Bike Week 2013 runs from 15th – 23rd June. Here’s a little travel calculator from the Bike Week website which demonstrates how much you could be saving if you ditched your car for the week.
Instructions on how to use this calculator:
- Open the calculator link
- Enable macros
- Add your milage into cell C4 (yellow cell) and press enter
- The results will be displayed in each cell
You can hover your mouse over the boxes to read how we’ve come by the figures (or read the additional ‘calculations’ sheet).
This calculator and usage instructions have been produced and supplied by Paul Adams (North Tyneside Council Travel Plan Team) and Amy Carroll (Cobalt Business Park Travel Plan Team). For more info, please go to the Bike Week website.
What’s five miles? About eight kilometres our metric friends would say. 8800 yards our parents would say. A perfect distance to cycle to work Sustrans would say.
So to introduce Sustrans and their “Call to Action for 2020.” For our international readers, Sustrans is a British charity for which the last 30 years have been a constant campaign to improve the walking and cycling networks throughout the UK in addition to promoting sustainable transport. Today, the Sustrans cycle-ways allow a third of a million people to enjoy a daily traffic free commute to work. Their “Call to Action for 2020” has the specific goal of doubling the number of journeys under five miles made by foot or bike. Currently, us Brits jump in the car for nearly two thirds of trips under five miles and for one in five trips under a mile – not the healthiest of statistics.
Sustrans aim to alter this ‘travel behaviour’ and are lobbying government to reward sustainability when awarding investment for new housing and travel infrastructure. Simple ideas like ensuring new housing estates are not built without schools so that families do not have to drive to educate their children; that there are doctors, shops and other vital amenities within walking or cycling distance and that walking and cycling routes are integrated into road building and improvement plans.
It is a proactive rather than reactive stance. The charity’s Bike It scheme involves the education of children in the benefits of cycling to ensure there is a generation for whom cycling becomes the obvious choice for short journeys. Grass roots stuff hoping to inspire rather than coerce tomorrow’s commuters onto two wheels.
For us at Furious Green Ideas, the work Sustrans are doing is both furious and green. Furious in the feverishly busy way, not the angry cyclist who has just seen a car stop in a cycle lane way (stay calm out there guys!). Please head to the Sustans Call to Action for 2020 page for more details (all facts and figures for this post were pinched from their More Haste Less Speed piece).
As always guys, happy and safe cycling.
Ben and Ed
The alarm goes off, it’s seven thirty. Rain, lashing against the window, is audible above the quiet hum of the radio and in my sleepy state I hit snooze. The sound of the rain seems to increase in volume and intensity. I know that within half an hour, I will be battling into the headwind atop my trusty mountain bike on a cycle path alongside the A4. The month is February.
This is a reality for 3% of the UK workforce every morning. A reality which we at Furious Green Ideas would love to see encompass more of the commuters living within five miles of their place of work. We want more people to enjoy a daily mini-adventure as man and machine battle through whatever is in their path on their way to work with the added bonus of not worrying about finding a parking space.
We realise however, that despite the best intentions, most of us are fair-weather cyclists. If there is a splash of rain or the mercury has dropped to single figures then the car seems to be a far more attractive option. And in terms of comfort it perhaps is. That is until you experience the delight of peering in on those bored looking drivers sat in queues of traffic while you (safely and legally) sail past. It is the most acutely satisfying feeling any morning can bring, no matter what the weather throws at you.
It is that feeling which drags me out of bed and into my well worn cycling jacket, leg warmers and winter gloves every morning. But that is not to say you need all the gear to become a cycling commuter. In winter, a bike with lights and reflectors for night cycling, a warm jacket, gloves and a helmet are all you need to kick start the healthiest way to get work.
So dust off that rusty steed in the garage or check out eBay for some bargains on both bikes and accessories and join the two wheeled commuting community, I can assure that you’ll never look back.