With sales of electric bikes rising by 60 per cent since the start of the first national lockdown, housebuilder Vistry Yorkshire is promoting the growing cycling trend to its staff.
A recent health and wellbeing day at the developer’s (part of Vistry Group) Leeds head office invited Linden Homes and Bovis Homes employees to find out more about the advantages of using electric bikes, and to have a go themselves.
Among those already reaping the many benefits of the new way off travelling to work is technical co-ordinator Cathy Brown – who recently signed up to a free trial being offered by Leeds City Council.
Cathy explained: “Since lockdown ended my tolerance for sitting in the car and not going anywhere fast seems to have reduced. I also felt that drastic measures were required to burn off some extra lockdown calories!
“It has been a while since I did any cycling, so I found the prospect of commuting on a bike quite daunting. I had considered buying an e-bike to help with the Yorkshire hills but was a little hesitant in case the commute turned out to be unrealistic or just too traumatic.
“Anticipation of the colder autumn weather approaching was another excuse to put it off, so when I saw the opportunity to borrow a bike from Leeds City Council, it seemed a good chance to stop making excuses.”
Despite living outside the scheme’s catchment area, Cathy was accepted onto the trial and took delivery of the bike for a month, a no cost, just a returnable deposit.
She added: “There are some great apps that can help plan routes that are cycle friendly and I was surprised to find that I can cycle about 11 miles of the 15 miles distance between home and work either off-road or in a cycle lane. There have been other surprising challenges. The road is a very different environment as a cyclist than as a motorist; including the route surfaces and obstacles. I also got a reminder of the importance of wearing a cycle helmet when a pothole caught my wheel and threw me face first into a wall!
“Having said that, I have really enjoyed the experience and would definitely recommend it to others and an e-bike is something everyone should try out. It’s a game-changer and I will definitely be getting one for myself as a result, though perhaps not until Spring.”
Survey results from cycle retailer Tredz:
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