The benefits of cycling to work are well documented: More time in the saddle, improved wellbeing, extra money in your back pocket, guilt-free treats and even some more time to do other things. If you’re not already using two wheels to get to work, here are five reasons why you should get on your bike.
1. You’re going to spend more time on your bike
Whether you’re a two-wheeled convert or someone looking to jump back on a bike for the first time in years, cycling to work guarantees you more time on the bike.
Riding before and after work allows you to squeeze in some miles when you’d be normally rattling around on a tube, train, bus or stuck behind the wheel of your car.
If you’re training for an event or simply on a mission to get fitter, cycling to work slots into your daily routine, so is one of the most convenient ways to exercise. There’s no need to arrive home and then head straight back out to the gym if you’ve cycled twice already.
Cycling is the most fun you can have on your commute to work!
2. You’re going to feel happier and healthier
Relive stress. Sleep better. Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Reduce your chances of getting cancer. Live longer. No this isn’t some wonder drug that’s come onto the market, just plain old cycling to work.
Whilst the physical impact of cycling to work is well known (if this study in the BMJ doesn’t convince you, nothing will!) it’s the mental benefit that most cycling commuters laud.
You’ll arrive at work fresh, alert and ready to get on with your day.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have confirmed a link between an active lifestyle and brain function, so rather than arriving at work tired from the ride in, it's no surprise our fellow office chums are ready to get cracking. A 2019 study confirmed the link continues as people age, and it doesn't matter if you're riding a standard bike or an electric one!
After assessing cycling, public transport and car use, research fellows at the University of Minnesota concluded that cycling is indeed the happiest mode of transport.
The endorphins brought on by exercise are the perfect antidote to work stresses and strains. Half an hour on the bike and last months sales figures don't look so bad after all!
3. You’re going to save money
With fuel prices and train tickets on the rise it’s not hard to see how cycling to work will save you money.
Let’s take a look at a typical London commute to see how much money you can save. Using an oyster card on London transport, between zones 1 and 5, would cost around £1700 a year. Outside of the big smoke, a bus pass in Nottingham for a year would set you back over £700. A £400 hybrid bike, a few accessories and some clothing and you don’t need us to do the rest of the maths. And that’s even before you’ve used a cycle to work scheme.
4. You’re going to eat more (nice things!)
More riding means more calories burnt, even on the shortest of commutes. Scientific research indicates that short term exercise or HIT (high intensity training) can really aid your metabolism, along with a host of other benefits. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself raiding the vending machine or the corner shop for sustenance of any kind.
There’s also great debate about whether it’s best to exercise in the morning or the evening. Cycling to work means you’ve both bases covered.
5. You might even save time
OK, so this won’t apply to you if you live in the back-of-beyond and your route is all hedgerows, country pubs and birdsong, but in the city commuting by bike might very well be quicker than other modes of transport.
Department for Transport figures show that in London the average speed on the capital’s A roads are now just 7.6mph (12km/h). You can ride quicker than that, can’t you?
Now, what are you going to do with all this free time? Just try not to look too smug when you whizz past people crammed onto a bus or slumped in their cars.