Published: 18 August 2021
Our team at Serious Injury Law Ltd are recommended as a Top Tier firm by the Legal 500 and work exclusively with clients who have serious injuries. Over the last 30 years, we have dealt with some of the UK’s largest and most complex serious injury cases.
In last month’s article – How to get more out of cycling – we touched on how commuting can help you get more out of your time on the bike. But there are so many more reasons to try and get on your bike as much as possible throughout the week. If you have a busy work schedule and the daily train or drive is starting to get you down, there is no better way to boost your mood than switching out petrol guzzling transport links for your own pedal power. Here are some of our reasons why we think commuting by bike is the best option.
Get fit, lose weight and live longer
No matter how experienced a cyclist you are, commuting on a bike has physical benefits. The first and most noticeable one of these is how it helps you to keep trim. If that’s your primary goal, on average and depending on your initial weight, speed and type of riding, you will burn 400-750 calories an hour on a commute. In fact, statistics from cyclescheme.co.uk show us that the average person will lose at least a stone in their first year of bike commuting. The rate at which you ride will in turn make you a fitter person in general and statistics from the BMJ show that cycle commuters have a 41% lower chance of dying from all causes.
Save money on travel expenses
huge factor in cycle commuting’s favour is the money you save in the long term. Of course, there are initial cost in terms of bike prices and seasonal maintenance, but annually cycling to work saves you the most money compared to other transport links. Cyclescheme’s report shows that commuting by bike costs £396 per annum versus £3,727 per annum by car. The costs of train travel, although far more economical than by car, also rack up to £625 per annum. In short, ride a bike, save money… then spend it on yourself, your kids, or – dare we say it – a better, shinier bike!
Mental health benefits
Perhaps the biggest benefit of cycle commuting can be seen in your mental health. There is strong evidence to suggest that riding a bike is a great way to de-stress and clear your mind while being in the moment. Just being on the bike on a daily basis, taking in the fresh air and navigating the world can greatly improve mental wellbeing. Focus on the fun of it, see the positive impacts for yourself and even get a boost by encouraging friends and colleagues to do the same.
Improve your local environment and air quality
Commuting by bike helps keep you and your neighbourhood healthy. We now have a hyper realisation of our own local environments and the great importance of air quality and pollution reduction. It makes sense then that if more of our communities pick bikes over emission producing transport, air quality improves. In turn this leaves that population with a stronger immune system, fewer serious health problems and respiratory issues and in a better position against COVID-19 and its variants.
Reduce your carbon footprint
For even greater environmental benefits, riding a bicycle does reduce your carbon footprint and understandably causes far fewer emissions than driving. Initially bicycle production and distribution has an environmental impact but, as Cyclescheme estimate, 133,442 tonnes of C02 is saved each year by people cycling to work. This offsets that up-front cost by quite a way. It’s super important that we understand global warming and how we all need to work together to mitigate the impact on our planet. Getting more people on bikes is part of that.
Dodge the traffic jams
Relying on the traffic or the train timetable can be a stressful task. Believe it or not, cycling is often the quickest form of commuting. Especially in the city, using your bike can help you get round traffic jams or dodge potential rail replacement services. So, save time by riding a bike and never be late for work again.
A new perspective
Riding to work by bike gives you a new perspective on life, your fitness, your job and your local area. Even if you live in the city, when you are under just sky on your bike you notice far more than you would otherwise in a car or in a train carriage. Find the daily beauty on your route in, and even plan your ride so that you stick to quieter roads and tracks.
Employers will also benefit from their employees choosing more active ways to travel in to work. This is because the energy boost from an early morning cycle can massively improve productivity. In fact, all the points made above combined have this long-term result as research shows that those who exercise regularly outperform their colleagues who don’t.
We understand that commuting on the roads can be daunting at first. So, start out small scale with park and ride or with semi frequent cycle commutes and check if there are any other bridleways links near you that you may feel a little safer on for the time being. Once you get the commuting bug, you will quickly see the benefits for yourself.
We wish all cyclists and other vulnerable road users safe travels. However, if you or any of your family or friends are involved in an accident on the roads and require legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can also be contacted on 0330 058 0377 for a free, confidential, conversation with an experienced serious injury solicitor. Alternatively, please send us your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll call you back or feel free to join the discussion.