Commuting by bike? Oh Yes!

The Covid period has made us rethink many areas of everyday life, including the daily commute. At Nikwax we love exercise and the great outdoors, so what better way to enjoy these two things than by commuting by bike? Let’s take a closer look at the effects of commuting by bike.

Why cycling to work is amazing

Honestly, there is nothing more beautiful than smelling the fresh spring air and stretching your legs after a long day sat at a desk. Not wanting to avoid or romanticise some of the challenges (don’t worry, we’ll get to that) but, feeling the evening sun on your face can truly make all worries of that last stressful meeting fade away. Cycling has several benefits, some of them you might already know about. We have listed some of them here to give you an idea:

Cycling is good for your health:

  • It improves your posture and balance
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Increases your flexibility and muscle strength
  • Lowers your stress levels.

Cycling is good for the environment and… oh … how good:

  • Cycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants. The UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy estimates that 34 per cent of carbon emissions are from the transport sector – particularly passenger cars.
  • If people in England became as likely to cycle as people in the Netherlands, there would be around two million fewer car driving commuters. Consequently, English authorities could reduce CO2 outputs by over 1,500 tonnes a year on average. (Cycling UK)
  • Cycling reduces noise pollution, congestion and the need for new parking lots and roadways. Wouldn’t it be great if we had more trees and parks in city centres, instead of parked cars that often do not move for the majority of the day?

There are even economic benefits:

  • The cost per year of operating a motor vehicle is significantly higher than those for a bicycle
  • Motor vehicles cause a lot more wear and tear on roads compared to cycling

And not to forget the social/safety benefits:

  • Cycling increases the connection you have to your neighbours and community
  • It deepens the connection to where you live and work and the surrounding areas
  • Roads are consequently calmer and safer for you and your loved ones

Ready – set – go! … in small steps

We know it can be a big step to switch your commuting routine. Why not start small: chose a beautiful day, and plan enough time for the journey. Don’t worry if it takes you a bit longer than the journey planner indicated, that’s normal the first time. Once you get used to the route, you’ll easily beat that journey planner. See how you get on and maybe make it a habit for those days where you are sure the weather is going to stay nice. Who knows… you might become a regular cyclist sooner than you expect, perhaps even battling all types of weather!

But what if it is raining? And what about getting sweaty?

Maybe you have some reservations, not everyone likes to ride a bike in pouring rain or snow, that’s completely understandable! But let’s face it – this might be the case in 4 months of the year. But most of the time the weather is good for cycling and it is incredible to experience the changing of seasons or feeling the cool morning breeze oon your face. It may also be that you do not want to arrive at your destination sweaty and out of breath. In this case it helps to ride slowly and comfortably and to take a change of clothes with you. Alternatively an Ebike could be a great option for you, they turn every strenuous hill into a picnic.

We hope that we have persuaded you to give it a try and you find cycling to work as rewarding and liberating as we do. Check out how the residents of Cambridge embraced cycling and how it has become part of the city’s culture:

The Nikwax Cycling Kit (only £19.99) contains essential products for keeping your cycling gear clean, dry and comfortable whatever the weather. More information available here.

Happy cycling!