As the picture shows there are a variety of reasons why you should cycle to work but in reality why don’t more people do it?
Me personally I have pretty much always ridden to work. I’ve run to work, I’ve driven to work and heck I’ve even swam to work! That’s another story!
There are a variety of people who want to cycle to work, want to do it more, those who are unable to and those who simply won’t. If you can’t cycle then it’s either too far or you don’t even want to. But what are the barriers to not cycling.
Excuse 1: It’s too far”
If you have a large commute then you can’t really change it. It maybe a long way. But one of my friends well he commutes 27 miles each way on his bike. That is a hefty total. What you need to think about is whether you can brea the journey down. Could you drive? Catch the train some distance and then ride the rest? Yes it could be deemed a hassle but once the routine is set, you’ll soon forget about it.
If it’s the distance that is stopping you, then why not build up to it. break the journey up to start and then each week, each month go ride that little bit further. One day you’ll forget to drive or catch the train and ride the whole way.
Why not catch the train to work and then ride home or even vice versa.
Excuse 2: I’ll get sweaty, there are no showers at work
So don’t ride at a fast pace, ride at a pace that will ensure you don’t smell the office out! No one wants to sit around someone who smells who take it steady. Why not carry some deodorant with you and spray some on when you get to work.
With summer supposedly around the corner it’ll get hotter and stickier, we hope! Consider riding in a little earlier when’s it’s cooler. This could show your employer that you are keen and who know’s may lead to a promotion! Shh about the real reasons though! If you need to carry thing to work then a back pack isn’t the best way as it’ll make you sweatier.
Excuse 3: How do I carry my uniform/work outfit?
Really? This can’t be an excuse. What is wrong with driving in on a Monday and with a bit of pre planning you take your week clothes in then? That leaves you to ride in every morning with little on your back. You could then take your clothes home each day. A quick google search will bring up dozens of suggestions on how you can carry your kit.
If you can’t take your clothes in on a Monday then rolling them up in your bag is better than folding as it eases up on the creases.
Excuse 4: Where can I store my bike?
Ok there isn’t a bike lock that can’t be broken given the time. Unless you are commuting on your Pinarello Dogma F8 then can you leave it outside? Not ideal I know but if you are precious over your bike then the only option is an incredibly tough lock. Worth the investment, or even buy two.
Is there a place inside the office building that you could store it? The bike doesn’t take up that much space and now there are many options for wall storage. Hang the bike?
Excuse 5: I need my bike for meetings and errands
Well unless you get a bike and a bike trailer to carry things then what else is there to say!
Excuse 6: The weather is too bad
What? Really? Since when does bad weather stop anybody in the UK doing anything? Again there are numerous option of keeping your kit dry within your rucksack. Surely if you think about commuting by bike you ride a bike and have at some point ridden in the rain or nearly! There are little towels that are super absorbent, pack small and dry quickly.
Excuse 7: Cycling is too slow
In some cases you’re more than likely correct, but why rush to work? Riding to work gives you more time to think and I believe is a more relaxing way to arrive at work. Instead of being all stressed out from the start stop drive mentality.
If you commute in town then it’s highly likely that riding will be quicker. How often do you see lines of cars queuing, one behind the other. As a cyclist you can filter past the traffic, so in fact you maybe faster than driving.
What with the Cycle to Work Scheme it is getting easier and easier to cycle now. I guided a group of cyclists from London to Paris who worked for a very well known TV provider. chatting away to the clients they all said that their employer had installed a bike shop in the company building. So if you rode to work, you can leave your bike there and it’ll get a service, clean for you. They provided a shower, indoor bike storage for the employees who rode to work. What a great incentive.
As part of National Bike Week ride to work one day, try it. Who knows it may open up an opportunity to ride more and who needs a reason to ride more!
Me personally I ride to work direct in the morning and then take an extended route on the way home to get my miles in. A great way to unwind from the days trials and tribulations.
Vive le velo.