Image from ubrayj02 at Flickr creative commons
If you’ve been thinking of ditching the bus, the train or the car and using a bicycle to get to work instead, then you are not alone. It seems the London 2012 Olympic and Payalympic Games have done a great deal to push the sport to the fore, and cycling has never been more popular. Bradley Wiggins, Victoria Pendleton and Chris Hoy are now household names and many cycling retailers have announced a spike in sales following the impressive gold medal haul by Team GB during the games. One leading company said recently that it had seen a 15 per cent increase in like-for-like cycling sales, which it attributed directly to the Olympic fever that gripped the nation during and immediately after the Games.
There are many reasons why people are choosing to take up cycling. One of the main ones is to become more active and increase the amount of exercise they’re getting each day. After all, cycling is widely known to be a fantastic form of aerobic exercise. And when you think that 70 per cent of car journeys cover a distance of less than five miles, there really is no excuse for many of us to dust off the bicycle and get pedalling.
But improving your fitness isn’t the only reason to start cycling to work – it can also save you a considerable amount of money. Of course the exact amount depends on your personal circumstances, but one thing is for sure and that’s the fact that you will save money!
Think for a moment about how much it costs to put fuel in your car these days. It was only a few months ago that petrol and diesel prices hit their highest level ever and they have not fallen by much since then. Take a bike to work and you’ll be able to forget about heading to the pumps every few days. But while fuel is one of the major costs associated with driving into work every day, it is by no means the only one. To get an accurate figure of exactly how much it costs per mile to insure and tax your vehicle, you’ll also have to take into account things like annual maintenance costs and depreciation.
Also consider how much you spend each month paying for parking if you work in a town or a city. A large number of workplaces now have facilities for cyclists, so not only is it simple to find a space to securely park your bike, it is of course free. And due to the increasing number of people who are choosing to cycle into work each day, some cities are introducing schemes that provide cyclists with showers and changing facilities to make things even easier. No one wants to sit in work sweaty and smelly, so these kinds of initiatives are set to bring even more people around to the idea of commuting by bicycle.
It’s also possible to save money when it comes to purchasing a bike thanks to cycle to work schemes. These initiatives allow employees to save up to 42 per cent on the cost of a new bike and safety accessories, which is going to make a significant difference if you are in the market for a new bicycle!