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 Olly.
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 Olly to see how his commute has changed his life.
CS: Where in the UK are you?
Olly: I live in the South East and was concerned about sharing the road with others having ridden motorbikes for a number of years, however I used the Internet and various cycle apps to workout more cycle friendly routes.
CS: What was your main motivation for getting a bike through Cyclescheme?
Olly: I decided a while ago that I wanted to complete a childhood ambition to ride the London to Brighton cycle ride. I started looking at ways I could get an affordable bike (never easy with a young family) and a colleague at work told me about the scheme. After a bit of research it seemed the obvious way to go. I planned to use riding to work as my training for the event but soon got addicted to commuting on my bike.
CS: What bike did you get and why?
Olly: I chose a Claude Butler Paris Roubaix as I had a race bike as a boy and loved it. I also wanted to have a crack at somesportives.
CS: How much did you spend with your Cyclescheme certificate?
Olly: I spent about £650 on my certificate that was for the bike and a helmet.
CS: How often do you commute to work by bike?
Olly: I usually commute the full 30 mile round trip 3 times a week and cycle to a car share an 8 mile round trip the other 2 days. However now the sun is out I will do the whole commute all week.
CS: Where do you commute from and to?
Olly: I commute from my home to one of her Majesty's Prisons where I work.
CS: How has cycling affected your daily life - do you feel healthier? Have you saved money?
Olly: I used the gym at work regularly and considered myself to be fairly fit, however cycling has taken that to a new level which I'm really happy about. I find it is a great stress relief to be out in the countryside on a summers evening after a stressful day at work. I also find I can eat and drink whatever I want without worrying and I feel generally happier and more positive. My Asthma has also improved dramatically. My children have recently taken their first steps to riding a bike so I am looking forward to family ride outs. I have definitely saved money however you can easily get carried away buying clothing and accessories especially if you want to improve your times or enter events. above all I feel healthier physically and mentally. Oh and I ticked the L2B off my bucket list as well.