Five reasons to convert to a bicycle commuter
by <a href="" target="_self">Stephanie Briggs</a>

by Stephanie Briggs

17 September, 2020

Good things came out of the recent turn of events.  Bicycle commuting for one.  I’m a newbie.  A two-wheel convert, a bike bore!  I’m that “neek” in bright yellow and I just don’t care.  Traditional hybrid or electric power horse, I alternate between the two depending on my mood and how much I need to carry. Why do I leave my car keys dangling and opt for the bike on a gloomy morning?  I’ll tell you why. I’ll give you five reasons why you too could be a convert to a bike commute.

It’s good for your mental health

Oh my goodness, how liberating a bike ride can be!  “Take it to the bike” is my new moto.  A conundrum at work?  A tricky partner problem?  Teenage management issues?  Whatever the sticking point, I strongly recommend taking it to the bike.  After 12.5 miles of pedaling to Charlton Park Estate, home of Spring HQ, I’ll have the answers all worked out.  I talk to myself and I do it loudly.  Well, no one can hear me, I’m a yellow blur and there’s something about saying it aloud that beats all that silent debating in my head.

It’s safe: cars are not out to get you

Yeah, car drivers sometimes do get the hump.  I feel that I’m a fast-paced cyclist but the reality is, I’m not.  And I’m reminded of my steady pace when a driver floors it with a giant roar as they overtake me when they get the chance.  And yes, some drivers will turn left right in front of you so you have to slow down and even stop.  In the main, they’ll give you loads of room, slow right down, and are patient if they’re stuck behind you.  After all no one wants to run over a cyclist, right?  Wear yellow, know their idiosyncrasies, anticipate their ill-thought-through manoeuvres and you’ll be okay. 

Stephanie Briggs is absolutely loving her cycle commute into work.

People smile at you more

Really!  There’s a lovely lady of advanced years that hangs out at her gate and always waves at me as I pass by.  I shout a chirpy “morning” back.  If I catch anyone’s eye I’ll smile.  If I’m feeling brave I may even wave.  People greet me back and they genuinely look pleased to be acknowledged.  Sometimes I feel like Polly Anna on a bike.  But I like to think it’s my way of perpetuating my grandad’s legacy.  He would doff his hat when passing another and bid a cordial “morning/afternoon” without fail.  What a lovely gesture.  I am, in some ways, my grandad on a bike.

It’s a work out even with an electric bike

If you could feel the buzz in my legs after a 30-mile electric bike ride you would understand.  Irrespective of that, though, an electric bike will give you a better work out than the brake and accelerator pedals in a car.  Use your power boost to suit your mood and your fitness needs.  An electric bike is great for your cycle confidence and helping you go further.  Don’t diss an electric bike until you’ve tried one.  They are amazing!

You can be ready to work in a jiffy

You probably won’t need a shower when you get to work. I don’t anyway.  One first thing’s enough for me and I don’t think my 12.5-mile ride leaves me the least bit smelly, that’s what deodorant’s for, isn’t it?  I wash my face and sort my fringe.  I put on fresh clothes from head to toe and I’m ready for a cuppa within 10 minutes.  It really is as simple as that.  If we had a shower in the office I probably wouldn’t use it.  A flannel is all I need and man, am I alert and ready to go!

That’s my take on commuting by bike.  I love it.  It has quite literally changed my life and 125 miles a week means every day ‘could be’ a Cake Friday.  Go on, give it a go. I promise you won’t look back!


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