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 Kerry from Plymouth.
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 Kerry from Plymouth to see how her commute has changed her life.
CS: Where in the UK are you?
Kerry: Plymouth, Devon
CS: What was your main motivation for getting a bike through Cyclescheme?
Kerry: I was fed up of the unreliable bus service and noticed that Plymouth University offered Cyclescheme. I thought it would help me get fitter, be a green alternative to the car or bus and meant I could have a nice new bike (my old one was 22 years old).
CS: What bike did you get and why?
Kerry: Trek 770 hybrid. I got it because it is very light and very comfortable (I also liked the colour scheme of black, white and green!). I’d had Trek before and felt that build quality and reliability was good. I went for the highest spec possible because experience has taught me that better gears, suspension, wheels etc definitely improve ride quality.
CS: How much did you spend with your Cyclescheme certificate?
CS: How often do you commute to work by bike?
Kerry: Between 3 and 5 days a week – basically every day that I am at my ‘home’ office.
CS: Where do you commute from and to?
Kerry: 3.3 miles east of Plymouth into Plymouth city centre – I try to vary my route sometimes to keep the interest going. My cycle route also depends on the time of year, in summer I tend to use off-road cycle routes, but in the winter I use the roads as they are better lit and salted – ice and bike tyres don’t work well together!
CS: How has cycling affected your daily life - do you feel healthier? Have you saved money?
Kerry: I have definitely got a bit fitter and haven’t put weight on over the winter, which is always a good thing! I haven’t quite broken even with the bike outlay yet, but that will come. If I keep the bike for even half as long as the previous one, I will be quids in!