Since taking up cycle commuting over eight years ago I have increased my riding to 4-5 days per week and from 8 miles a day to more than 16. It helps to be on mainly rural roads, but they can still suffer from a lot of traffic at busy times.
My car use has dropped to less than 3,000 miles a year and as a father of 3 this is the only time I can find to get some decent exercise in.
It’s great fun, refreshing, challenging and I sleep a lot better for it too. I have less time off sick with colds in the winter and am better motivated thanks to the daily pleasure of cycling. Last year I also organised a bike ride around my firm’s ten offices, over 60 miles long, which everyone enjoyed. It raised a very worthwhile amount for our charity of the year.
When cycling into Bristol I pass hundreds of motorists stranded in traffic queues. At times like this the feeling of freedom is incredibly strong. I feel very happy to have largely broken free from being shackled into using a car on a creaking and congested road system. I always know how long my journeys will take.
Why not start trying a ride to work one evening or weekend, see how you get on as it may be surprising how manageable even an 8-mile ride is. My 10 mile route takes 40 minutes but I can get home or into work in 15 minutes if I need to by doing the shortest route. Anyone living within 5 miles of work really should give commuting by bike a try.
Photo credit: Nicki Varkevisser