Meet the Cyclescheme Super Commuters

Cyclescheme, 07.03.2014

Meet the Cyclescheme Super Commuters

12 regions, 12 Super Commuters - come and meet the team!

Last month we started our search to find the UK's Super Commuters. We were looking for the passionate, committed people who take to their bikes everyday and fly the flag for cycle commuting. We spent hours pouring over the entries and finally whittled the hundreds of entries down to the final 12; and now we'd love to introduce you to them. Meet our Super Commuters.

 

Asa Aleck Ben

Åsa Pamphilon

East

Aleck Whillans  

North West

Ben Ford

London

Andrew Shiva Mary

Andrew James

Wales 

Shiva Gopal

Yorkshire & The Humber

Mary Morrissey

Scotland

Sarah Dean Steve

Sarah Allan

South West

Dean Rowntree

North East

Steve Malone

West Midlands 

Melanie Norman Chloe

Melanie Carroll

East Midlands 

Norman Allen

Nothern Ireland 

Chloe Martin-Brown

South East 

 


 

Åsa Pamphilon - East

Asa

I am a very committed all weather cyclist. I cycle to work in Chelmsford five days a week all year round (about 7 km each way). My bike has a basket and panniers giving me space for what I need for work, a set of waterproofs and room for some groceries to minimise the need for using the car for shopping! 

I try to convince my colleagues to cycle too, however many think cycling is unsafe. I know I am the winner in the long run though since the benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks. 

My economy benefits greatly since I don't have to pay for petrol, parking or bus tickets and I get exercise every day, for free. I enjoy being close to the elements, hear the birds sing, see the sun rise and feel the wind and fresh air against my face.

I represent the Staff Travel Plan team at work. I have negotiated staff discounts at local cycle shops, surveyed the city centre for new cycle parking and surveyed cycle parking facilities across my employer's different sites.  I have since made several recommendations for improvements. I really do want others to catch the cycling bug too.

Aleck Whillans - North West

Aleck

Mud on face determination wasn't always my look. A year and half ago I was overweight and struggled to do the most basic exercise. 

One of the strangest things is that I now miss it when I don't cycle. Despite the serious look, I love cycling.  I passionately extol its virtues to colleagues, relatives and friends alike and have already pointed a few in the direction of Cyclescheme. It has changed my life and, without being too dramatic, my families too. Daddy was always the rounder one in the kid's drawings, now he is the one with the bike. I have lost weight and cycling is a major part of my life. The story of my commute is the story of a journey, not just from home to work but from unfit to fit, lethargy to passion, fat dad to bike dad; and hopefully from commuter to Supercommuter so I can share my journey with others and hopefully set a few people off on theirs. 

Ben Ford - London

Ben

I've been cycling to work for years, slowly upgrading from a BMX to a Steel Racer and now finally I've got myself a Carbon Fibre which is a dream!

I teach Physics at an all boys Secondary School and have established a Cycle Club taking them regularly to train at the Herne Hill Velodrome. I think it is crucial to get teenagers of the buses and on to bike.

My favourite part of cycling is the ridiculously fantastic clothes!

Andrew James - Wales

Andrew

I've just turned 50 and I've been commuting to work for the last 14 years. My 56-mile round trip from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff is just a little too much to cycle everyday, so I pop the bike in the back of the car, drive half way and cycle the rest into the city centre making use of the wonderful traffic free Taff Trail at every opportunity.

I recently took advantage of Cyclescheme and bought this little beauty pictured above. It's so much fun to commute on! I also Mountain Bike at the weekends (if I have any energy left) and usually do a couple of 8 to 12 hour events in the summer. So commuting to work also doubles up as really good training for said events. I suppose you could say I'm a bit of a cycling nut! My wife probably has a different view.

Shiva Gopal - Yorkshire & The Humber

Shiva

I am a consultant orthopaedic surgeon normally (or an orthopod as our breed are called) but being a passionate cyclist I call myself a 'cyclopod'. Photo taken on completion of one of my best cycling achievements to date, the London to Paris Cycle challenge in May 2013, 300 miles in 4 days on my Cyclescheme commuter bike - a Scott Speedster.

Apart from raising over £1,500 for the charity 'The U Foundation', the highlight included visits to the British at Thiepval, and Canadian at Vimy Ridge, War memorials in Normandy and paying my homage to the brave soldiers. Loved the climbs as was one of the best of the group. 

Mary Morrissey - Scotland

Mary

My first memory is of falling off my push along trike and bumping by head. It has never put me off though, and cycles have been part of my life ever since. 

For the last 15 years, I have cycled the same 5 miles from Broughty Ferry to Dundee, upriver in the morning and back again in the evening, winter and summer, rain and shine, and through two pregnancies. Until I was six months pregnant  with my second child, I carried child #1 in a toddler seat on the bike to his nursery, which was next door to my work. I am still a little surprised that they were not both born with wheels.

The route goes through Forth Ports Authority land. After 9/11, citing security reasons, the FPA shut the route to cyclists. Cyclists rose up en masse and demonstrated against the closure in their thousands! 

