tea and toast!
5. Cycling is safer than gardening
Cycling in Britain is relatively safe. One cyclist is killed on Britain’s roads for every 27 million miles travelled by cycle – that’s the equivalent to cycling around the world over 1,000 times! Each year, there are 8 million cycle trips for every cycling death. In fact, there have been academic studies making comparisons between cycling and other forms of physical activity to determine just how risky cycling is in a wider context. There are only 0.048 injuries per 1000 hours of cycling, compared with 6 injuries per 1000 hours of exercise on a rowing machine. You are more likely to be injured in an hour of gardening than in an hour of cycling. We’ve got 10 top tips for cycling in traffic just to help you feel even safer in the saddle.