I walk and cycle to work because I’m lazy by Rhian Davies

It’s true, I’m lazy. If I didn’t travel on foot or by bike to work, the shops, the pub, I’d need to find the time, inclination and means to exercise. So I walk and cycle because it:

  • Gets me there

Walking is the oldest form of transport. In fact we’ve evolved to do it – having been walking around for about 1.9million years. Cycling has been a means of getting from A to B for nearly 200 years.

  • Gets me there quickly

No searching for car keys, waiting in traffic and finding parking spaces. A journey by bike in Dumfries takes about the same time as a journey by car. Walking or cycling on traffic free and quiet routes means I don’t get held up by queues and stay clear of road works.

Rhian 1

  • Saves time

No need to find time to get to the gym or go for a run as travel is my exercise. Most people say they would exercise more if they had the time. As I’m travelling anyway, that time is put to use as exercise time too.

  • Is enjoyable

Rhian 2The main thing for me is the fresh air, being outside and enjoying the wildflowers and wildlife that I see and hear, especially at this time of year. Winter has an upside too – no need to get up early to see a beautiful sunrise and the moonrises can be pretty spectacular too. I’ve also seen shooting stars on my way home from work. And despite what it feels like, it doesn’t rain that much! In fact, there’s a 95% chance of NOT getting rained on, on your way to work.

  • Is sociable

I often see people I know on the way and enjoy having a chat with them. Waving to the lollipop lady on the way to work or chatting with the nice man who walks his spaniel adds a little happiness to my day.

  • Is safe

The most recent figures from the Department of Transport show the fatality rate for pedestrians and cyclists is the same, with one death per 29 million miles walked or cycled. Looking at how many people were killed or seriously injured, it works out at one person for every 1 million miles cycled and one person for every 2 million miles walked.

  • Keeps me fit

The main difference compared to driving is that whenever you walk or cycle your health benefits, whereas remaining seated in a car does nothing to improve it. Typically I cycle to work, a 20 minute journey each way, which easily meets the guidelines for 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.

  • Benefits people and planet

You only have to look at the news and you’ll see an almost daily report on worsening air pollution and the effect this is having on people and the environment. Walking and cycling isn’t the only way to tackle this problem but it is a difference we can make every day to the people and place we live.

  • Is easy to get parked

Rhian 3In my role as Active Travel Officer, I’m here to help anyone who is thinking of travelling by foot or by bike. I’m working with staff at DGRI, the new hospital, Crichton Hall and The Willows.

Over summer I’m running events including basic bike maintenance workshops, Essential Cycling Skills, information stalls on route finding and guidance on buying a tax free bike through Cyclescheme. Upcoming events are posted online and advertised in the core briefing and posters around DGRI, Crichton Hall and The Willows.

So if you’re feeling inspired come along to:

Bike Maintenance for beginners

Drop in session – not sure how to change an inner tube? Need to know how to check your bike is safe to ride? Find out how and have a go.
Monday 22 May and Friday 26 May: 12noon – 2pm and 4pm – 6pm

Venue: Garage 26, the hospital residences

Cyclescheme information stall

Come along to find information on applying for a tax free bike

Crichton Hall Canteen on Tuesday 23 May: 12 – 2pm

Essential Cycling Skills (Beginner)

Can’t remember the last time you’ve ridden, or feeling wobbly when you ride? This is the course for you. Please book here.
Part 1 Wednesday 24 May: 11.30am – 1pm, Part 2 Thursday 25 May: 11.30am – 1pm

Part 1 Monday 5 June: 5pm – 6:30 pm, Part 2 Tuesday 6 June: 5pm – 6:30pm

Meeting point: Garage 26, the hospital residences 

Essential Cycling Skills (Intermediate)

Are you happy cycling on quiet roads but not sure how to navigate roundabouts or junctions confidently? Then this is the course for you. Please book here.
Part 1 Wednesday 24 May: 5:30pm –7pm, Part 2 Thursday 25 May: 5:30pm –7pm

Part 1 Wednesday 7 June: 11am – 12:30pm, Part 2 Thursday 8 June: 11am – 12:30pm

Meeting point: Garage 26, the hospital residences 

Bike Security Marking

Thursday 1 June: 12 – 2pm and 4pm – 6pm

Meeting point: Garage 26, the hospital residences 

I also want to hear from you about what would help you get out and about on two feet or two wheels. Are there facilities or infrastructure improvements that would allow you to walk and cycle? Have you heard about electric bikes but never had a go on one? Just let me know!

Contact me on:

rhian.davies@sustrans.org.uk

Mob: 07788336211

Tel:  01387 246246 EXT: 36821

 

Rhian Davies is an Active Travel Officer for NHS D&G

Lochar North

Crichton Hall

Bankend Road

Dumfries

DG1 4TG

 

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “I walk and cycle to work because I’m lazy by Rhian Davies

  1. Hi Rhian, great blog, a couple of things I’d like to add. I used to be an active cyclist back when I was younger, cycling around Liverpool around 16 miles a day, dodging in and out of traffic and having a blast. These days, out of shape and in my late 40’s I still owned a bike but Dumfries is hilly (it is Scotland after all!) and huffing and puffing up hills and arriving everywhere a sweaty mess wasn’t appealing. Then I discovered E-Bikes. For those that don’t know, the E is for Electric and seemed to offer a solution to my problem. I did tons of research (electricbikereview.com and Court Rye’s associated YouTube channel are fantastic) and without ever riding one, bought an E-Bike part financed through cycle-to-work in January this year. It was the best money I’ve ever spent. I ride my bike every day without worrying about the hills, going out for hours at a time, sometimes going over 20 miles out into the hills and the countryside and loving every minute of it. There are several bike shops in Dumfries that now stock E-Bikes and if like me you’re put off cycling by the thought of navigating the hills then I highly recommend checking them out.

    Oh, and I ride to work every day too and am looking to get a trailer to do the shopping on it too !

    • Great stuff Dave! E-bikes are brilliant. They really do flatten out those hills and make it feel like you have a constant tail wind. And as they assist the person, rather than do all the work, they are a great way of getting that sort after moderate exercise we’re all recommended.

      I’ve actually just acquired a flat box Avenir Mule bike trailer if you fancy trialling that for a couple of weeks . . .

  2. Hi Rhian, thanks for your blog today. As the Lead for the Healthy Working Lives Programme for Stewartry, I’d like to ask if your remit covers the localities too? You mentioned working with DGRI, the Crichton etc and I think this work would really benefit those working out in the localities to receive encouragement and advice on cycling on perhaps more rural, narrow roads and where there are cycle routes in these areas too. Some food for thought 🙂

  3. I too walk too work (or at least part of the journey) most days. There is nothing quite like leaving work after a stressful day and within 10 minutes you feel de-stressed and happy (ok and a little smug at all those people sitting in the traffic queue)!

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