This Thursday, 12th September, is national Cycle to Work Day. The aim of the game is to encourage as many people as possible to use their bicycle for their commute.
According to data from the census 760,000 people commute regularly to work by bike – with most commuting journeys less than 5 miles. Traveling by bike to work is a great option for a lot of reasons – financial, environmental and not least health and wellbeing.
Cycle to Work Day is the brainchild of Cyclescheme, one of the main providers of ‘cycle to work’ scheme vouchers to companies in the UK. This scheme allows you to purchase a bicycle and safety equipment, such as helmets, lights, locks and high-viz clothing, through your employer.
Cycle to Work Day is being championed by none other than Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, who’ll be one of the thousands of people putting foot to pedal on the day.
The day is also supported by Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity. Sustrans are responsible for the National Cycle Network of cycle paths and greenways and are one of the main campaign groups for cycle safety. British Cycling, Bicycle Association and Business in the Community are also on board, so there’s a lot of support for this.
How to get involved
Visit the Cycle to Work Day website, pop in your details and how far you plan to ride – just an estimate will do. Pleasingly, you’ll then be informed how much money you’ll save by cycling, how much carbon you’ll offset and how many calories you’ll burn.
When you pledge, you also qualify for discounts on cycling gift vouchers, and membership of British Cycling, plus the chance to win some prizes. There’s a link to pop your pledge up on Facebook, so you can motivate friends and colleagues to get riding too.
If you want to spread the word at work or among friends, it’s not too late. The Cycle to Work Day website has a load of helpful resources, including safe commuting tips from Dame Sarah Storey, and a bike safety check to make sure their steed is up to the job. What could be more rewarding than encouraging someone else into cycling?
What else is happening?
Give your steed a bike health check! Hundreds of bike shops up and down the UK are taking part, so if you’re a Cycle to Work Day participant, pop in and make sure your bike is in tip-top shape. Find the full list of participating shops at the National Cycle to Work Day website.
You can also check to see if your employer has anything up and running to encourage you to commute by bike on the day – lots of companies are getting involved.
Facts and Figures
Most commuting journeys are less than 5 miles, which translates to less than 30 minutes by bike on average.
According to the NHS, one hour of cycling can burn up to 650 calories. That’s the equivalent of three packets of cheese and onion crisps, 6 yoghurts or two chicken fajita wraps.
With the NHS recommending 150 minutes of exercise for each person per week, even cycling a few times a week will make a big difference.
Thinking of getting a bike and want to know more about the Cycle to Work Scheme? We’ve got the info you need here.