Cyclescheme is the UK's most popular cycle to work benefit, creating more cyclists than any other provider.

Aleck Whillans - North West

Aleck Whillans - North West

Mud on face determination wasn't always my look. A year and half ago I was overweight and struggled to do the most basic exercise.

One of the strangest things is that I now miss it when I don't cycle. Despite the serious look, I love cycling.  I passionately extol its virtues to colleagues, relatives and friends alike and have already pointed a few in the direction of Cyclescheme. It has changed my life and, without being too dramatic, my families too. Daddy was always the rounder one in the kid's drawings, now he is the one with the bike. I have lost weight and cycling is a major part of my life. The story of my commute is the story of a journey, not just from home to work but from unfit to fit, lethargy to passion, fat dad to bike dad; and hopefully from commuter to Supercommuter so I can share my journey with others and hopefully set a few people off on theirs. 

Challenge No2:

The hesitant cyclist! 

We asked the Super Commuters to approach a hesitant cyclist in their workplace and talk to them in a bid to undstand any barriers stand in the way of getting them in the saddle and riding to work. Here is how Aleck got on!


When this challenge came along I thought Nick would be an ideal candidate. We had chatted a bit about cycling and specifically about commuting to work on two wheels. Nick lives 11 miles from work and the idea of cycling that distance was the first hurdle he had to overcome. We didn't develop an action plan as such it was more a matter of looking at different routes and general encouragement that he could do it. A major obstacle was that he didn't have a bike! Perhaps due to my amazing powers of persuasion and my shining example of supercommuting over 16miles each way a day, or because he was sick of being stuck in traffic around Warrington, Nick decided to borrow a bike from a colleague and give it a go. After a few times commuting I noticed his seat was too low, we made a few adjustments and he gave the chain a good oil, he has not looked back since and is now commuting by bike a few times a week. He is now looking to buy a new bike on the cyclescheme and I am guiding him through the process.

Mike was my other candidate. He has an old bike in his garage he pulls out every so often but wouldn't consider himself a cyclist. We have talked a lot about cycling to work and as we live close to each other it was easy for me to tell him about the different routes you can take. For Mike the distance, just over 16  miles, was the first hurdle to overcome. I travel on the road at the moment but have used the Trans Pennine Trail to commute. The TPT is ideal for a new commuter and Mike felt that he wouldn't probably use the road as much as me and this helped him think more about what kind of bike to use. This was another hurdle for Mike. I still find the whole world of cycle shops and bikes bewildering and I have spent two years getting to grips with it. It was great to be able to share my bit of knowledge with Mike and help him consider what bike to get. I am pleased to say that last week he placed his order with cyclesheme and is just waiting for his voucher, as soon as his bike comes we are going to commute together.

Being a supercommuter has really helped me share more about cycling with people at work and having 2 success stories just in May is really encouraging.. I have entered my first proper cycling event in June, the great cycle in Manchester, and myself and a few colleagues have plunged for the longest 52 mile distance. Before buying my bike on cycle scheme I would have not stood a chance of doing anything like this. Thanks once again to the scheme for helping me get in shape after suck a long time sat on the sofa.  

Challenge No1:

Review your Endura Luminite II Jacket and Roadhawk Camera.

A great jacket for rain or shine, the Luminite is for me the perfect commuter piece of kit. A great all rounder, with this jacket Endura manages to keep you both safe and warm, and the thoughtful little extras show how much thinking they put into their design. I have been using this jacket for a few weeks and still keep finding new togs to pull to tighten the fit and the earphone hole in the front pocket is a great addition. You certainly can’t be missed in this. Bright Yellow is supplemented with shining reflective patches, strategically placed they do their job without you feeling like you’re working on the railways. And the bum light, or red poo, as my kids first called it, is a cleverly placed LED on the lower back, that gives that extra peace of mind you are doing your best to warn the dozier drivers of your presence.

Safety isn’t the only plus point. This jacket performs superb in rain and wind, both keeping me dry and warm. On my more aggressive commutes, I did find it could have been a bit more breathable but I have learnt that I don’t have to wear as many layers as my old, so called waterproof jacket, as I am keeping so much dryer and warmer. Come summer I think this jacket will still travel with me, it can be rolled up and with some care, stuck in your back jersey pocket. This jacket performs so well I am tempted to purchase the black version for those lighter evenings and weekend runs. That said, for my commute, I can see this jacket being used for years, which for the price I would say makes it an excellent purchase.


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