I don’t cycle to work anymore as I now have to drop kids off at childcare, but I used to cycle 3 miles each way (roughly) from Gosforth, and then from Low Fell.
To begin with, I got advice from my cycle partner (my boyfriend), and it was nice to cycle together, but soon enough I was confident to go through the centre of Newcastle alone. Some colleagues also gave good advice. I used to cycle to work most of the time, except when it was icy/snowy or chucking it down.
The ups …..
- You can get your bike looked over by Dr Bike which is good for those who are rubbish at servicing their own bikes (like me!)
- You generally feel good about yourself for making an effort to do some exercise
- You feel smug whizzing past stationary cars
- You feel a sense of achievement the first time you make it up a hill (like West street) without stopping/faster/in a higher gear
- You feel a sense of ‘community’ with other cyclists
- It’s a good way to encourage out of work cycling too, as your bike is kept accessible and in working order, so you are more likely to use it for small trips or for leisure; we used to do everything on bike (we didn’t have a car) including full weeks shopping!
- The money we must have saved on car use/public transport is phenomenal
- It makes you a better driver as you understand bike-user behaviour.
The downs …..
- You might get wet
- You might get sweaty (but not if you take it easy – I cycled to work in my work clothes, so took it easy, and didn’t need to change at work which saved time on arrival).
- You might have an accident (but you might also when walking or driving)
And a funny bit …… I was once followed by a man sprinting after me wanting my phone number as he ‘admired my energy’!! Could have been a compliment or stalking – but it made me smile!
Final thoughts ……. I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of cycling, even if it’s just 1 day a week. I really miss it, and if I didn’t have to ferry 2 children around, I would do it again.