70% of my clients within Quantity Surveying & Project Management have a ‘Cycle to Work Scheme’ and I would be interested to know what percentage of people actually use this benefit, and if you don’t, why?
The reality is unless you’re on £50k+ I don’t think buying a proper push bike outright is that feasible, especially as we live in one of the most expensive cities in the world – London. Although most people would dream of a brand new road racer being bought for them and the benefits that come with it, you can only wonder why more people are not making the most of the ‘Cycle to Work Scheme’.
For the last three months, I have used this scheme and I cannot tell you what it’s done for me both physically and mentally. Before I get into it I’d like you to have a look into your commute time using public transport and compare it to using a bicycle. I save 15 minutes each way and the fact that I don’t have to go underground with hundreds of people during a pandemic is just a bonus..
15 minutes each way doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you do the maths you would save 5 full days of the year to spend doing what you enjoy most. For me that’s being sat on my couch with a cup of tea and a well-deserved biscuit, however, I am sure you can think of something slightly more impressive.
I have usually been fairly active to try and stay in shape, however, to put it bluntly, I am way past the days of spending my Saturday morning running around hungover on a football pitch trying to avoid my leg being snapped in two.
Exercise, as we all know, is key to not only keeping the belly away but also maintaining healthy mental wellbeing. From experience, I can tell you now that a 7 mile cycle on a brisk November morning will leave you feeling awake and energised. Resulting in both improved performance at work and greatly lifting your mood.
On that subject – what makes us happy? Family? Friends? Yes of course, but I don’t care what people say, so does money (which is exactly why we all go to work in the first place). Public transport prices in London are only on the rise and the day they start taxing cyclists I will personally go and push Boris in the River Themes. I save £38 pounds a week on travel costs, I will leave you to do the maths on that one.
So why not give it a go? Raining? Too cold? Worried about getting run over? It took me a few weeks to find the best route, although not the fastest it is certainly the most comfortable. London is full of bike lanes now and the reality is, even when there isn't one you can always slot in behind a group of fellow commuters… strength in numbers! (Although try not to use their slipstream for too long as some people get the hump).
The only thing I’d say is that you will need to make sure there is a shower available when you get to work. I don’t think my colleagues would be too happy otherwise, even if they are sitting 2 metres apart. I personally use the local gym when it’s open or the shower in our building. Most buildings these days have facilities that are certainly better than my little apartment in Streatham.
So in summary cycling is great; you save time, and money, get fitter, reduce the risk of catching COVID, and no more praying that your train is going to be canceled.Just make sure you have a puncture repair kit