Are you tired of being stuck in traffic on your work commute? Are you in need of a fitness kick? Cycling to work could be the perfect solution to your problems. It’s fantastic for your health; and it could leave you feeling significantly more invigorated to tackle your day.
Here’s a list of 5 reasons why we think cycling to work is a fantastic idea:
Improving Your Fitness
Not only does cycling boost your mood and give you a proactive mindset for the day; it also does wonders for your fitness. By commuting to work you can burn some serious calories over the course of the week, whilst also getting your exercise for the day out of the way at the same time.
What you’ll also probably find out over time is that you’ll then be inspired to exercise more in your free time; and to push yourself to reach new goals within your exercise regime – so it’s a winner all round.
Statistics on the National Cycling Charity website state that 70% of women and 60% of men fail to reach the minimum recommended level of physical activity in a week – which is 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 times a week.
Cycling to and from work each day can help you to smash those goals on your commute alone; significantly boosting your health in the process. If current expected trends are maintained, 60% of men and 50% of women could be obese by 2010; so taking responsibility for your fitness levels is more important now than ever.
The long-term benefits of regular cycling are endless, with greater protection from heart failure, strokes, the dangers of pollution and cancer coming to those who take the decision to bring bikes into their lives – all the more reason to start today.
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The Cycle to Work Scheme
The government ‘Cycle to Work’ initiative means that employees can now save up to 42% off a new bike – and accompanying safety accessories – for their commute to work. The scheme is rapidly becoming the most sought after employee benefit in the UK; with over 160,000 employees signing up for the scheme in 2013.
With over 2000 stores participating throughout the UK, there is no shortage of places to get your gear. To start, you’ll need to choose your favourite bike shop from the participating stores, decide on your gear and get a written quote.
Then, ask your employer to confirm your eligibility, give approval to your request and send them an invoice for your bike package. Once that happens you’ll be given a certificate which you’ll then need to take to your bike shop to get your equipment.
Your employer effectively buys the bike of your choice for up to £1000; and repayments will then be deducted from your monthly pay. You then save the money by not paying tax and National Insurance on the monthly fees.
At the end of the payment plan you have the option to purchase the bike for a relatively small fee. Details on that Fair Market Value fee are listed below; and are taken from HMRC’s final market values.
|Age of Cycle
|Acceptable Disposable Value Percentage
|Original Price Less Than£500
|Original Price Over £500
Experiencing the Outdoors
By taking to your bike you can avoid that aggro and reap the benefits of the outdoors. Not only will you feel healthier, you’ll also begin to experience your local area in an entirely new way. You may find yourself enjoying it so much that your commute back from work turns into a much longer route.
You’ll beat the queues and be able to cycle at your own pace as a result – if nothing else that’s sure to reduce your stress levels a little. Don’t let the weather put you off either. There’s plenty of fantastic gear that will keep you snug in the colder months; and you’ll be having too much fun to worry about it by then.
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It’s likely that if you drive to work you feel like you’re throwing endless sums at fuel costs. According to AA statistics, the UK average fuel price in litres for unleaded 95 octane rose from 89.40p in January 2006 to 138.90p in October 2012.
That saw a price increase of 55%, evidencing how expensive it’s become to run a car. Although the average standard unleaded petrol cost has fallen to around an average of 130p per litre; for a 20-mile round trip each day via car your monthly fuel bill will be at least £75.
If you typically rely on public transport to get to work, that’s also money that you could be saving. And if you rely on taxis to get to and from your job; the spare sums you could have available to you because of cycling could be enormous.
Bar the odd cost for maintenance, your bike is completely free to use. Additionally, with the Cycle to Work scheme now available you can purchase a new bike for a rewardingly reduced outlay.
Saving the Environment
With recent figures suggesting that global warming is not only continuing to rise, but that it is also doing so at an alarmingly increasing rate; reducing carbon emissions should be absolutely essential. You can reduce your own carbon emissions and tackle this problem by taking up cycling to work.
A recent report in the Guardian cited a study that showed that Europe could cut its transport greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25% if every population cycled as regularly as those in Denmark; and it’s a sound model for the UK to look towards.
Critical Mass London’s website says that a cyclist consumes 1/50th of the oxygen of a car making the same journey, providing further evidence how important ditching a motor vehicle in favour of a bicycle can be for the environment.
From opting to take to your bike, you will not only eliminate your commuter pollution over the course of the distance of your journey, you’ll also be saving all those extra emissions that occur from sitting in traffic.
A Word About Our Sponsor
It is important to stay safe whilst you are out cycling and at Wheelie Good Guys we are champions of cycling safety. None of the work we do however; would be possible without the help if Ian Brown. Ian is the UK Cycling Speedway Commissioner; as well as a personal injury solicitor for Wosskow Brown.