This Thursday was the second Cycle To Work Day, a national event run by Cyclescheme to encourage cycle commuting all over the UK. The day saw thousands and thousands of people take to two-wheels, many for the first time.
I'm proud to say that I've been the Cycle To Work Day ambassador for both years. I've particularly enjoyed listening to both sides of the "cycle to work" story - why people do and why people don't. Being able to encourage those who do and always will commute by bike is a privilege but it is also humbling to help break down barriers for others and hear of their new found love.
This year Cycle To Work Day was bigger and more involved which means we have reached out to far more commuters and are helping them start the day the healthy way. We have long known that exercise keeps our minds healthy as well as our bodies but as people have less and less leisure time it is exercise that usually gets forgotten. Those who combine their commute with a bike ride are one step ahead of those who don't, because they don't lose out by staying sedentary.
But a healthy mind and body is just one reason to cycle - there are so many other reasons too! To reduce congestion, save on fuel and rail fare costs, be better prepared for the day, be more relaxed and to sleep better after work and of course pure enjoyment! I think the benefits are far more than people first realise.
Many people struggle to take those first steps - or pedals. To those people, I would say 'just give it a try, you won't look back! Also, sign up to something like Cyclescheme, which is a brilliant way to get into cycling. Not only does Cyclescheme provide great savings by allowing you to buy equipment tax free - that means up to 42% discount on all bikes and equipment - but it's also a great community that offers advice, tips and encouragement.
Cycling is at the centre of my world and I hope through my role with Cyclescheme I can help it to become an integral part of the lives of many more people. If you missed Cycle to Work Day - don't worry. Many people say every day is a cycle to work day, so use Cyclescheme to help get yourself up and running and start tomorrow! Once you get your two wheels you won't want to go back.