It’s Cycle to Work Day

This Thursday (8th August 2019) is Cycle to Work Day. Is your response an excited, “Yes! Everyday is cycle to work day for me!” or “You must be joking! I’ll be sitting in my comfy car…” What will it take for this reluctant sedentary individual to get on a bike rather than sit in a car?

To change that individual’s behaviour we first need to understand more about them. This is exactly what Sport England’s Active Lives Adult Survey Understanding Behaviour sought to do. The survey questions were designed to not only ask how active a person is but also their motivations leading them to be active (or not) in the first place. The findings of the Sport England report, published in February 2019, revealed:
  • Most people enjoy sport and physical activity with enjoyment being the biggest motivational factor
  • Most people understand the importance of being physically active
  • Many inactive people believe they do not have the ability to be physically active
Of the 5.5 million currently inactive, how do we get them to even consider cycling especially if they think they do not have the ability. Maybe schemes like Cycle to Work Day will help? Their website has lots of information to help anyone who is, as they say, “just starting out”. For example, it contains information on how high the saddle should be. Saddle height is important for the comfort and safety of beginners as well as for the efficiency of pedalling action of more advanced riders. The webpage also contains lots of other helpful information to try to alleviate any potential concerns of those teetering on the edge of giving it a try.

All this is great information but for someone completely new to cycling, or maybe even exercise generally, something else might be needed to take the first step. How about a dose of encouragement and inspiration? The Cyclescheme’s Love to Ride website has lots of motivational stories about how cycling has helped people with their health, wealth (OK, not really) and relationships. Here are just a few examples taken from that site (please check out the full versions on the site, they really are inspirational):
  • Andy, diagnosed with diabetes, who began cycling on a starter bike and has now lost 4 stone in weight
  • Rona, who started cycling to work one day a week and now, a few years later, enjoys cycling holidays in Europe
  • Marcia, who left the car at home and cycled into town with her grown up children for a night out as it was such a lovely evening
If these short stories are still not convincing you to take part in Cycle to Work Day why not read this blog post by Toby and how Cycle to Work Day changed his life. Be inspired by the benefits he gained from cycling:
  • Saving money on travel costs
  • Losing over 8 stone in weight
  • Becoming much fitter so much so that he was able to take part in the Three Peaks Challenge
To take part in the Cycle to Work Day you can register on the Love To Ride website. Talk to your friends and work colleagues to find out if they are interested in joining you; support and encouragement from people you know will spur you along. Love to Ride are also there to support you by supplying you with personally targeted information, helping you to break down the barriers that may be getting in your way. What’s stopping you?

Whether, it’s cycling, walking, swimming, or simply walking up a flight of stairs rather than taking the lift, remember that every long journey begins with a small step…