Each month we feature one Cyclescheme participant and share their commuting story. We ask the same seven questions (hence the name, The Cyclescheme Seven) in a bid to build up a picture of cycle commuters across the UK. From John O'Groats to Lands End we scour the country for the real cycle commuters who take to their bike each morning. If you'd like to feature on our website, just drop us a line on: firstname.lastname@example.org with "I'm in' in the subject line.
This month we caught up with David to see how her commute has changed his life.
CS: Where in the UK are you?
Tyne & Wear
CS: What was your main motivation for getting a bike through Cyclescheme?
I was fed up with sitting in traffic jams, and wanted to find a way to fit some exercise into my commute into work. I was also hoping that if it worked out I could ditch our second car - I figured it's one thing I could do for the environment.
CS: What bike did you get and why?
My first bike was an Avanti Giro 1 road bike, as I thought roads were the way to go to get in to work quickly. At the start of 2017 I got a Marin Gestalt 2 gravel bike so I could get off the roads and onto tracks more. I wanted to have a bit less traffic and a bit more nature in my commute and was prepared to gain a few minutes of travel time to get it. I'd really like a Brompton as well, so maybe that's the next one?
CS: How much did you spend with your Cyclescheme Certificate?
The Avanti was £800 in total with shoes, pedals and other accessories to get me started. The Marin was £1,000 as I wanted to get the best bike I could within the scheme
CS: How often do you commute to work by bike?
I probably average three times a week - some weeks it'll be every day, some weeks it may be just one day. The only weeks I don't commute are when I'm on holiday.
CS: Where do you commute from and to?
I start up in the hills above Blaydon, cross the River Tyne and then through Newcastle and on to North Tyneside where I work. It's around 17-20 miles each way depending on the route I take. My current route is largely off the road and mostly along the banks of rivers and includes a fair bit on the Coast to Coast cycle route.
CS: How has cycling affected your daily life - do you feel healthier? Have you saved money?
I think I've got a bit fitter - I used to run a lot more, but cycling fits in better to daily life, so I do it much more than I ran. I've definitely saved money - even after the cost of the bike and maintenance, which maybe offsets the cost of the car I think the big saving is the cost of petrol I haven't paid.
Are you ready to revolutionise your commute?
Ever wondered how your commuting experience differs to others? We share the story of Franki, a Cyclescheme cycle commuter and ask her seven questions to sum up their experience from their two-wheeled commute.
Ever wondered how your commuting experience differs to others? We share the story of Glen, a Cyclescheme cycle commuter and ask him seven questions to sum up their experience from their two-wheeled commute.
Ever wondered how your commuting experience differs to others? Each month we share the story of a real Cyclescheme cycle commuter and ask them seven questions to sum up their experience from their two-wheeled commute. This month, it's Guy.