Two cycilsts and deer in Richmond Park
You never know what you will come across when you ride to work

Top ten reasons to make 2013 the year you start riding to work

With train fares going up, the cost of motoring soaring and food prices escalating, there's never been a better time to start riding to work.

Make this the year you finally ditch the train, bus or car and start cycling! Here are CTC 's top ten reasons to take up cycling. 

  1. Cycling is great exercise: forget spinning on the road to nowhere in a hot and stuffy gym, cycle commuting is a fantastic way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Regular cyclists typically enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to someone ten years younger, and those cycling regularly beyond their mid-thirties could add two years to their life expectancy. 70% of women and 60% of men fail to reach the recommended minimum level of physical activity of 30 minutes five times a week.
  2. Cycling is cheap: the cost of cycling is negligible compared to that of running a car or paying for fares. It is hard to calculate the exact cost as that depends on how far you ride, how much wear and tear your bike suffers and so on but as a rough guide, 20 years ago it was calculated to be approximately 1.25 per mile. And even better, you can claim 20p per mile in mileage allowances for business trips and the cost of cycles and equipment can be greatly reduced by the government’s Cycle to Work scheme.
  3. Cycling is environmentally-friendly: as cyclists do little damage to the carriageway or emit much in the way of CO2, even if pedalling hard, they do not pay Vehicle Excise Duty or the mythical ‘road tax’ – unless they are also car owners, of course.
  4. Cycling is fast: especially in cities and towns, it has regularly been shown that cycling is the fastest way to get from door to desk, even when time for showering and changing has been factored in. After all, there’s usually no problem parking a bike and if you ride slowly, you won’t need to shower either.
  5. Cycling is great for productivity: Not only do children have better concentration after physical activity, studies in Holland shows that employees who cycle regularly to work are less frequently ill, with on average more than one day fewer absent per year than their colleagues.
  6. Cycling is fun: most cyclists enjoy the time spent travelling and relish it as quality time that they can use for thinking about the day ahead, sorting out problems and simply enjoying the sights, sounds and smells around them.
  7. Cycling is easy: anybody who has a bike, or access to one, can ride to work. You don’t need fancy equipment or clothing, although regular riders appreciate the comfort and efficiency of cycle-specific gear.
  8. Cycling is stimulating: your journey to work will vary throughout the year, depending on the seasons, the weather and the light. You will notice glorious sunsets and beautiful skies, even in the city. And even in poor weather, that first cup of coffee will taste so sweet – and the donut is guilt-free!
  9. Cycling is cool: it’s not just Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton who have made cycling fashionable again, everybody who’s anybody has been seen on two-wheels. From David Beckham to Robbie Williams, they’ve all been converted to pedal power.
  10. Cycling is in: don’t just take our word for it. As The Evening Standard reports, cycling to work will set you free and once tried, there'll be no going back.

If you can add to this list, please let us know

Julie Rand