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 Paul.
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 Paul to see how his commute has changed his life.
CS: Where in the UK are you?
Paul: I am situated in Seaburn - the coastal part of Sunderland, North East England.
CS: What was your main motivation for getting a bike through Cyclescheme?
Paul: My main motivation for obtaining a bike through the scheme was to improve fitness and reduce some weight with the additional bonus of reducing fuel costs.
CS: What bike did you get and why?
Paul: I have purchased two bikes since 2009-the first was a Giant Defy 2.5 road bike. Road biking was new to me and I fell in love with it immediately. The second bike was in 2013 and was a Cannondale Caad x cyclocross. I wanted to maintain the speed with the off-road experience and have been very happy with it. It is fair to say that cycling has taken over my life and since may 2013 i have cycled 4,500 miles and will shortly be cycling from London to Paris.
CS: How much did you spend with your Cyclescheme Certificate?
Paul: My first cycle to work certificate was valued at £800. The second certificate was of a similar value.
CS: How often do you commute to work by bike?
Paul: I commute to work around three times a week which is only 4.2 miles each way.
CS: Where do you commute from and to?
Paul: This commute is from Seaburn to Boldon Colliery. Whilst at work, I have access to a job mountain bike and often cycle up to 30 miles per shift around South Tyneside area.
CS: How has cycling affected your daily life - do you feel healthier? Have you saved money?
Paul: As mentioned earlier, cycling is now my main fitness activity. I have completed a number of coast to coast challenges and completed tough rides in the lake district too. I am presently riding around 180 miles per week and am totally hooked. I very much doubt that this would be the case without the assistance of the cycle to work scheme.