Like a boss
It may sound ridiculous, but quitting the tube and cycling to work has changed my life for the better. You’ll discover why in short order.
I’ve lived in London for the past seven years and for the most part I’ve always taken the underground to work. I’d never considered the concept of cycling. One, I thought it was dangerous and two, I figured it was too much effort. That all changed after my injury (non life threatening).
After sustaining a severe knee injury while playing semi-professional (amateur) football for AC Firebrand, my work 5-a-side team, I was off sport for 9 months. Like any athlete, I used this time wisely by gaining 10kg of fat and consuming as many TV box sets as possible.
I’m an incredibly active person by nature, but the injury put a stop to that. Even 12 months on, I’m struggling my way back into sport. To run or jog any great distance causes me pain. So when I began my full recovery my only option for exercise was cycling.
What started as a way to rehabilitate my knee, has turned into a lifestyle change that enriches my life on a daily basis. So much so that I want to share with you 6 reasons why you should quit the tube today and get on your bike tomorrow.
1. Get fit AND lose weight
I was 81kg when I started cycling, which when your 165cm in height makes you morbidly obese using BMI measurements. 4 weeks of commuting to work and I’m now 75kg. I feel fitter, and I look better. You can to.
2. Never be a sardine again
It was actually getting on the tube today that reinforced how much better cycling is. No more being penned into a tiny space, sweaty, smelly people bumping against you with armpits in your face.
3. You’ll discover London on a whole new level
The possibilities are endless, rather than travelling in a dark tunnel I get to discover London on a daily basis and see sites I’d never normally experience. Sunrise over the south bank is just bliss, I pass Big Ben as the clock chimes. Shorts cuts have led to the discovery of quaint streets, and odd shops, not to mention amazing pizza places. I see londons parks, and see Londons landmarks, day in day out.
I can’t express how much this enriches my life, other than to say it does.
4. Less time on tubes, more time living
My cycle commute to work is 7.5 miles, I save on average 10 minutes each way. By journey on a bike is an average of 30-35 minutes, by tube 40-45 minutes.
Also my bike isn’t delayed by engineering works…..which seem ever more frequent on the Victoria Line.
5. Be more effective at work
The long and short of it, cycling wakes you up, so when you get into work you’re ready to go.
I’m alive and alert after cycling in, the mix of fresh air and being safe on the road really does the trick. Commuting on the tube requires no brain power, I used to zombie my way in and take 2 coffees before becoming semi-human by 10am.
I get to my desk (showered) by 8:30am and I’m ready to work. I get more shit done. That makes me happy.
6. Get a free bike and save money
Stick with me here and you’ll work it out. I got my bike on the ride2work scheme with Evans Cycles.
The bike cost me a £1000, but through tax savings via the scheme I’ll only pay £680. Sounds like a lot until you factor in the £130 a month I spend on a monthly pass. A year from now I’ll have paid for the bike and saved £880 on my commuting.
Ergo my logic, free bike and saving money. Not to forget the £1560 I’ll save the following year.
So there you have…6 dare I say it, sodding compelling reasons to quit the tube and cycle instead. Sure there are still dangers out there on the roads. But as Bilbo once said, “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your front door”.
But don’t worry, I’m in the process of writing a guide on cycle safety, it’s called “When cycling ydon’t be a dick and you won’t die”.