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: email@example.com with "I'm in' in the subject line.
This month, we caught up with Steve from Newcastle to find out how his cycle commute has changed his life.
CS: Where in the UK are you?
Steve: I live in the North East of England on Tyneside
CS: What was your main motivation for getting a bike through Cyclescheme?
Steve: It was a tax efficient way to save money.
CS: What bike did you get and why?
Steve: I bought a Specialized Globe 6.1 Nexus (a road/track hybrid) I chose this for the mainly road and occasional cycle path route I follow to work. Over the last few years I have found this to be a superb commuting bike. I also got a few accessories such as a new jacket, a helmet, gloves, etc.
I have since bought a Revolution Pathfinder Nexus (a more off road hybrid) which I have used for little ventures through the countryside but more especially during the bad winter weather (I use Schwalbe snow stud tyres) and have only failed to get through the snow twice when it was over 8 inches deep. I have also used the bikes for adventurous days away, I have completed amongst other things the C2C and have followed (as near as possible, as it's really a long distance walk) St. Oswald's Way and wild camped along the route. I am planning to escape to somewhere in Europe this year too.
CS: How much did you spend with your Cyclescheme certificate?
Steve: Around £600 for the first bike and £400 for the second
CS: How often do you commute to work by bike?
Steve: I commute every day
CS: Where do you commute from and to?
Steve: My home is in Wallsend and I cycle into Newcastle and it is about a ten mile round trip
CS: How has cycling affected your daily life - do you feel healthier? Have you saved money?
Steve:I have cycled for over 45 years and love the freedom cycling allows me and it definitely makes me feel healthier.
Cycling has saved me a small fortune as I do not need to use my car or public transport.
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.