How Cycling To Work Saves You More Than Money

People have been zipping about on bikes for generations but recently the benefits of pedal power have become greater than ever. I’ve been cycling to work in London for 10 years now, here’s how cycling can save you time, money, and our planet.

Save Money

Initially I started cycling to save money but I was surprised at just how much money I had saved.

  • A Zones 1 and 2 travel card in London is £142.10 a month – that’s £1,702.20 a year… MADNESS
  • I bought my commuter bike for £350 but a decent little commuter bike can run as low as £200 as a one off cost. I’ve had mine for 10 years and have only spent an extra few hundred quid over the 10 years on the occasional bit of maintenance – so maybe £600 across 10 years including the bike itself.

10 years of railcards would’ve cost me = £17,052.

That’s a savings of over £16,000!

These cost savings overtime will be different based on the city you live in and the cost of public transport, but it’s still generally pretty good wherever you are:

BBC Cycling vs. Public Transport Savings Article

Save Time

This one is going to be dependent on the length of your journey, but generally inner-city / town commutes are speediest on bikes:

  • The average commute time in London is 74 minutes on public transport… the average commute distance however is only 5 miles/ 8 km
  • A 5 mile journey can easily be done in 30 minutes on a bike. So across the return leg you save 88 minutes – nearly an hour and a half a day! Plenty of time for that meal prep we all wish we could get to.

Better the mind, body and soul

There have been many clinical studies that have shown cycling dramatically decreases the effects of anxiety and depression and can generally destress the mind after just 30 minutes a day. Moreover, 60 minutes of cruising each day will give you an average calorie burn of 400-600 calories, if you’re into that kinda thing.

Protect the Planet 

The carbon cost of cycling is about 21g per kilometre, roughly the weight of a mouse. That’s because there’s a carbon cost in making the bike in the first place, as well as the carbon cost of the food needed to fuel you to cycle the thing.

However this is still waaaay better than other forms of transport; driving is over 10 times more at an average of 271g per passenger-kilometre, and even getting the bus is 101g per kilometre.

So across a year of commuting 48 weeks a year this is how the stats stack up in terms of carbon weight:

Cycling = 21kg

Bus =150kg

Car = 404kg

Per Kilometer!

Travelling for the planet is one of the missions you can complete in HERO – cycling could be a great way to start collecting some badges whilst saving yourself time and money. So, get on ya bike!

For more information on how to get yourself set up for cycling safely and cheaply head to the Cycle2Work scheme in the UK. Other similar services are available in many countries so give your city a search.


How Much CO2 Does Cycling Really Save

Cycling Can Help Overcome Depression

Cycling and the Mental Health Benefits

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