Cycling for Summer – The Commuter

Neill

I’ve been cycling part of the way to work now for very almost a year. It’s been a swap from taking the car into all the way from Bridge of Weir into Glasgow, to instead cycling from Bridge of Weir to Johnstone rail station to catch the train the rest of the way. There is a dedicated cycle area in each train on this route, where you can sit your bike, or some people also just lock up their bike at the station on Johnstone and go as a passenger onto the train.

Time Taken
Takes 20-30 minutes (5 miles) on the Kilmalcolm cycle path to cycle from Bridge of Weir to Johnstone at a decent pace, a few minutes longer on the way back as this is on a slight incline. The train into Glasgow is about 15 mins journey time. So this actually turned out to be faster than a car journey to park up and make it into work in the city centre the way I used to! Yep faster than the car, and on days when the traffic is bad there’s no comparison.

Route
I used the website WalkJogRun.net to work out the best route to the station which takes you through some suburban streets near the municipal recycling centre after leaving the cycle path. There’s only one main road to cross so the cycle journey is pretty safe in terms of traffic avoiding busy roads.

Financials
Off peak (traveling after 9am – £4.60 return) this is definitely cheaper than using a car based on fuel into work each day. For peak travel its probably the same cost overall, not including wear and tear on a vehicle. If your car is very fuel efficient this might affect the balance. Parking charges would also affect the comparison making driving more expensive.

Health and Wellbeing
I had been driving to work for 4 years before starting to cycle using one of the LEAP projects electric bikes for two weeks before buying a mountain bike. Health wise it has been great dropping a waist size and incorporating exercise into the working day, probably around 4 days per week – sometimes a car is needed when you have a meeting or similar in the day. Arriving at work chilled out and ready to start the day has been invaluable, makes such a a difference to being stuck in traffic.

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