What do you do when your car breaks down and is stuck in the garage for two weeks? Well, in our experience, you get your trusty bikes out of storage, dust them off and hop on the saddle!
It’s been an absolute pleasure and now, when I have longer journeys that require me take to the car, I’m always a little disappointed. If you’re still not convinced of the benefits, read on…
It saves time
When I have meetings, it takes me 10 minutes to drive and 15 minutes to cycle into Newcastle. But when I cycle, I can just go straight to my destination, without trawling for a parking space and making it from there to my meeting. All in all, no time is lost when I travel by bike.
15 minutes there and back tots up to 30 minutes of exercise in the day, that I don’t have to make up later at the gym (I’m suggesting here that I might occasionally go a gym. I never go to a gym!). That’s 30 minutes exercise worked into my day, without losing any extra time.
It saves money
One week I carefully recorded the business miles I cycled on an app. I worked out that I had saved £7.60 on fuel. Over a year, this mounts up to a considerable £395.20- not to be sniffed at!
It saves the planet
As well as reducing congestion on the local roads, cycling also has a massively positive impact on the environment. According to www.carbonfootprint.com, converting my local business miles from the car to my bike could offset 0.80 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a year. If you join me, that’s 1.6 tonnes!
One quarter of car journeys are less than two miles. Cycling this route would use up the calories in a chocolate digestive biscuit. The same journey in a car expends 10 times as much energy- but it’s energy from the wrong source. We can make chocolate, but oil reserves are a finite resource. When we consider the impact, it seems crazy to keep jumping into the car, when there’s such a great alternative.
It saves stress
Spending most of my day cooped up indoors, it’s a real pleasure to get outside into the fresh air. Whether the sun is shining or the rain is falling, it still feels good- our skin is waterproof, after all! The right clothes can keep you cool or dry, as required. I have a different perspective on the roads and streets, I connect with people, I can hear, smell and see things that pass unnoticed when locked in my car. It makes for a much more relaxed journey, that feels less about dashing from place to place, and more about enjoying the ride.
It’s good for your body
My weekly business miles work off about 700 calories a week. It might not sound likes loads, but that’s 3 scoops of Ben and Jerry’s I can eat without feeling guilty!
It’s good for your community
Environmental impact aside, getting on our bikes is a great example to others to live healthier, happier, more ethical lives.
A significant drive for me has been the many fit, healthy, proactive people I’ve been admiring and observing for months. People like the faces behind Voice in the Room, Wordstruck and Pop-Up Studio have challenged me by their example to lead a healthier, more active life. Perhaps I might encourage someone else, and the trend will continue to spread.
Since I started cycling for work, the children have been much more engaged and eager to get on their bikes. It’s now normal for us to cycle to their groups and clubs, and our fitness and stamina is clearly improving. In the evenings, going for a bike ride is now their past time of choice, and when we acquire a bike rack, we’re looking forward to more opportunities to explore our stunning region on two wheels. What little eyes are watching you, ready to follow your good example?!
So, ditching the car and hopping on your bike saves you time money and stress. It’s good for your body, your community and your planet. The reasons are compelling- and numerous!
Getting back on my bike after years out of the saddle has been one of the best decisions I’ve made for a long time. What’s stopping you from joining me?!
Interested in an active lifestyle? Check out our other blogs about Gateway Studio dance project and Watergate Café, a local Community Interest Company that is an ideal starting (or finishing) point for exploring a wonderful nearby country park.
Talbot Jones Risk Solutions is an insurance brokerage specialising in supporting SMEs and Charities. Contact us if your organisation would value a free insurance review from a community-focussed, ethical, highly-qualified, professional firm.
Phot0 credit with thanks to Ann English Create Intrigue.