“You aren’t bound to a timetable or stuck in traffic.”
Andrew Holliday, Senior Business Improvement Consultant, Civil Service
Where do you cycle?
From Melling to Bootle, I cycle everyday.
How long have you been doing this journey?
I started cycling in the 1980s but I rediscovered it and got more committed after I got a new bike through the Cycle to Work scheme in 2014.
Approximately how far is that?
It’s 6 miles, which takes me about 25 minutes.
Why did you decide to cycle?
Health of course, the exercise is integrated into my day and I don’t have to buy a gym membership.
But it’s equally good for mental health – as a ‘middle aged man’ with the usual family and work-life pressures, cycling is a great outlet for these tensions, you often see people driving with pent up aggression and I really think cycling or regular exercise releases some of that.
It’s about speed too, it’s surprisingly quick and there’s a freedom you can operate within that other transport doesn’t offer. I think you feel much more in control, you don’t have to follow rules – except the safe rules of the road of course!
But you aren’t bound to a timetable or stuck in traffic. That’s quite liberating.
What are the best bits of your journey?
There are lots of different pleasures to cycling. I cycle on a mix of road, off road and cycle paths. I take the Liverpool Loop Line, then through a wood with a muddy track, which is good fun but a bit risky – but it makes it more fun!
I also enjoy the traffic, there’s something rewarding about a busy journey when everything goes smoothly – you tackle a roundabout for example and when it all goes really well, it’s satisfying.
When is your favourite time to cycle?
The hottest days! When you can wear the least amount of clothing and feel the weather. It’s all good though. I also like school holidays too when it’s quieter on the roads.
What would you say to anyone who’s thinking of commuting by bike to encourage them to get started?
Of course you can! I’ll come out with you and show you what it can be like. You may need to build up to cycling to work. It’s a skill like any other, so expect to make mistakes, be kind to yourself… and maybe ask for advice in the bike sheds. If you decide to try it, commit for a decent period of time to give yourself a chance to get used to and enjoy it.