Cycling In London - Here's Why You Should Start

It's quick

Ask any of your friends or colleagues that cycle to work and you might start to notice a similar response. It's quicker.

In a dense and metropolitan city like London, public transport can sometimes take a while. Getting from A to B isn't always easy.  Perhaps you live on a route that is poorly connected. Or after countless rail replacement services, it can take an inordinate amount of time to travel a small distance. 

These are not problems that you are faced when you have your own bike. You can go wherever the road goes. Or the footpath. Or the field. There's a reason that your friends are boasting about the advantages of cycling.

Up to around 5km in any direction from my front door is quicker to get to if I jump on my bike. That means if you take up cycling you can spend some more quality time in bed.


Cycling to work means you'll save money

My first bike that I bought in London cost me £150. A standard travel pass for a single month at the time of writing will cost you between £131 - £153, depending on which zone you live in.

That means that after a month of cycling to work in London you will have broken even. Every month after that you will be saving money.

Even if you were to buy a more expensive bike, once the initial purchase is out of the way, the remaining maintenance costs are tiny. 

On top of that, some employers participate in the cycle to work scheme. This is the name of the scheme in the UK, but many other countries may have a similar scheme.

The bike to work scheme essentially means that your employer will help you to pay for your new bike.

This leaves you to spend more money on brunch, travel or to save for a rainy day.


Cycling will help you become fitter and stronger

According to some research by Cambridge University, the NHS would save £250m a year if only one in ten journeys in the country were made on a bicycle.

The effect that cycling has on your body is up to you. Some people are quite happy rolling at a gentle speed in the mornings. Other use the opportunity to really turn their morning commute into worthwhile exercise.

Whatever your preference there's no doubt that cycling twice a day has numerous positive health effects. From improving muscle strength to reaching working on your cardio. Cycling will have a positive effect on your fitness levels, it will help you to lose weight and make you feel better at the same time. That's not all - cycling has been proven to help with the prevention and management of disease. Take that.


It's environmentally friendly to get on your bike

You don't have to be an avid environmentalist to do your bit for the planet. Most people who cycle to work don't do so to save the planet. But it can't hurt to feel good about doing your part to reduce emissions. Especially in a large city like London.

If you have children it's important to set a great example ad to create a world in which they can live a full and healthy life. With big cities like London, the problem of pollution is always threatening the health of those who live in a city.

The proof is in the pudding. Loko at this stat from the Department of Transport. Cycling 10km each way to work would save 1500kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Now that's a shocking amount.

And don't worry, if the environment isn't your main reason for cycling - we won't judge. Just know that you're doing an awful lot for the city, the country and the planet.


You'll feel better

Groggy Monday mornings are the worst. We can all agree on that. But you know what's worse? The prospect of fighting through the underground system.

The one thing that I was especially surprised at once I started travelling to work on two wheels, was the positive effect it had on my mental health.

The stress associated with getting the tube when it is at capacity is immense. Nobody can feel truly calm in that situation. Cycling to work not only removes that stress from your life, but it allows you to get inside your own head.

You'll have more time to let your head work out long-running problems, your brain will be healthier and you'll feel much more awake when you walk into the office. It will practically make your co-workers sick.


On the weekends you can feel a sense of adventure

Cycling is not only beneficial during your working life. Once the week is over you can hop on your bike and check out all that London has to offer. Exploring nature is quicker on a bike and you'll be able to stay fit and healthy whilst doing so.

You'll get the chance to cycle through scenery that would be completely missed if you were using public transport. The freedom of exploring the city, or wherever you live is fantastic. You can take a different route based on how you feel. See where cycling will take you.