April 29, 2014

Put a smile on your face: Five reasons to avoid the tube strike nightmare and bike to work.

Stratford station during the latest London tube strike. (Image courtesy of @jaybird_katie via Twitter)

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?

By Claire Hogan
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    We have been very impressed with the speedy and professional response we have had since joining your scheme. We have found the contacts we speak to be more than helpful and very pleasant in their manner.

    Anne Jackson - Hamburg Süd

    I only heard about Bike 2 Work Scheme when I visited my local cycle shop. It was great to hear that the government actually had a scheme in place which made cycling cost effective for the employee, whilst promoting a healthier lifestyle. Setting up the scheme was extremely easy, they made sure that we had everything that we required and was always on standby to answer any questions. I would happily recommend the Bike 2 Work Scheme to any employer.  

    Tom Watts - RPI Media

    A number of my team had been suggesting they were keen to get on their bike, get fit and try to get out of using public transport and mentioned the Bike2Work scheme. I contacted the team at Bike2Work and they made it very simple for Bright Purple to get engaged, explaining everything required of us to get going. As a company we are keen to support green issues and want to do our bit for the environment, so getting the team on 2 wheels is a good start. Thank you Bike2Work - great idea.

    Nick Price - CEO - Bright Purple Resourcing

    One of the things that attracted us to Bike 2 Work Scheme was the number of cycle shops available enabling our employees to access one near them, which appears to have encouraged take up of the scheme. Having circulated the leaflets provided, there has been a lot of interest once people could see how easy and financially advantageous it was. All our dealings with the scheme have been very professionally handled, all our queries answered, and paperwork dealt with speedily. We would recommend Bike 2 Work to any employer.

    Peter Langton - Promart Homecenter

    Bike 2 work scheme has proved to be very popular with our employees. The administration is first class and any queries are resolved promptly. We believe the scheme will be of great benefit to our employees in saving money and improving fitness, whilst being in full accordance with Legrand's environmental policy.

    Peter Bedall

    We have been with the Bike 2 Work Scheme for over a year and have a good number of our staff obtaining bikes through the scheme. Bike 2 Work offer a high level of service and are efficient in getting the contracts and vouchers sent out. Emails sent regarding questions or queries are always responded to speedily and the Bike 2 Work employers are very knowledgeable on the scheme.

    Wendy Peaks

    I was given the task of getting our company Abbey Logistics Group on the Bike 2 Work Scheme, I looked around and researched a number of schemes but thought that the Bike 2 Work Scheme was the best. I still feel I made the correct choice for a number of reasons. The amount of partner shops I found was fantastic and the speedy response from the scheme is second to none just to name a couple. May I take a moment to say a big thank you to the Bike 2 Work Scheme for helping our company to a greener future.

    Alan Sutton

    You have provided an excellent service and I really can’t fault it. Helpful, knowledgeable staff who go out of their way to answer any question or accommodate any request. We’ve had about 50 applications to you now and they’ve all gone through without a hitch, but with many satisfied staff!

    Anthony Piccaro