Updated: Aug 5
If you’re still looking for ideas to improve your carbon footprint and lead a greener life after my previous article on Veg Box Schemes, read on!
Have you considered cycling instead of driving or taking public transports? Cycling has been my favourite mode of transport for the last couple of years, and I’ve kept up the habit after moving to London. And now that summer has come and the days are longer and sunnier, it’s the perfect time to give it a try.
Here are some of the reasons why I’ve been enjoying it so much:
1. It’s cheap
Once you’ve bought your bike, you won’t need to spend anything on a daily basis. There might be the odd tire to replace or maintenance check-up to pay for, but they rarely amount to loads of money. There is also a Government scheme in place, the Cycle to Work scheme, which means you can “choose a bike, hire it for an agreed length of time, then snap it up for a fraction of its original value. It's like a year-round sale, with interest free credit available in over 2,000 retailers nationwide.” If you don’t feel like committing to buying your own bike yet, you could always try one of the Santander bikes or any of the other rental bikes you can find in London.
2. It’s good for your fitness
It’s often tricky to find time to go to the gym but if you’re cycling to work, you know that even if you don’t have time to fit it a proper session later on, at least you’ve done a bit of exercise. When I take the bus instead of cycling to work, I often feel a bit sluggish when I get to work, whereas I feel cycling helps me wake up in the morning and relax on the way back.
3. It can be quicker
This of course depends on the commute that you’re looking at but in many cases, cycling can actually save you time. As opposed to driving, you don’t get caught in traffic jams and you don’t need to worry about where to park. Of course, I would still recommend factoring in a bit of extra time if you need to be somewhere, as flat tires do happen from time to time.
However, I’m aware cycling does raise some concerns, which are worth addressing:
1. It can be dangerous
As London Cycling Campaign put it, “Cycling in London is statistically very safe. But it often doesn't feel that way”. I would strongly recommend wearing a helmet and buying a bell if your bike doesn’t have one already. In winter, when it gets dark, I also feel much more confident with lights and high-visibility clothing.
2. It requires a bit of planning
Before getting into the habit of cycling to work, you might want to check if there are showers you can use at work and take a set of clean work clothes than you can wear when you get there.
3. It can be wet (or stormy, or hot, or windy…)
It can feel amazing to cycle along the canal on a summer evening, but not that great when it’s 8am in February and it’s pouring rain. In these cases where the conditions are really not great, I would either power through and wear waterproof clothing, or opt for a back-up option and use public transport. To be honest, I was expecting the rain in London was going to make cycling really difficult, but I find that it’s actually not a genuine problem.
What do you think? Will you give cycling a try?
Blog Post Crafted by Adeline
Adeline manages the staff on our Admin Team, liaising with tutors, clients and applicants. She is responsible for processing the ID, Qualifications, DBS Check and References for all our newly joining tutors, as well as taking tuition enquiries, matching tutors to clients, and supporting tutors and clients throughout the process of tuition.