Getting on my bike has helped me exercise more
Jonathan Turner, director at KPMG in Leeds, on how the Tour de France has inspired him to take up cycling.
THE GRAND Depart and Tour de Yorkshire have inspired many people to get back on their bikes in the last couple of years, including me.
Why it took me so long, I don’t know.
I last used a bike for getting around about 20 years ago when at university.
Since then, I’ve relied on the car and public transport and have commuted from Burley-inWharfedale to Leeds for the past 15 years.
For the past year now, whenever possible, I’ve been cycling to and from work along the Leeds-Liverpool Ship Canal.
A friend initially got me into it and despite some hesitation in the first instance, I’m now a complete convert.
In fact, I’m worried I’ve become that person who bores on about the benefits of cycling and how good it is for you.
I’ve managed to encourage a couple of colleagues to give it a try and the number of people cycling into work has never been higher.
Our new office is much better equipped than our old one, with good shower facilities and a drying room, which makes combining work and exercise much more practical.
The Cycle-to-Work scheme has also helped people to buy a bike that is suitable for their commute.
The most direct route in for me is on the road, but I prefer to use the canal towpath as it avoids having to navigate through the traffic. It passes through some surprisingly picturesque countryside – and I’ve discovered places (a nice café in Apperley Bridge in particular!) that I’ve lived near for years, but have never visited.
There’s not many cities where such a pleasant cycling commute is possible and I just wish I’d discovered it sooner.
The great thing for me is that it uses dead time to do something that I enjoy. With three young kids at home and a busy job, time is at a premium and I’d got to the stage where I was doing virtually no exercise.
Cycling has given me another option and enables me to do some form of exercise every week.
The challenge will be keeping it up during the winter months. I’ve just equipped myself with some waterproofs and decent lights, so now I have no excuse.
There’s not many cities where such a pleasant cycling commute is possible.