Today is National Cycle to Work day – and we know we’re probably preaching to the converted when we say that taking a bike to work is the best way to go. However, if you’re reading and nodding then you’re in the minority: a recent survey carried out by Ribble Cycles showed that just 9 per cent of working Brits use their bikes to commute.
The YouGov pole surveyed over 1000 workers about their attitudes to cycling, and what put them off. It transpired that over half of those questioned were worried about having an accident, and British weather had an effect too.
The lowest rate of cycling was found between the ages of 18 and 24 years-old, where only two per cent cycled – and the survey found that on the whole men were twice as likely to ride (13 per cent vs 5 per cent).
Of course, these aren’t the numbers we want to read – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Matthew Lawson, Chief Marketing Officer at Ribble Cycles said: “There are many schemes out there aimed at helping people build their cycling confidence, and with the introduction of more cycling lanes and cycling superhighways within our key cities, hopefully this will make cycling a more accessible commuter option, helping to dramatically reduce city pollution and congestion.”
Here’s a look at the top five reasons people gave for NOT cycling to work, and how to overcome them…
Live too far away to cycle (42%)
Perhaps you live 50 miles away from your workplace. We would never tell a beginner cyclist to kick off their riding career with a 100 mile daily round trip, so we understand your concern.
However, you don’t have to ride all the way to and from work to enjoy the cash saving, endorphin boosting benefits.
The easiest option if you want to cut down the length of your commute is to take the train half way there, using a folding bike if you travel into London. And honestly, there are some great folding bikes out there – and if you get your handlebar set up and gearing right they’re awesome to ride.
Alternatively, you can choose to drive half way, with your bike in the back, riding from a convenient spot along your route. Or, you can set yourself up with an alternating pattern: drive in Monday morning, cycle home Monday evening, cycle in Tuesday morning, drive home Tuesday evening: halving the distance you need to travel by bike.
The other option could be checking out the growing number of electric bikes on the market. Most are pedal assisted, so though the hills will be considerably easier you’re still getting a good workout.