On yer bike

Pedal your way around

Chopper, mountain bike, racer or penny-farthing. Whatever wheels you have – get ‘em rolling!

You don’t have to be the next Bradley Wiggins to call yourself a cyclist. Switch a few journeys from petrol to pedal power and get fit while saving money, carbon and time.

Why

Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.

Climate Change

Bicycles have zero carbon emissions. Nill, none, nada. In 2014, more than 40% of car journeys were less than two miles long2.

These short car journeys are not very fuel efficient: cars can emit twice as pollution in the first five minutes of running3, and these distances can easily be covered with a bike.

Health

Modern sedentary life makes us ill; cycling is a great antidote. Skipping the car or bus and hopping on a bike lowers stress levels, increases stamina, improves leg strength - in fact, cycling uses every muscle in the body yet is kind on the joints.

Research shows aerobic exercise can reduce levels of bad cholesterol4 and decrease the risk of cancer from between 20 and 80%5. And, look! No expensive gym fees.

Money

Running a car is expensive. Public transport isn’t cheap either. The cycle scheme reckon average savings of £30007 a year if you cycle instead of drive to work (this is a pre-pandemic figure). Hook yourself up with a tax free bike and accessories through the Government’s Cycle to Work Scheme.

£3000

could be saved each year by switching to cycling.7

Time

Not only is it immensely satisfying whizzing to the front of a huge queue of traffic, travelling by bike in cities is often quicker. A four mile journey in London, for example, can take half the time.

Congestion

Traffic jams, honking horns, road rage, all those exhaust pipes; grim.

UK combustion engines cause around 13,0008 deaths a year. Cycling emits nothing. Avoid the fumes by cycling through parks and down side streets whilst being part of the solution. Breezy!

Global Goals

In September 2017, an historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'On yer bike' pledge, you are contributing in your own small way to the following SDG targets:

3.4: By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being

11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

How

It’s tempting to say, 'just get on yer bike'. The reality is that there are a few (small) barriers to entry. Here’s our four step guide to getting over them

  1. Get your bike and kit
    If you own a bike, you’re all set. If not, head to your local bike shop. We love the Cycling Experts for independent bike shop listings to bike-buying advice; it's a veritable bible of cycling resources. Next step is the kit. Check out our friends at Torm who specialise in comfortable gear for cyclists. Alternatively Wiggle offer some great discounts. See if your employer has a Cycle to Work Scheme as you'll save around 32% on bikes and accessories.

  2. Cycle safety
    If you’re a nervous or new cyclist, help is here! Many councils offer free bike safety training and plenty of organisations have affordable courses available too. Trust us, you won’t look back (unless it’s safe to!).

  3. Plan your route
    Google maps is great at cycle routing, often providing a quicker versus quieter option. If you want a dedicated cycle route website, check out Sustrans for national cycle routes and Transport for London’s interactive cycle map.

    You may like to find a cycle buddy to guide you on your first few rides.

  4. Keep your bike in good shape
    A well-maintained bike is safer, will last longer and is a lot more fun to ride. Many bike shops offer introductory courses on basic bike maintenance and of course will let you book your bike in for regular check ups, to keep your noble steed in tip top condition.

Success Stories

2,006

Pledges
in total

92,243kg

CO2
pledged

For the first time in years I actually got back on my bike and I even cycled to work twice. The plan is to try doing it at least once every week. This was a pledge I failed to complete last year so I was quite happy with myself.

Managed about 50% of the time!! Better than taking the bus EVERY day but could definitely do better!

Completed my pledge (apart from a couple of days where the weather was atrocious!) will continue with this pledge ongoing.

I am really glad I participated in this as it made me swap the car for my bike which made me feel so much better that me and the children were more active and the journey was more fun. It also encouraged us to go on longer bike rides, like from Herne Bay to Birchington which was great!

Cycling is fun, efficient for most short journeys, and good for you as well as the planet.

Although it is difficult during the winter months there are fewer cyclists around which is better. Early on in the ride it is absolutely freezing but after around 10 minutes you don't notice the cold. I always feel more energized when I've ridden the 19km to work.

Didn't quite make it but have made a start, will do twice this week and at least three for the rest of the Summer.

I trialed an ebike through the Home Energy Scotland scheme, which was a great way to prove to myself that I could cycle to work. Now invested in my own ebike and am riding to work at least once a week plus using it for other regular journeys e.g. to evening class.

A combination of car share and then cycle to work is my number one option when available. Usually 2 times a week.

Saves car parking charges as well.

After taking advantage of the Scottish Government scheme to borrow an ebike for a week, I have invested in one. It has made me fall back in love with cycling not just for fun but also as a viable transport option. I have used the bike at least twice per week for journeys that would otherwise have been completed by car.

I have been on my bike 5 times per week and only use the car for essential journeys i.e. shopping

This pledge made me so much more enthusiastic about hopping on my bike to work, despite some of the bleak wintery mornings. Not only did I reduce my carbon footprint by not driving, I also got some valuable exercise, and felt much happier too. Thank you :)

I'm having so much fun cycling to work. It takes 20 minutes instead of 40 on the bus I'm getting healthy and feeling more awake when I arrive. I cycle every day, not just the 4 journey's pledged.

I LOVE cycling to work - it's a great way to save time, build exercise into my every day life, and save money too! I now cycle in EVERY day, not just 3x per week which was what I pledged.

Brilliant way to get to work! Now to get some warmer clothes for the winter cycle in!

I drive my bike into work in my car (2 miles over otherwise dark country lanes) during early winter mornings then cycle onwards through Oxford 4-5 times a week to an early morning yoga class or swiming pool session (half mile to one mile depending on how eearly I rise). Hope to cut out the car altogether come the lighter summer mornings.

I cycled 5 times per week for the 10 weeks and have therefore completely exceeded the target. I am now continuing to cycle daily to UCLan.