Thursday 3rd September 2015 is Cycle to Work Day. Are you going to?
So, what is it then?
Cycle To Work Day is an annual event encouraging people to take to two wheels for the day. It enjoys support from a variety of employers and cycling advocacy groups and has been going from strength to strength for the past few years.
Well, if your employer is supportive of the idea they may well put on some sort of event, or perhaps just a breakfast in the staff canteen. They should at the very least tell you about it.
Well, there are a number of participating retailers in Cardiff who will provide a free bike check. These are:
If your bike has been sat in the garage for a while, it might not be a bad idea to treat it to a free once-over and make sure it is still safe to ride.
Why should I cycle to work on Thursday?
Short answer: It’s a tremendous, life-altering experience that may well put you on the road to a healthier, more environmentally friendly way of life.
Long answer: We have a bit of a problem. We’re facing an obesity and diabetes epidemic; we’re enveloped in a bubble of noise and air pollution and something has to change.
In Wales we have the Active Travel Act, which hopes to change the way we travel by forcing councils to provide for walking and cycling to increase the modal share of sustainable travel.
Unfortunately, two forms of sustainable travel –the train and the bus, are getting progressively more expensive. The only sustainable travel option that is still cost effective is, as it turns out, the bike (or walking…).
Fortunately, according to the CTC 44% of people above the age of 5 have access to a bike; Yougov says 47% live within 5 miles of work and BikeBiz says a third of all UK adults and 100% of children have no driving license. So, the statistics are on our side, so to speak.
What is also good news is that cycling to work will also make short work of any excess weight your are carrying and you’ll produce no pollution whatsoever.
We also have a bit of a social cohesion problem. We have communities separated by busy roads; we have children who feel unsafe playing in the street and very few of us know anyone living near us. Commuting by car separates us from everyone. We wrap ourselves in our tin boxes, unable to communicate with people in other cars, except for perhaps an angry hoot on the horn when they do something we disagree with. More importantly, we divide communities.
Cycling can help to fix that too. You can connect with people you meet out riding, in fact, much of my social life now revolves around people I met riding to work. It’s funny how things work out…