Why you should consider commuting on your bike
Cycling to work isn’t a new thing. For years now, commuters across the country have seen the benefit of getting out of their car and embarking on an exciting cycle adventure. In recent years however, we’ve seen a spike in this trend. In 2011, it was estimated that almost three quarters of a million UK working residents, between the ages of 16 to 74, cycled to work; an increase of 90,000 from the last census in 2001. A 2015 report from Cyclescheme, 10:10, estimated that by 2025, there will be 1.2 million cycle commuters in the UK. There are a number of reasons behind this, one good example being the government’s Cycle to Work scheme, introduced in 1999, which saw an 11.6% increase in take-up between 2013 and 2014. So what are the benefits of a cycle commute? We look into 5 key reasons below.
It’s better than commuting!
The obvious one. It can be easy to forget how frustrating it is, sitting on a sweaty bus or train, or drumming your fingers on the wheel in silent frustration as you sit in stationary traffic. You have to deal with bottlenecks, furious motorists, unfathomable one-way systems and unforeseen mechanical failures. Often, a problematic commute to work can leave you angry and stressed before you’ve even got into the office. While cycling to work can undoubtedly create its own frustrations, it’s undeniable that it’s a much calmer experience, which gives you more time to think and prepare yourself for the day ahead.
Cycling to work is cheaper
There’s very little argument on this point. After the initial purchase, the running costs associated with owning a bike are relatively low. Sure, you’ll have to shell out for tyres, spare parts, clothing and, of course, cycle insurance (should the wheels come off!) but in comparison to running a car, these will set you back considerably less. Even travelling to work by public transport can be an expensive undertaking, with commuters in the UK estimated to spend six times more (14% of their monthly income) on rail travel than those in Europe. It would seem that a cycle to work can be easier on your pocket as well as your journey!
Cycling to work obviously has numerous health benefits, as does any form of cardiovascular exercise. Raising your heart rate, encourages stronger muscles, particularly in the heart, and a more efficient metabolism. In a 5 year study of 263,450 UK commuters, published in the BMJ, researchers at the University of Glasgow found that regular cycling cut the risk of death from any cause by 41%. So, what became an annoying daily journey can now serve a second, more important, purpose. We all want to enjoy life’s adventures to their full, as well as dropping a few pounds if possible, and cycling to and from work is an easy way to stay fit and healthy!
Look after the planet
We’re all aware of the damage that the world’s estimated 1.2 billion cars can potentially cause to our environment. The government’s 2010 to 2015 policy paper on transport emissions found that 25% of all carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions could be attributed to transport. Clearly, there are things that we can change to improve this. Cycling campaign and promotions organisation CTC, estimates that if the average person swapped a 4 mile commute for a cycle to work, it could cut their carbon footprint by up to 6%. This doesn’t just apply to personal transport either, the benefits of moving from public transport to a cycle commute can have an impact too.
Appreciate our country!
Whether your commute is through a brutal urban cityscape or along hedge-lined, winding country roads, there is so much that you may not otherwise notice from the seclusion of a car, bus or train. Cycling to work can be a magical adventure with some sights that you might otherwise miss. How about cycling from east Edinburgh to the Old Town, soaking in the glorious views of Midlothian as you pedal around Arthur’s Seat? Or head from Fishponds Road to Robertson Road in Easton, Bristol on your bike, and you’ll be able to take in the classic Banksy pieces Masked Gorilla and Cat and Dog. Wherever you live, there’s guaranteed to be some interesting sights – just make sure you keep your eye on the road!
If you decide to strap on a helmet and take to the roads as a cycling commuter then you will feel the rewards of all of the benefits above. But there are also associated problems with biking to work. You will still have to negotiate cars but without the protection afforded by your own vehicle and bikes are also a lot more vulnerable to light-fingered thieves. With that in mind, it could be helpful to look at cycle insurance that might help you get back on the road in the event of the untoward. At the Emporium, we offer Pick ‘n’ Mix policies with Theft, Accidental Loss or Damage as standard as well as a host of useful Elective Benefits such as Personal Accident and New For Old. With up to 25% discount available, wheel on by the Emporium today and find out more!
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