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  • Paul McKenna

Rain or shine – commuting by bicycle, the highs and lows

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

It was about 4 years ago when I made the decision to buy a bike through my 'cycle to work' scheme. My colleagues were doing the Coast to Coast for charity and I realised I didn't own a bike and hadn't ridden one since hurtling down the back alleys as a child for fun around my parents estate. So the bike arrived, and I started my training by commuting to work and back.

It quickly became apparent that I could get to work at roughly the same time as it would take me in the car. I planned a straightforward route from Gateshead to Morpeth which is roughly 18 miles and takes bang on an hour to do. The best thing about it was I'd basically done my workout for the day before I'd opened the laptop. Granted, it's not always a fun trip with the sun glistening down on you, the winter months are darker of course and colder which makes it a challenge, but the routes I take are well lit, and over the years I've invested in plenty of warm clothing to take the edge off the chill.

Ultimately, the two key benefits I've found with commuting are the wellbeing aspect (feeling ready to attack the day), and the cost savings. Having a family we managed pretty easily to go down to one car which has saved us a fair chunk of cash which we can put towards holidays with the kids. For me, cycling is massively rewarding in so many ways and I'd encourage as many people as possible to give it a go.

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