Firing up the Bicycle Lights
Despite a push in recent years to encourage commuters to hang up the car keys and fire up the bicycle lights, statistics still stand at a national average of a mere 2% for all short haul journeys taken by bike. This figure is bleak when compared with our continental counterparts, the Netherlands national average stands at a far more impressive 25%. So why aren’t more of us charging up the bicycle lights? Reports suggest that many commuters view cycling as inaccessible, being an activity best left to the hardened veterans. But with so many benefits for the individual and the environment, converting to pedal power really is the smart option.
For a start, cycling is a great way to keep fit and maintain a healthy heart. The action of cycling improves cardio-vascular fitness and strengthens core muscles. With the increase of muscle, cycling also boosts the metabolism, making it an excellent way to burn those calories. Embarking on your short haul journeys by bike is also brilliant for the pocket. Once the initial expense of getting kitted out with the correct bicycle lights and safety gear has been overcome, bikes incur a very low yearly cost. With no need for tax or insurance and no added fuel bills, a bike usually costs as little as £50 a year to maintain. And, of course, there are the environmental benefits. No pollution, decreased road traffic, the ease of storing a bike eliminating the need for car parks and far less energy and materials required to produce a bike than a car, all make swapping the car keys for bicycle lights brilliant for the future of the planet.
Concerns of the Commute; Bicycle Lights and Safety Measurements
Safety concerns are also another point of debate among those pushing for a rise in short haul bike journeys. Unlike Europe’s ‘Strict Liability’ policy which frees injured cyclists from having to provide evidence of fault in order to gain compensation, here in the UK, the onus for safety is very much on the cyclist. Whilst the law states bicycle lights of a certain standard be used in conditions of low visibility, there are extra precautions one can take to avoid claims of negligence in the event of an accident. Helmet cameras are a great way to record your journey and footage can be used as evidence in a court of law. Supplementary bicycle lights and high visibility clothing will also go some way to ensuring your morning commute is a safe journey.