Er no, actually, they didn't.  However, Dundee City Council mounted a legal challenge to the closure. Affidavits were collected from cyclists who had used the route for 20 years or more, showing that a public right of way existed. In the end, the FPA gave in, and agreed to form a designated cyclepath. 

I never tire of the view, especially on the way home; the colours of the sea and the river, the wildflowers, and the familiar faces of the other cyclists. I can't understand why anyone would want to travel any other way. Not to mention the money I have saved in busfares and/or fuel and parking, gym memberships, and clothes in larger sizes.    

Sarah Allan - South West

Sarah

I have Fibromyalgia, suffering widespread muscular pain and fatigue. I could no longer enjoy running or zumba, so I found myself getting depressed and gaining weight. Last June we had a holiday to Center Parcs, hiring bikes. I  fell in love with cycling.

Returning home, my local council were doing a 'borrow a bike' scheme, promoting the cyclescheme. This was my chance! I yearned to cycle to work to get fit and save money, but with a 13 mile journey each way, I was fearful. I tried an electric bike and within a week, I was cycling to work. I was getting gentle exercise that fit in with my routine and health problems, and as a working mother of a 2 & 4 year old, I was also getting relaxing 'me time.' After about 6 weeks, I ordered an electric bike of my own using Cyclescheme.

I continued to borrow a bike for 5 months until mine was finally in stock, and I took delivery of it last week.  I would love to share my ongoing journey with other people, especially those who fear they are not fit enough to cycle or have concerns over any health problems/disabilities. 

Dean Rowntree - North East

Dean

It doesn't matter what it is doing outside - with the right clothing and equipment, you can enjoy riding despite what the weather (literally) throws at you!

I am a Super Commuter because I like to ride my bike whenever I can. I commute all of the time, despite the weather. I have the skills to repair most common technical problems and blog about riding at www.bishopaucklandbiking.co.uk.

Steve Malone - West Midlands

Steve

I am a super commuter! I roll my steel horse to and from work every day come rain or shine, bendy bus bomber or mobile phone and sat nav tapping minicabber; I'm there, holding the line and pumping the pedals to and from work 6 days a week, usually riding on the seventh but making a caf̩ and not a desk my destination. Since taking over a new team I have converted 5 colleagues to the joys of the daily commute, relieving the earth's burden of 11 kilos of fat in the process the figure is going up, monitored on our wall based 'fat map'.

My car cost me £400, it covered 1009 miles last year, my bike cost £600 and covered 9,950 miles last year. Pasta is cheaper than petrol; my wife might argue about the emissions though! Having successfully campaigned for my organisation to retain the C2W scheme my aim for 2014 is to run a 'commuting team', converting 22 drivers into riders, regardless if it's one commute a month or every day, I hope my offer of an early shove off to change boots for bibs and shirts for jerseys is incentive enough! 

Melaine Carroll - East Midlands

Melanie

My bike is called the chimpcycle and I'm the monkey that rides him... in all weathers, all distances and all places. We ride daily to work in rain, ice, snow, wind and sun ... we go out for coffee and a pint every Friday with our Lincoln Cycle Chimps & Breeze Network friends because cycling isn't just for work and transport, it's for leisure and pleasure too!

During the summer and even in winter we do longer rides too on sundays as part of the Go Sky Ride Local initiative, and we hang out learning about bikes from our Sustrans friends too. Cycling isn't just about transport or sport, cycling is about a whole life style of enjoyment and fun ... that's why Chimpcycle and me do all we can to share that and promote that with as many other folks as we can, because all of us or many of us should try it, do it and learn to love it too ;)

Cycling isn't just for work and transport, it's for leisure and pleasure too! It's a whole life style of enjoyment and fun ...that's why I do all I can to share that- Breeze, Sustrans, CTC Road Justice, Lincoln Cycle Chimps & More, out, about, home & work

Norman Allen - Northern Ireland

Norman

Rain, hail, sleet or snow, whatever the weather i'm on the bike.

My commute is a 26 mile round trip and covers sea front, busy main roads, a lough shore park, a cycle path which runs along side a busy motorway, through an industrial area and then through Belfast City Centre. I have done this for nearly 4 years and have covered over 20,000 miles and still love it. My coldest commute was a snow covered -7 degrees. My most painful was coming off 3 times on black ice. I was recently able to get my work signed up to Cyclescheme and have started encouraging others at work to take cycling.

One of my pet hates are drivers who look, see me cycling and then pull out anyway! My favourite pieces of kit are a rechargeable air horn and a mega bright 1600 lumen front light which have both saved my bacon on a number of occaisons. Only since commuting on my bike have I grown to realise that cycling is definately an adrenalin sport.

Chloe Martin-Brown - South East

Chloe

From zero to hero - not having cycled for over a decade I managed 2 bikes in 8 months, almost 2,000KM on the clock and joined a club. I chase the sunrise, relish the rain and never hide from the hail stones. I'm a (single speed) fixiegirl. 

 


 

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