Cycle to Work Day has been held for 2 years now and encouragingly, momentum is building!
This is a national event, championed by multi gold medal winning Paralympic cyclist, Dame Sarah Storey, which aims to encourage everyone to take to two wheels and cycle to work for just one day in September.The event is organised by Cyclescheme, the UK’s leading provider of Cycle to Work schemes.
Belhaven Bikes is one of Cyclescheme’s partner stores so we were very happy to join in with free bike checks to ensure those taking part in Cycle to Work Day were riding their bikes in tip-top condition. Please remember we do offer free bike checks all year round too.
We also offered free bike hire for both events so anyone who didn’t happen to have a bike currently, could discover the benefits of cycling to work.
We have a great many customers who already cycle to work, whether that be 3 miles or ensuring 60 mile round trips are fitted in a couple of times in the working week. We wanted to share some of the activities which have taken place over the last two years around Cycle to Work Day.
East Lothian Council’s Pledge
Our local authority, East Lothian Council, pledged their support for the event. They held a Cyclescheme roadshow last September, which we attended and offered information on Cyclescheme and Cycle to Work Day. We took along a variety of commuting bikes together with parts and accessories which complement cycling to work including; an array of clothing, helmets and panniers. Lunch-time rides were organised and employees who didn’t have a bike were able to use one of our hire bikes free of charge to enable them to join in.
It was great to see ‘Cycling Out’ from the fun, East Lothian based charity Beyond Boundaries joining in the day too, showing off their range of adapted bicycles which ensure inclusive cycling.
This year we also helped the Council prepare their pool bikes, in terms of safety checks, so that the bikes were ready to be used by any of the staff who wished to join in on Cycle to Work Day.
Free Safety Checks
These were available again on the run up to this year’s Cycle to Work Day. One customer contacted us to ask if they could still qualify for a free check even though they worked from home but they would try to cycle from their bedroom to their study! “Of course” we answered, “it’s an all inclusive arrangement!”
We received a great response when we sent out our newsletter which focused on Cycle to Work Day. One of our customers, John, sent us this reply.
“I quite often cycle back from Edinburgh, so thought I’d bite the bullet and pledge to cycle in. Is there any merit in you sending another mail out to say that one of your customers is cycling in and if anyone wants to meet at 5.30AM, estimated pace 14 -15 mph, then tell them to get in touch, and to bring lights!”
True to his word John did cycle to and from work on Cycle to Work Day this year, a round trip of 60 miles, and kindly wrote us a review of his journey from Dunbar to Edinburgh… and back again.
“Like many Dunbar cyclists, I’d heard the tale of the old man of Hamstocks who regularly commutes to Edinburgh by bike, and although I often ride back from town, the idea of riding in as well was frankly ridiculous. That is until Dame Sarah Storey exhorted me to pledge to support Cycle to Work Day 2014.
They say fortune favours the brave and that was never truer than at 5.30 AM when I set off, unbelievably (for Dunbar), there was no wind. There are a number of great routes between Dunbar and Haddington and I chose to cut through Biel estate, on almost to Luggate and then round the North side of Traprain.
As I headed up to Biel, I was treated to the sound of owls hooting farewell to the darkness. Other than a hare and numerous birds, I didn’t see another soul until Haddington. Back on the old A1, the long straight to Gladsmuir passed effortlessly, must be that special tyre air Belhaven Bikes use, worth every penny!
Everything was downhill after Tranent and I slipped through the still light city traffic to arrive at the office bang on 7.30. Showered, dressed, coffee’d and at my desk well before 8.
The day passed uneventfully and nobody complained that I was any more dishevelled or sleepy than normal so the ride in hadn’t had any obvious ill effects.
Back on the bike for 4.15 and I felt remarkably good, cheered by the still calm conditions. Same route out through Portobello, Wallyford, Tranent as in the morning. After Haddington I went past HailesCastle and then the old A1 at East Linton as I didn’t feel up to pushing on over Traprain. Although I was tiring later on, I was home less than 2 hours after leaving Edinburgh.
Will I commute by bike every day from now on? Absolutely not, as long as I work in Edinburgh. The logistics of organising work clothes, spare bike clothes, towels and extra food make it a non-starter.
Obviously I’m keen enough and fit enough (and shameless enough to make idle boasts)! I aim to ride both ways again before winter and will make it a regular ride next spring, so thanks to Dame Sarah and to Colin from Belhaven Bikes, for passing on details of Cycle to Work Day.”
Well done to John, thanks for taking the time to tell us all about it and for pointing out some local landmarks and cycle routes on the way!
We had a much shorter cycle to work than John but by lunch-time Colin, Partner at Belhaven Bikes, had remembered he had promised to collect a number of bikes for repair that evening. So he ended up cycling home at mid-day to collect the shop van. Customers come first, of course!
Congrats to everyone who took part in Cycle to Work Day and roll on next year!
– We offer free bike safety checks all year round
– We are one of Cyclesheme’s partner stores. See our Cycle to Work page.
For more information call us on 01368 860300, email [email protected] or pop into the shop;
Belhaven Bikes, Rigg Service Station, Dunbar, East Lothian EH42 1DE