Put a smile on your face: Five reasons to avoid the tube strike nightmare and bike to work.
As another tube strike threatens to cause mayhem for London commuters, I thought it was about time someone highlighted the benefits of choosing cycling over the tube, not just during the strike, but as your long-term method of commuting.
My tone may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the message is clear – cycling to work is the most healthy, fun and cost-effective option. What’s more, it’s never been easier thanks to the growing popularity of schemes, like Bike 2 Work, that offer benefits for employers and employees.
The London Underground. Some love it, some loathe it. The bottom line is; tube-related delays don’t put smiles on many people’s faces. With talks between Transport for London and rail union bosses breaking down, BBC News reports that the disruption could last at least until Thursday. Regardless of the outcome, let’s keep our fingers and toes crossed for a stress-free week for the city’s commuters.
However, purely for the sake of comparison, here are my reasons for why cycling to work can put the smile back on your face.
1. Strike or no strike, people generally appear unhappy on the tube anyway
Let’s face it. Seeing anyone with even a remotely positive facial expression on the underground is becoming a worryingly rare occurrence. Jumping on a bike will stimulate the release of endorphins and give you that positive mindset your colleagues will undoubtedly lack this week. You’ll be the only one at work not assuming the role of the mood hoover and comparing ridiculously exaggerated tube horror stories with Hugh in HR.
2. By cycling, you’ll save money and probably get more done
With the cost of travel constantly on the rise, you’ll free up some funds to spend on something great – like one of these handy phone holders. With Bike 2 Work Scheme, you’ll save up to 42% on brand new bikes and equipment if you decide to make cycling to work a regular thing this summer! (Image courtesy of Bike 2 Work partner store Zeevon.com)
3. You’ll burn loads of calories on the bike and be able to justify putting away more carbs than an Olympic swimmer
You’ve already spent time with other commuters invading your personal space, so an overcrowded gym session in the evening is the last thing you need! Cycling to and from work burns an average of 300 calories each way, so you can stay trim without the gym. So snap that Oyster card in two and join a community of happy, healthy cyclists!
4. There are plenty of handy tools to help you plan your route and your boss will appreciate it
Online tools and apps such as Cyclodeo are a fantastic way of planning your route in advance for a stress free journey. You’ll also get a good idea of commute duration versus the distance to and from work.
That’s not to mention the fact your employer can save up to 13.8% on employer NI contributions while reducing their organisation’s carbon footprint.
5. You’ll end up with the immune system of a hyena
ONS claims 131 million working days were lost in 2013 due to sickness absences. 27 million of those working days were attributed to coughs and colds. Commuting by bike will boost your immune system and the common cold will become a thing of the past! (Image courtesy of ONS)
So, if you’re tired of a stressful commute and the tube strike is the final straw, why not saddle up and put a smile on your face?