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 Claire from Surrey.
It's not often we get to hear, first-hand, how cycling to work can make a difference to your lifestyle. We all know that it's good for you and that it's environmentally responsible, but it’s always encouraging to hear a personal account from someone who has made the change from four wheels to two.
Each month we'll be featuring one Cyclescheme participant and hearing their story. We’ll 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're scouring the country for the real cycle commuters who take to their bike each morning. We want to share the inspiring and, sometimes funny, stories that people have. 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 Claire from Surrey to see how his commute has changed his life.
CS: Where in the UK are you?
Claire: I live in Woking (Surrey) and work in Chessington.
CS: What was your main motivation for getting a bike through Cyclescheme?
Claire: To buy a better bike than the one I had at the time for commuting.
CS: What bike did you get and why?
Claire: I bought a Dahon Jack. I needed a folding bike because part of my commute is on a train into London, but I wasn’t happy with the small wheels that most folding bikes have. The Jack is a folding mountain bike/hybrid, with 26” wheels.
CS: How much did you spend with your Cyclescheme certificate?
Claire: I think about £600 altogether.
CS: How often do you commute to work by bike?
Claire: Every day of the week, unless something unusual is happening.
CS: Where do you commute from and to?
Claire: I cycle from my house to Woking station (2 miles), get off the train at Walton on Thames and cycle to Chessington (7 – 8 miles). And do it in reverse in the evening. In summer I sometimes cycle all the way home, which is about 17 miles.
CS: How has cycling affected your daily life - do you feel healthier? Have you saved money?
Claire: I definitely feel healthier! Full of energy and I’ve only had one sick day in the past 4 years. I look forward to the ride at each end of the day, even in winter (well, most of the winter). My commute has also gradually become longer.
The cost of my rail ticket is now less than the cost of petrol would be, but I’ve probably saved that amount again on less wear and tear to the car and longer intervals between services.