Friday, 9 September 2011

Cycling to work

As well as taking a more environmentally friendly way to get to church, could you walk or cycle to your workplace? Quite a few people cycle to work at Diocesan House – one of these people is Anita Ranyell, Administrator & PA to Canon Dr Ann Lees, Diocesan Board of Education.

"I live in Stillington, 9 ½ miles from Clifton Moor, and I got a job working in the education team at Diocesan Office, 3 years ago. I thought there were only 2 ways for me to get to work – by car or bus (and only on the bus if I was desperate as there was still quite a walk from the bus stop!).  I never gave a thought to the rising fuel and car running costs, keeping fit or my impact on the environment.

Having always been a keen cyclist (I’d like to think it’s in my blood, my second cousin Gatis, is a professional road bicycle racer in Latvija), I hadn’t thought about it as a means of transport to work. Having decided to “fitten up” I decided to cycle to work one day a week. Friday seemed a good day as it is “dress down day” so it would be ok to look a little more casual in the office. I may only be taking one car off the road one day a week, but I have looked into the statistics; both local and global pollution would be reduced if each car-driving person pledged to use their car 30% less, starting immediately. This is a responsible, individual contribution to a global problem. At least 30% of vehicle use is optional – either recreational or lazy driving when walking, cycling or public transport would be a better choice.

The environment is also doing something good for me; just last week as I cycled through Sutton on the Forest, I heard the twit twoo of two barn owls, a sound I would never have heard had I been in the car with Radio 2 on full volume.  I was also really fortunate to have a woodpecker fly parallel with me one day, just a few feet away, going from tree to tree, a sight I have never seen before and won’t forget. 

Of course it is better when the sun shines, but even in the rain it is still a win win situation as everyone benefits. I’m now looking to extend to 2 days a week, then who knows..?"

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