Whether you’re looking to save money on fuel costs or improve your levels of physical fitness, cycling to work is a great way to go. That’s why in this article, we’ll take a look at:
- How cycling saves you money
- The health, wellness and workplace benefits of cycling
- Top tips for cycling safely to work
Ready to ditch the car and opt for a more sustainable commute? Keep reading as we show you how…
Save Money by Ditching the Car
There are no two ways about it – there’s a cost of living crisis going on. Everything seems to be going up, and from the rising cost of food shopping to enormous fuel bills, it can be difficult to afford the basics of life, let alone the luxuries.
It’s never been a better time to re-evaluate the cost of daily living, and looking at your commute is a great place to start. Whilst it’s convenient to use the car for short trips, using a bike to get to work can save you some serious cash over time.
So, how can cycling to work save you money? Firstly, it will save you fuel costs, which could add up to hundreds each month. Instead of spending money on a yearly service, you can either repair your bike yourself or pay a small amount to have your local cycle shop do it.
There’s no tax, parking fees or insurance – unless you decide to insure your bike, which will still be considerably cheaper. When it comes to car breakdowns, there are many potentially expensive points of failure that can go wrong with general wear and tear. Whereas with a bike, the most you’ll ever usually need to pay out for will be for new tyres or brake repairs.
Of course, it’s not reasonable to expect that you’ll be able to replace all of your journeys with cycling, but if you start small and replace trips under 5 miles regularly, the savings can quickly add up.
Health & Wellness Benefits of Cycling
There are so many health benefits from cycling to work, helping to keep you fit and healthy whilst boosting your mental health. Cycling is a low-impact method of cardio exercise that is accessible and inexpensive, no matter your level of physical fitness. It can help you to build muscle tone, improve joint strength and maintain a healthy weight.
With all the demands of modern life, it can be tricky to schedule time to go to the gym or a run. Cycling to work gives you the perfect opportunity to plan fitness into your day, saving you money on a gym membership and allowing you more time to spend with the family.
There are multiple other health benefits from cycling to work, including:
- Getting enough vitamin D
- Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Boosting your immune system
- Improving mobility & strength
- Improving lung health
- Promoting a good night’s sleep
Not only does cycling offer plenty of physical benefits, but it can also help to improve your mental health by reducing the symptoms of stress and anxiety whilst promoting mindfulness.
Top Tips for a Safe Ride to Work
There are a few aspects to ensure a safe ride, from checking your bike to staying highly visible. Keep reading as we share some top tips for safe cycling:
1. Plan Your Route
Before you set off on your first commute to work, plan out your route so that you know what to expect ahead of time. This will help you to stay safe as you’ll know where to turn and when you will come out of the cycle lane.
2. Safety Check Your Bike
It’s a great idea to get into the habit of safety checking your bike each time you take a ride. Check that the wheels are secure, that the tires have plenty of air in them, that your brakes work properly, and that the wheels spin without resistance. If you have any concerns, don’t risk it and book your bike in for a service ASAP.
3. Stay Visible
You should be as visible as possible when riding a bike, so ensure that you have working lights on the back and front, alongside reflectors and bold clothing. Bikes can be hard to spot from a car, so you want to ensure you are as visible as possible.
4. Wear a Helmet
Wearing a helmet can save your life, even if your commute is short – so don’t risk it. If you do get in an accident, it can reduce the likelihood of suffering a brain injury – or worse, a fatality.
5. Get a Good Bike Lock
The more often you use your bike, the greater the chance of it getting stolen, thanks to the number of criminal opportunists out there. So, get the best lock you can afford – and see if your workplace has somewhere secure and off-road to store your bike during the day.
6. Stay Hydrated
It’s important to drink plenty of water whilst performing aerobic exercise. Water bottle mounts are relatively inexpensive and can be a lifesaver when you’re out and about on longer trips. Adults need about 6-8 glasses of water per day, and staying hydrated will help keep you alert for the work ahead.
What are bike-to-work schemes?
Many modern European countries have companies that offer cycle or bike-to-work schemes to help reduce the cost of buying a new bicycle whilst giving staff a healthier, more planet-friendly way to get to work.
You simply pay for the new bike via salary sacrifice over about a year, but this has yet to become a global standard. Nonetheless, the benefits of cycling your commute are numerous, so why not have a go?
Now you know why cycling to work can be so beneficial for your health and your wallet. So, will you leave the car at home and try cycling instead?
Debbie Woodliffe is an experienced writer currently based in the UK working as the Head of Content & Outreach at Affinity Agency. Her main goal is to help others learn, develop and be more fulfilled through well-researched and informative content.