Benefits of cycling

Having read Sarah Hall’s article in the Guardian (Friday, November 29) titled “I’m thinking the bus could be a lot less fuss”, you appear to have missed a fourth travel option.

Yes, you could use a bus or train instead of your car. However, there is one option which is cheaper and, to travel between Dewsbury and Leeds, faster than all three at peak times. That is to cycle between your home and work. For nearly three years I’ve ridden between Dewsbury and Leeds each day come rain or shine.

Why? Because I was unfit, overweight, “shuffled around” and I wanted to see my kids grow up. During this time I’ve lost over three stone in weight, massively improved my health and waist size and don’t need to go to the gym = more time with the family and more money saved! The result has been that this year I’ve done two triathlons and now race the bike competitively.

An additional benefit has been arriving refreshed before the day’s work plus the chance to unwind on the ride home. All the pent-up frustration which builds up in the traffic jam, compounding the day’s stresses, is relieved in a simple bike commute home or to work.

Don’t take my word for it, the Marketing Director of O2 uses his bike commute to plan his day and to unwind away from the queuing cars. And that bike sailing past you whilst you’re in a long line of traffic? That’s me, leaving after yet arriving before you!

It really is a viable option in that the roads are safer than many make out; 99 per cent of drivers are fine and it’s just the occasional idiot that would behave badly whatever mode of transport they used. And no, I don’t ride on the pavement, I stop at red lights and my bike’s got lights.

So, don’t just take the “obvious” options. Consider a suitable alternative. And if you don’t believe me, try it.


Stephenson Close