Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Seven reasons to commute by bicycle

Commuting by bike around Trafalgar Square
Yesterday I went into London for a meeting (by train!) and as I walked from Charing Cross to Haymarket I was struck by the large number of cyclists during the rush hour.  I was impressed.

As you might know, I go through phases of cycling to work myself.end to be wider and straighter - makes it easier for cyclists to be seen well in advance.  For me it's a ride of about 13 miles from one town to another along busy roads.  There are some more rural alternatives which I also like to take but these too can be busy in the rush hour.  So here's a few of my own reasons:
  1. Arriving energised, feeling so alive and awake.  There's no doubt in this, I do feel so "alive", especially after a fast ride.  It makes me more productive.
  2. Quicker.  For my 13 mile ride, it normally takes 45-50 minutes, depending on traffic, wind direction etc.  Normally by car it takes me 30-45 minutes, so not much in it.  An urban ride is almost certainly quicker.
  3. Cheaper. Once you have a decent bike with lights, clothes etc. there is not much to pay out for.  Compare that to a car!  Purchase price, fuel, tax, insurance, car parking, servicing, breakdown cover and so on.  If your employer operates a Cycle to Work scheme, the set up cost is considerably reduced and worth looking in to.  I work for a particularly slow part of the public sector which, by nature is reluctant to indulge in this kind of thing
  4. Makes a statement about who you are and what you stand for - not following the crowd.
  5. Improves fitness as any kind of cycling will do
  6. Environmentally it's cleaner and we all know cars pollute very badly in stop-start traffic; typical commuting conditions.  One of the cyclists in the above photograph is wearing a face mask to improve the air he's breathing
  7. Avoid the stress of traffic jams with being able to weave in and out (safely of course) to speed your journey but not to annoy motorists.
  8. Any others?  Have I missed something?  Please leave a comment.

No comments:

Post a Comment