More time in the saddle, improved wellbeing, extra money in your back pocket, guilt free treats and even some more time to do other things – sounds attractive doesn’t it? The benefits of cycling to work are well documented and excitingly backed up by cast-iron scientific facts so if you’re not already using two wheels to get to work, here are five reasons why you should!
You’re going to spend more time on your bike
Whether you’re a two-wheeled convert or someone looking to jump back on a bike for the first time in years, cycling to work guarantees you more time on the bike. Riding before and after work allows you to squeeze in some miles, when you’d be normally rattling around on a tube, train, bus or stuck behind the wheel of your car. Ultimately it’s the most fun you can have on a commute to work!
If you’re training for an event or simply on a mission to get fitter, it’s funny how easily cycling to work slots into your daily routine. Arrive home and then head straight back out to the gym? Not for us, thank you.
You’re going to feel happier and healthier
Relive stress. Sleep better. Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Reduce your chances of getting cancer. Live longer. No this isn’t some wonder drug that’s come onto the market, just plain old cycling to work.
Whilst the physical impact of cycling to work is well known (if this study in the BMJ doesn’t convince you, nothing will!) it’s the mental benefit that most cycling commuters laud. A quick sweep of the Cycle Republic office:
“You’ll arrive at work fresh, alert and ready to get on with your day.”
“I feel happier when I cycle rather than use the car.”
“When I ride, I don’t bring work home with me.”
You’re going to save money
Not convinced yet? Here’s the big one! Cycling to work saves you money. Yes you read that correctly. Saves. You. Money. OK, this won’t be true for absolutely everyone but even a back of a fag packet calculation for a standard commute looks favourable. Using an oyster card on London transport, between zones 1 and 5, would cost around £1700 a year. Outside of the big smoke, a bus pass in Nottingham for a year would set you back over £700. A £400 hybrid bike, a few accessories and some clothing and you don’t need us to do the rest of the maths. And that’s even before you’ve used a cycle to work scheme.
Our Cyculator tool calculates an annual commute cost by bike, by car and by public transport. Give it a try and see how much you could save.
You’re going to eat more (nice things!)
More riding means more calories burnt, even on the shortest of commutes. Scientific research indicates that short term exercise or HIT (high intensity training) can really aid your metabolism, along with a host of other benefits. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself raiding the vending machine or the corner shop for sustenance of any kind.
There’s also great debate about whether it’s best to exercise in the morning or the evening. Cycling to work means you’ve both bases covered.
You might even save time
OK, so this won’t apply to you if you live in the back-of-beyond and your route is all hedgerows, country pubs and birdsong, but in the city commuting by bike might very well be quicker than other modes of transport. Department for Transport figures show that in London the average speed on the capital’s A roads are now just 7.6mph. You can ride quicker than that, can’t you?
Now, what are you going to do with all this free time? Just promise us one thing, try not to look so smug when you whizz past people crammed onto a bus or slumped in their cars.
Have we persuaded you? Start your cycling to work journey with these guides.