For many, cycling simply facilitates them travelling from A to B, known as ‘utility purposes’; accounting for their daily commute to work or leisurely ride to a friends’ house. However, for so many others, owning a bicycle is much more than that. To them; it helps to keep them active; it helps them saving money; it’s a hobby or interest; it’s a part of their job; there are literally hundreds of reasons as to why people use bicycles on a daily basis and even more people that are warming to the benefits of cycling regularly. But what can this rise in popularity necessarily be associated to?
Cycle to Work Scheme
Though introduced way back in 1999, it would appear that the Government-led initiative has taken some time to gather momentum with cycle traffic having risen almost every year since 2008 as reported by Cycling UK. More specifically, though, a record 183,423 employees participated in the Cycle to Work scheme in 2014 which was an 11.6% increase on 2013. It’s also no surprise to see that a large majority of these employees were based in or around the UK’s main metropolitan areas, as congestion charges came into play within the early 2000’s.
Such prevalence can be attributed in part to the accessibility of this scheme and the wealth of benefits it poses to employees. For example, the same data set calculates around 80% of cyclists hold a valid driving licence. Based on this, it’s clear to see that a majority of employees are favouring cycling to work rather than driving, providing that it’s within a reasonable distance from their workplace. Over the past few years, the Government has put much emphasis in raising awareness of this scheme which has evidently been a key driver in increasing cycle use throughout Britain. You can find more details about Cycle to Work Scheme in our article here.
With society becoming ever more health conscious time to ‘get fit’ or ‘be active’ has never been more appropriate, especially with the NHS stating that the cost to them for physical inactivity is estimated at a total of £8.2bn per year. Not only that, but there are a vast number of health benefits that regular exercise can bring, not to mention help prevent other health conditions, too. As such, this is one of the main reasons why cycling is becoming more popular- people seek to raise their efforts in increasing regular activity. Simply switching from driving to cycling to work every day can have a dramatic improvement on your productivity and cognitive ability.
There has been a surge in recreational cycle use over the past few years, which can be attributed in the main to accessibility and affordability of quality bicycles. Another reason can be owed to the rising popularity of cycling disciplines (MTB, Road, Track) and the increasing number of cycling clubs, associations and centres opening within the UK. Especially when you consider the recent historical achievements of Team GB at the past two Olympics and the extra-curricular work that athletes undertake to help get the younger generations into sport.
Finally, one of the more obvious reasons is to save money by not having to take public transport. Cycling from A to B isn’t going to cost you anything, well it might cost you a small sum to maintain energy levels, but it’s certainly not going to be anything substantial. However, when compared to the cost required to run a car, there’s little argument to justify why driving is a more suitable alternative. The only viable reasons for not cycling are for convenience, long distance or urgency; but for travelling to work, to the shops or short journeys, there really is no better option than cycling.
Whether you’re looking to save money, increase your exercise levels, or you simply just like to cycle around places, then regular cycling could be the perfect solution to your physical inactivity problems. So, go on then, get ‘On your bike’!