Up until spring 2017 Andy King hadn’t ridden a bike in 30 years. All that changed after he was invited by friends to take part in a charity bike ride from London to Paris. One year on and Andy has gone from commuting by car every day to a cycling to work convert. His one regret? That he didn’t start sooner.
We caught up with Andy to find out more about his journey from four wheels to two.
Getting back on the bike
It all started with London to Paris. Some of my friends were taking part and they invited me to join them.
At that point I didn’t even own a bike so I bought one through the Cycle to Work scheme and I started training – that was in March 2017 and the race was in the September of that year.
I spent the first four months building up my fitness and it wasn’t until the August that I started cycling to work, mainly just to squeeze some extra training miles in.
I had no intention of continuing to cycle to work once I’d completed the ride but it’s just something you get hooked on.
I just loved it and I decided to carry on. Now I cycle to work at least four days a week and I do some social rides with some of my work colleagues too.
Reaping the rewards
Up until last March the thought of going anywhere on a bike was completely alien to me. It just wasn’t part of my thought process.
And now a big part of me is thinking, ‘Why on earth have you wasted all this time not riding a bike?’ because it ticks all of the boxes – it’s cheaper, quicker and healthier.
Before I got the bug we were a two-car family, now we’re a one car family. I’ve worked out we’re saving £3,000 a year because of this, even when taking into account the cost of my bike and all of the maintenance.
My commute into Huddersfield from a small village below the Pennines is about four and a half miles each way.
In rush hour traffic it used to take about 40 minutes by car. Now it takes me 20 minutes on the way in (when it’s all downhill) and under 30 minutes on the way home (with some hills).
If you’ve had a tough day at work it’s a brilliant way to unwind and clear your head.
Not only do I really enjoy cycling to work, I’m also fitter than I’ve ever been before and I’m saving time and money.
Andy’s advice to anyone else thinking of taking the plunge?
It’s the same as anything – it can be hard to find the motivation before you do it but once you’re out there on your bike I can promise you’ll never regret it.
My wife offers me a lift in the car sometimes and I always say no – life’s just better when you’re travelling by bike.
If all that wasn’t incentive enough, did you know you can take part in year-long challenges and be in with a chance of winning prizes just for riding your bike?
Andy’s connected his Strava account to automatically log his cycles on Love to Ride and he’s just won a trip to San Francisco.