I decided to start cycle commuting in London after the worry about how to get in during the Olympics.
I bought a hybrid and very quickly found it a great way to commute. I started off once a week, then twice and since then I commute by bike, on average 2-3 times a week. More in the summer and less in the winter. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t for a week or two as the weather is bad or I’m not feeling great and I more than make up for it in the warmer months.
The health benefits are great, I’m MUCH fitter because of it. The savings are huge. £8 a day on tube fares. I paid around £500 for my bike and equipment and it paid for itself in 9 months. 3 years down the line I’ve saved a fortune.
The biggest hurdle I hear form people is safety. I’ve done 6,000 miles in central London and it’s fine. There’s been the odd hairy moment, but nothing too bad. There’s bad things that can happen all day everyday anyway. I am certain that my health benefits more than outweigh any risks.
I would recommend anyone thinking about it to borrow a friend’s bike for a month and see how you get on. I would also recommend buying Cyclecraft – an excellent book that teaches you the best way to handle riding on the roads and negotiating around cars and lorries.
Finally, at the end of each day, if it’s sunny, there’s nothing better than knowing I’m cycling home rather than another scrum onto the hot, overcrowded, smelly tubes!