This year is the tenth Cycle to Work Day. The cycle commuting celebration has been a massive success over the last decade. Thousands of commuters have made the switch to cycling to work. They’ve got fitter, reduced their stress levels, saved loads of money on commuting costs – which is more important than ever – and done their bit for the environment.
With Bristol’s Clean Air Zone starting on 28 November (2022), we want even more people to try cycling to work. We can help you get on your bike and get to work the best way you can. Visit our website to apply for a free trial of a regular bike or an eBike and free cycling training to give you more confidence.
At Bristol City Council, we already have lots of staff members that travel to work on two wheels. To celebrate Cycle to Work Day, we say hello to three cycling converts.
Clare Winterbottom is an acting team manager working in mental health. She has always been a keen cyclist but she struggled to get back on her bike after having children. Living at the top of a big hill also put her off but using the cycle to work scheme, Clare got a good hybrid bike with lots of gears to help her get back on the road. The scheme also included a baby seat as part of the package, allowing her to drop her daughter off at nursery on the way to work.
“We both love it; she thinks it’s really fun. It is amazing for both my physical and mental health. I feel fitter, stronger and I never regret cycling!” Clare
Lesley Spring is one of our senior occupational therapists who has always cycled a bit, but since she doesn’t need to be at school for a specific time anymore, she has started cycling even more. The disabled children specialist service team also has an electric bike to use for visiting families, which is really helpful for travelling a bit further away.
When Lesley’s family went down to one car, she started cycling to work and back instead. She now much prefers cycling over sitting in a car in traffic and is feeling fitter, healthier and less stressed as a result. With the rising cost of fuel prices at the moment, it is also great for her budget.
“To cycle every day you have to be in the right mindset and a bit more organised, and make sure you have enough time, but the benefits it brings make it very worthwhile.” Lesley
Martin Chittell is one of our transport community engagement officers who moved to Bristol in September 2018. Before the move, he was commuting around 350 miles per week, which was three to four hours per day.
When Martin started working in the sustainable travel team, he borrowed a loan bike for a month. It wasn’t always plain sailing due to the weather but investing in decent waterproofs as well as planning his time, he managed to cycle most days.
Martin’s friend gave him a green three-speed Raleigh Triumph, affectionately nicknamed ‘The Boneshaker’ by one of the Bristol Cycling Centre volunteers. Martin and his dad retrofitted it with an old pannier rack they found at the local recycling centre and he used the cycle scheme to buy new lights, a saddle and some useful pannier bags.
Martin has since upgraded to a Rockhopper utility bike by Specialized. He’s also fitted it with a bike seat for his daughter, Charlie, who often enjoys going out for a ride.
“It would seem the research rings true. Travel behaviour change really does happen during big life events like moving house or changing job – or both in my case. Three years on and I’m still cycling. My next investment will be a decent balance bike for Charlie. I can imagine it now: her finishing her first lap at the Bristol Cycling Centre in Hengrove, bursting with smiles and pride at the presentation of her ‘Learn to Ride’ certificate!” Martin
- find out more about Cycle to Work Day and Cyclescheme, an employee benefit which enables you to hire a bike through salary sacrifice for an agreed length time and then have the option to buy it at a vastly reduced rate. People can save between 26 to 40 per cent on a bike or accessories
- you don’t just have to cycle to work, check out Sustrans national cycle network for more places to explore
- you can also visit Bristol Cycling Centre for training and coaching as well as bike maintenance courses
- register on our website for free bike trials and cycling training.