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 Ian from Somerset to see how his commute has changed his life.
CS: Where in the UK are you?
Ian:I live in Wellington, Somerset, and work in Taunton.
CS: What was your main motivation for getting a bike through Cyclescheme?
Ian: I started a new job in 2005 and was commuting 20 miles a day on my motorbike. In 2006 the scheme offered me the chance to buy a good commuting bike and maintain my overall fitness.
CS: What bike did you get and why?
Ian: I bought a Ridgeback Supernova. It was recommended by my local bike shop and gave me a fast, comfortable ride with an excellent selection of gears. In 2009 I upgraded to a Kona Dr Dew as I wanted disc brakes. I’d worn out 2 sets of rims on my Supernova (which I still use as a spare).
CS: How much did you spend with your Cyclescheme certificate?
Ian: (1) Supernova £500, (2) Kona Dr Dew £820
CS: How often do you commute to work by bike?
Ian: Every day, Monday to Friday.
CS: Where do you commute from and to?
Ian: From Wellington to Taunton, and back. My route takes me through West Buckland and the back-roads into Taunton, thereby avoiding the main road, the A38. I’m really lucky to have such a challenging and scenic route to work.
CS: How has cycling affected your daily life - do you feel healthier? Have you saved money?
Ian: I have sold my motorbike, savings lots of money! I like buying stuff for my cycling and I feel much healthier. Best of all, I can leap out of bed each morning looking forward to riding my bike. Through the day, I can look forward to my journey home. My route avoids traffic and I see more rabbits than cars!
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.