As June is bike month, and 9th - 17th is Bike Week - we thought we'd have a go at putting together our top reasons for cycling to work.
Whilst some of our team live too far away for cycling to be an option, (and some of us bring a dog along for the walk to work) a lot of the Bigg team ride their bicycle into the office.
1 - Health
This one is an easy one. The more activity you do, the less likely you are to suffer from illnesses relating to a sedentary lifestyle. Here's an example of just one study suggesting that cycling to work can drastically reduce your chances of getting cancer and heart disease. When compared with sitting in a car or on a bus on your way to work, the health benefits of cycling are monumental - even in polluted city air.
In fact, a study by academics at King's College London showed that you'd have to cycle for nearly 10 hours a day through rush-hour traffic in the centre of London before the damage done by the pollution you’re exposed to outstrips the benefit you’re getting from the exercise.
2 - Money
Riding a bike to work is vastly cheaper than driving and maintaining a car, or getting public transport. Even with the public transport options available in Bristol, the best options are still likely to set you back around £20 per week. Whereas, with cycling there's just the one-off cost of buying your bike and cycling gear, and then you're set!
3 - Environment
Apart from the CO2 you breathe out whilst burning all those calories, when you ride a bike you don't need to worry about adding to the greenhouse gases. Fumes from cars and buses stuck in city centre traffic are an ongoing problem for all of the UK. By riding a bike, you're making the choice to cut this pollution, even if it’s only by 1 car per day.
4 - Because it’s Bristol af
Bristol is known for its love of cycling. From the Yo Bikes to the vast sums of money spent on cycle lanes and paths - Bristol is bike mad.
As a company that wants to be as involved in all the positive culture in Bristol we have all found that cycling is a great way to be a part of this creative hub of the South West.
5 - Convenience
Riding a bike to work gives you the freedom to skip the traffic during your commute. Plus, you don't need to worry about filling up with petrol! Who can argue with that?
6 - Happiness /smugness
As well as boosting your self confidence by making you fitter and leaner, and helping release all those lovely positive exercise hormones, cycling also helps improve your mood because it increases your exposure to daylight.
"Exercising outside exposes you to daylight," explains Professor Jim Horne from Loughborough University's Sleep Research Centre. "This helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync and rids your body of cortisol, the stress hormone that can prevent deep, regenerative sleep." 1
7 - Enjoy the scenery
You can't see much of Bristol whilst stuck behind the number 76 through Hartcliffe. By hopping on your bike you can cut across quiet parks and down cycle parks strewn with wildflowers. You’ll be able to see a whole new aspect of your city without being confined to main roads.
8 - You get to nerd out about bikes
In our office we have two different kinds of 'nerding out' about bikes. On the one hand there's the 'absolutely highest specification, lightweight, top performance, state of the art' cycling fans, and then the ‘adorable basket on the front, flowers painted down the side, looking a bit like you've ridden straight out of a Famous Five novel' bike lovers. Both take equal joy from their two wheeled steeds and both have similar love of cycling to work.
9 - Get your active minutes in
By incorporating your commute into your daily fitness routine, you’re already on your way to your recommended number of active minutes just by going to work and back each day. You'll also find it's a brilliant way to set you up for the day, as it provides a buffer between leaving the house and arriving at work, where you get your blood pumping and your limbs moving.
10 - Have fun!
There's a reason kids love cycling as much as they do, it's actually really good fun. You don't need to be passionate about getting all the latest gear (although you definitely can be, if that's the form your love of cycling takes - go for it!) sometimes it's just a great feeling to whizz down a hill on your bike once in a while!
1 Source bikeradar