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Reflections On Year 1 Of Cycle Commuting; Part 3

If you missed part 2 of this blog, you can view it here: PART 2


So, what benefits does it give me? 

Fresh air - every day it’s like driving a convertible. Except better 
 
I appreciate the seasons. I even enjoy the rain – it’s refreshing.
 
I have realised that even in Manchester it doesn’t actually rain that often. Yes, of course I have arrived at work drenched. But not more than say 5 times all year.
 
Predictability. My commute time varies only by a maximum of 4 minutes. And that’s if United and City and Little Mix are all in town on the same night! 
 
Cost. Essentially free travel. No daily cost. No daily parking. 
 
Door to door service. My bike lives in the house and in the basement at work. It sometimes makes me feel lazy because I’m not walking anywhere. But then I remember I’m cycling every working day. 
 
Environmental. I’m no kind of enviro basher but it makes me feel like I’m contributing. 
 
Food and drink choices. I can eat cake and biscuits without worrying too much about it. I can justify, a little bit more, that glass of wine or G&T. 
 
Stress. I use cycling as a psychological crutch. I try to ride to work mindfully. I observe my surroundings. I talk to other cyclists. I smile - to myself and others around me. (A stark contrast from the M62 where everyone is travelling in the same direction and the only human contact, unless you have your own passenger ,is when you are stuck in traffic which is annoying anyway and unlikely to put me in a suitable position to interact with others and smile). 
 
Making friends. In my new job I had an immediate connection with the other cyclists. Cycling breaks down barriers. 
 
Road safety. Ok. So I have had some incidents. Some near misses. Some heated exchanges. I have pulled off the road and had a cry once or twice - but that is out of a count of 332 journeys so far this year. I used to get in car journey confrontations too – it’s no different.
 
Smug factor. Passing stationary traffic and people waiting and waiting and waiting at bus stops. Why do it?
 
Mileage. I set a 2017 mileage target for kilometres on my bike at 8000. I am at 7505km and it is just December. I can do this. How satisfying to achieve a goal in that way.
 
 
 

In summary..

My habit now is cycle commuting. It would be harder and more costly for me to drive and it would take me longer. The same would apply to bus or tram journeys. I would miss the seasons and the same opportunity to enjoy the open air. After some preparation to get going with cycling to work, it is now very easy for me. And I wouldn’t change it for the world. Much like starting any new job, a new travel plan is needed. Much like starting a new year, it is time to review and reflect. Why not make the change and cycle to work?


Nadia Kerr tweets at @CyclingLawyers and is a cycle accident claims solicitor at JMW Solicitors.