Despite vast improvements in most cities’ cycling infrastructure, many commuters still don’t consider cycling an option when planning their daily commute. In this blog we’re taking a look at some of the benefits of cycling, ways that cities are becoming more cycle friendly, and addressing some of the issues that stop people embracing pedal power and jumping on their bike.
Where possible, the Department of Transportation recommends cycling or walking. When you cycle to work, there is a better circulation of air and a lower risk of coming into contact with others, ergo a lower risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus vs a crowded bus or train.
HEALTH & FITNESS
As a low impact, adaptable form of exercise, cycling is great for anybody wanting to improve their overall health and fitness, at their own pace. Some of the benefits cycling to work can have on your life include improving cardio-vascular and aerobic fitness, lowering blood pressure, boosting energy, building muscle and improving coordination. Many gym goers wake up at 5am to fit in a session before work, so if you can sneak a workout into your day during your commute – bonus!
CITIES ARE BECOMING MORE CYCLE FRIENDLY
Most local councils are making great leaps to implement better cycling infrastructure throughout city centres. Leeds, for example, is on a mission to make the city centre cycle friendly by embracing cycling as a normal everyday activity for everyone. You can read about how the Connecting Leeds program is implementing measures to encourage more cycling across the city, here.
Over on the the other side of the Pennines in Lancashire, back in 2015 Helen Pidd, North of England editor for The Guardian, wrote about how “Manchester is a terrible cycling city”.
Fast forward to 2021, and Manchester City Council is taking great steps to change this perception of their city by investing £1.7 million into an Ancoats cycle route alone, as well as developing an integrated city centre cycle network, compromising of three major routes:
- The “Picc-Vic” connection (Piccadilly station through to Victoria station) already under development through the Northern Quarter.
- A connection between Victoria & Oxford Rd stations (along Deansgate), with connections to Salford Central & Deansgate stations.
- A connection between Oxford Rd station and Piccadilly station (along Whitworth Street)
Also paying attention to their cycling infrastructure in 2021 is the capital, as record breaking growth in London’s cycle network continues. Sadiq Khan says he is “absolutely determined to build an even better London after the pandemic – a greener and healthier city in which it’s easier and safer to walk and cycle”
Sitting in traffic jams or squeezing onto public transport isn’t at the top of many peoples’ lists of favourite activities. Cycling, on the other hand, can transform your daily commute into an enjoyable experience by releasing endorphins, and exposing you to scenic routes you wouldn’t normally get to enjoy if you were stuck on a tube or concentrating on driving. We have all heard about the benefits of daily exercise in terms of alleviating stress, improving sleeping patterns and reducing anxiety. We have also heard about the benefits of getting out into the open and experiencing a bit more fresh air and nature. By choosing to cycle to work you can combine two great mood boosters and start your day off feeling accomplished and productive, before you’ve even entered the office.
Whilst obtaining and maintaining a bicycle does incur some costs, in the long run it will work out cheaper than driving or using public transport. Most employers offer a Cycle to Work scheme too, which means you can purchase a bike tax free. It is worth checking to see if your employer is enrolled with a Cycle to Work scheme, and suggesting one if not, as they’re free for employers to enrol in and serve as a great employee perk.
How many times have you been sat in a traffic jam and a cyclist has whizzed past you, and beat the rush hour delays? Whilst there’s no competition if you’re head to head on an open road, you can be sure that a cyclist is always going to reach their destination quicker than somebody driving through a city centre at 7.30am if you factor in the time wasted sat in traffic jams, searching for parking, then walking from the car park to the office.
Did you know all the incspaces sites are equipped with showers? Don’t worry about breaking a sweat whilst you commute to work, you can have the luxury of showering off and beginning your working day feeling fresh and clean.
WHAT ABOUT BAD WEATHER?
There’s nothing wrong with only being a fair-weather cyclist if you don’t fancy going head to head with mother nature. If it is pouring with torrential rain, simply don’t cycle that day. The beauty of having a bike is that you are free to choose when you cycle and when you don’t. Even swapping out one day of your commute from car to bike, or a section of your journey, is better than nothing!
For any incspaces members that do get caught in the rain, break into a sweat or get splashed by mud on their commute into work – we can make your life easier. Incspaces is in partnership with Laundrapp, so all our members can take advantage of a discount off their laundry or dry cleaning bill when collected from one of our offices. As one of the leading laundry and dry cleaning services in the UK, they will clean, dry, and iron any items according to their care labels then return them in as little as 48 hours. No need to take any dirty laundry home with you!