Get­ting on my bike has helped me ex­er­cise more

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS -

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.

JONATHAN TURNER:

There’s not many cities where such a pleas­ant cy­cling com­mute is pos­si­ble.

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