Kathy England, Project Support Manager at the Photon Science Institute, cycles from Stockport
What inspired you to give cycling a go? When the new cycle shelters were built I started cycling in 4 or 5 times a week as I knew that there was somewhere fairly secure to store my bike during the day. I got fed up with getting stuck in traffic jams and it’s actually quicker getting to work in the mornings than if I drive!
What do you enjoy about cycling to work? I really enjoy being outdoors and cycling to work allows me to do this every day. The biggest benefit is that I am much fitter and very rarely get ill. You can have the occasional guilt-free fry-up for breakfast at the monthly cycle events! I also save over £200 per year on my car-park permit (I now have one of the infrequent use permits, where you only pay each time you enter the car-park) and there is the saving on petrol too, maybe another £300 per year. However, if you are a regular cyclist you can spend a lot of money on new gadgets and better cycle clothing – it gets quite addictive!
What would you say to other people thinking of giving cycling a go? Ask for advice and get some free cycle training – the training offered by BikeRight and TfGM (Transport for Greater Manchester) is excellent and will give you the confidence and skills to cycle anywhere. Plan your route carefully using the TfGM cycle maps – the route that you would normally drive, or that the bus takes, is unlikely to be the best one for cycling. Get a good hi-viz jacket, a helmet and a decent set of bike lights – these cost less than you might expect and there are plenty to choose from.
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