For decades, amateur cyclists who enjoy heading out for a ride in their free time have also been cycling to their place of work if the option is available to them. And why wouldn’t they? It allows us to take down multiple birds with one stone: We get to do something we enjoy en-route to work, we get to fit in some much-needed exercise and reduce harmful carbon emissions, all with just a few turns of our trust pedals and wheels.
But beyond the general cycling community who are always keen to jump behind the handlebars, it has been difficult to convert the ‘everyman’ or ‘everywoman’ on the street to take up cycling to work, even if they live just a few short miles or kilometres from their destination. This is most likely due to a lack of experience utilising two wheels on the part of the common commuter, or perhaps due to feeling a bit more unsafe and exposed on a bicycle as opposed to the relative comfort of a motor vehicle. Or it could just be because they don’t enjoy exercise… which is fine!
However, with the current coronavirus pandemic now forcing us as a society to begin to question virtually every aspect of our safety, is now the time to begin the shift from cars, trains and buses to a more eco-friendly and potentially more virus-safe alternative? Of course, we are referring to cycling.
‘Cycle To Work’ schemes have been encouraged by many employers over the years as a way to do their part in lessening the effect of global warming and also to look after the wellbeing of their workforce. But perhaps now more than ever employees are individually seeking to take up cycling to work for their own safety.
A recent report has shown that over 50% of employees living in cities are “considering cycling to work” from now on in a bid to avoid catching the dreaded coronavirus; The likelihood of which is increased exponentially by using public transport, even if face masks are worn and social distancing rules are adhered to. And this report isn’t alone… every day there are more and more articles, videos and blogs about the coming rise of Cycle To Work schemes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
It might not be the most ideal of circumstances, but it certainly seems as though the current global climate is encouraging people to seek out more individual and safer ways of getting to and from work, and cycling ticks all those boxes perfectly.
But it’s not only commuters that are taking note. As we’ve reported on our social feed over the past few weeks several councils, in the UK at the very least, are planning on introducing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of funding for street redevelopments to encourage walking and cycling to and from work. In some places these will include social distancing markers (many of which have already begun to spring up in the UK and around the world) and dedicated walking and cycling lanes on pavements and roads that previously may have not been able to accommodate the changes.
Whether or not more towns and cities will follow suit remains to be seen, but given the situation we are in at the moment, and how it seems to be evolving day-by-day, from a safety perspective there’s absolutely no doubt that more areas will benefit from adjustments being made for those wanting to travel to work through alternative means, such as cycling.
Besides, right now it looks as though cycling is just about the most effective method of socially-distant travel (aside from driving alone), so why wouldn’t more councils and constituencies be looking to invest more in the power of travelling via two wheels?
It’s something that’s been needed for years for a number of different reasons. And while it could have come under more joyous circumstances, we’re sure many people will be thrilled to see more dedication and encouragement for cycling over the next few months.
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