With national bike week taking place this week encouraging more people to take up cycling in everyday life, Adam Wallace tells us why he took up the hobby and his experience cycling to work
I decided to take up cycling back when I lived in Banbury, Oxfordshire, 10 years ago. I wanted to lose a bit of weight but the thought of going to a gym after work didn’t appeal to me. I started cycling the 16 mile journey to and from work and soon realised it took me less time to cycle there than it did when I drove. I also found that instead of getting stressed from sitting in lines of traffic, I actually had time to clear my head and arrive home, ready to enjoy my evening.
I carried on cycling to work when I started at Mitsubishi Electric in Hatfield. My commute from St Albans is slightly shorter at 7 miles each way, but I compliment this with short runs during my lunch break.
In Hertfordshire it is really easy to get around on a bike as there are lots of cycle routes. I have tested many of them out on my journey to work and I can nearly get the whole way there without having to cycle on a road. My tip for anyone taking up cycling is to use the cycle routes and test out the different ways of getting to work so you can find the quickest and safest route.
Health benefits of cycling
As I’ve said earlier, I first took up cycling to lose weight, it worked! Cycling is a great form of exercise to get you into shape and as it’s a low impact form of exercise, it’s easier on your joints than running and other high impact sports.
Cycling for fun
Although I cycle every day for work I also like to ride in my spare time. My girlfriend is a keen cyclist too and she also cycles the 20 mile journey into London when she is working there saving her a huge amount on train fares.
Recently we took a trip to Morocco and cycled back through Spain and France. It took us 10 days to do complete the 1250 mile trip but it was totally rewarding and the best way to see the country!
I have also joined up to a local cycling club who go out every weekend if you don’t mind getting up nice and early on a Sunday morning. There are plenty of clubs around the country so look them up in your area if you need some motivation to get up and out.
According to Cycling UK, if the amount of people cycling to work doubled, it would reduce CO2 emissions by 0.6 million tonnes a year by decreasing car use, and would go a long way to help the UK’s commitment to the Climate Change Act 2008 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% in 2050 from 1990 levels.
Cycling is a great way to get out and see the country
If you are interested in taking up cycling, then talk to your HR team to see if your company is part of the Cycle to Work Scheme. This scheme allows you to purchase a bike and accessories which is then paid back monthly through your salary. You could even save up to 40% on your purchase. Mitsubishi Electric offers this scheme to all employees to encourage staff to cut their carbon emissions.
Adam Wallace is an Account Manager for Mitsubishi Electric Automotive in the UK.
If you have any questions about this article or want to know more, please email us. We will contact the author and will get back to you as soon as we can.