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 Joanne.
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 Joanne to see how her commute has changed her life.
CS: Where in the UK are you?
Joanne: I live in Surbiton in South West London. It’s a beautiful little commuters paradise.
CS: What was your main motivation for getting a bike through Cyclescheme?
Joanne: My commute always meant that I would arrive to work 40 minutes early due to the train schedules. Cycling to work meant that I would arrive precisely when I meant to like the great Wizard Gandalf. I’d also piled on a few pounds since finishing Uni so cycling was the best way to drop a dress size! My first job out of Uni is at an excellent marketing company who actively encourage all the employees to keep fit and healthy. Gravytrain (my company) was so supportive when it came to the cyclescheme. It’s great to have an employer who took me on and looked after me this way.
CS: What bike did you get and why?
Joanne: I got a green Vintage Pro bike with a basket! I got it because I love vintage style bikes. It looks like it’s from wartime Britain in the 1940’s... And it really goes with my outfits!
CS: How much did you spend with your Cyclescheme certificate?
Joanne: I only spent around £350. Anything above that just seemed excessive to me because I’m only a basic cyclist.
CS: How often do you commute to work by bike?
Joanne: I commute every day and I love it... even when it’s raining.
CS: Where do you commute from and to?
Joanne: I go from Surbiton to Hampton Hill. Half of this is along busy roads and the other half is through Bushy Park which is an incredible ride. It’s such a change to come rolling off the busy Hampton Court Bridge into a woody paradise with deer and all sorts of creatures. It takes me about 30 minutes to cycle but sometimes longer if I decide to take my time and catch the scenery.
CS: How has cycling affected your daily life - do you feel healthier? Have you saved money?
Joanne: I feel healthier for sure! I get home at least half an hour quicker as well as spending £40 less on travel every week. It gives me the thinking time I need to get my mind straight before and after work. I often see more things than I would on the public transport. Birds, wildlife and some interesting characters are some of the best things to see on my ride in. It’s also great to wake yourself up in the morning with a vigorous cycle!