Keeping yourself healthy is important and commuting by bike provides the perfect opportunity to give your body and mind that extra boost!
Cycling to work not only improves your fitness, but also brings a whole host of other benefits. And even if you’re working from home, you can use the saved commuting hours to head out on two wheels.
Where possible, here’s why we think it’s a good idea to commute by bike.
Bikes help you avoid traffic
Unless you live in the country or are lucky enough to work close to home, then you’ve probably spent way too much time stuck in congestion or fighting to get on and off public transport. Commuting by bike removes all this hassle and puts you in charge of your journey.
There’s a bike for every scenario
While any bike will get you from home to work, there are certain types that will make commuting even easier. Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are a speedy, eco-friendly, and cost-effective way to get around. They’re perfect for commuters because the onboard motor assists with pedalling, reducing the level of exertion required and enabling you to arrive at work feeling fresh and ready to go. You can even travel in your work clothes, which means you won’t have to drag a change of clothes back and forth.
The motor provides assistance up to 15.5mph (at speeds above this, it’s all down to you!) and it also helps you accelerate from a stationary position, which is ideal if you’re navigating through junctions and traffic lights. Add in the fact that the motor will help compensate for the weight of a bike bag or bike pannier and it’s clear that electric bikes are a top choice for any commuter. Check out our electric bikes buying guide to find the perfect match for you.
Another option is folding bikes. Portable and easy to store, folding bikes allow you to combine bike-based commuting with another form. They can also be taken into most workplaces with you, removing the need to find a secure place to lock up your bike. There are even folding electric bikes on the market if you want to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Cycling is good for your health
Okay, so any exercise is good for your health. But cycling is one of the best forms of cardio exercise out there. It provides a low-impact workout that helps strengthen your leg muscles and gets your heart pumping. Best of all, you’ll burn off more calories than you would during a walk or run!
Cycling’s also great if you’ve got any aches or niggles in your hips, knees, or feet, as its low-impact exercise takes the pressure off these weight-bearing joints.
Bikes are a more predictable mode of transport
Accident on the motorway? No problem. Signalling failure on the trains? Don’t worry about it. Broken water pipe partially blocking a road? Not an issue. When you’re on a bike, with the freedom to zip through queues, unexpected delays become a problem of the past.
You can leave work at the same time every day and be safe in the knowledge that you’ll most likely be pulling up at your front door exactly when you expect to. Which is great when you’ve got those evening activities scheduled in!
Cycling is cost-effective
Keeping a car on the road can be expensive and so can paying out for public transport every month. Cycling, on the other hand, can be a really cost-effective way of getting yourself to and from work. You only have to buy a bike and the necessary safety equipment – and we even have a UK-wide scheme to help you with that.
Halford’s Cycle2Work scheme allows employers to ‘loan’ bikes and cycling safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. What this means in practice is that the employer buys a bike for you to ride to work and you ‘hire’ it by sacrificing a percentage of your salary each month (you don’t pay tax on the salary you sacrifice, which is where the saving comes in). Once you’ve paid off the cost of the bike, it’s yours to keep.
The scheme is open to employers of all sizes and we have a dedicated Cycle2Work platform to support all employers and employees that want to join the scheme.
Cycling is good for the environment
Cycling is an excellent way of reducing your footprint. An unexpected benefit of the Covid-19 pandemic was the dramatic drop in CO2 levels in many major towns and cities across the UK as the country was advised to stay at home wherever possible. By commuting by bike, you can maintain this positive development and help the UK meet its targets for a greener future.
The government has placed significant focus on environmental policies in recent years, aiming to decarbonise all sectors of the UK economy and meet its net-zero target by 2050. They also revealed their plan to slash emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. Commuting by bike and greater use of electric vehicles is an easy way to help do your bit for the environment and help the UK become more sustainable.
Cycling is receiving serious government investment
There’s never been a better time to take up commuting by bike. In 2020, the government announced plans to boost greener, more active transport by investing £2 billion in measures designed to encourage walking and cycling.
The first stage of these plans will include pop-up bike lanes, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors, with the government aiming to double the number of cyclists in the UK by 2025. So why not get on your bike and join them?
Been bitten by the bike commuting bug? Well, you can find our full range of bikes online if you’re looking to buy something new. Or if you’ve got a faithful old bike that’s been living in storage, then take advantage of our free bike health check to ensure it’s in a roadworthy condition.
We’ve also got a range of essential commuting gear for you to get your hands on to make your journeys as safe and comfortable as possible.