Poole Hospital nurse Abi, tells us why she enjoys cycling to work.
Hi! My name is Abi and I have been cycling to work for around two and a half years now.
I work as a nurse in Poole hospital and live in Oakdale so it is not a long journey. I put off cycling for years as cycling on the road made me very nervous, especially when cars come too close. Also, I often start work at 7 o’clock in the morning and finish at 7.30 in the evening which meant cycling in the dark in those long winter months. Safety on the road was definitely a key issue that prevented me from cycling to work.
However, I decided to start cycling to work during the first lockdown as there were less cars on the road. This helped me build my confidence in cycling and navigating small amounts of traffic. This made me realise how easy it is to cycle to work and now I have started cycling to other places too such as the school run and the gym. I have discovered a new-found love for riding my bike!
I have found there are so many benefits to cycling:
- Cost: with the rocketing prices of fuel and the charges to park my car at the hospital, I am saving myself a lot of money.
- Environmentally friendly: it's a small thing I can do to help protect the planet.
- Good for my health: even after a long day on my feet at work, I enjoy my cycle home knowing that it's getting my heart pumping and my body moving! I have also found it decreases my stress levels and is good for my mental wellbeing too.
- Enjoying the local area: we live in a beautiful place and I have been able to enjoy that far more on my bike as I take notice of trees, flowers, people’s well-kept front gardens; more so than when I drive. I love to cycle along Holes Bay, especially when the sun is setting.
I am really pleased the council are committed to transforming travel for cyclists, as well as for walkers, scooters and bus users. Currently I ride to work along the narrow, painted cycle lanes on the road, but I am looking forward to there being properly segregated cycle lanes. I have had some near misses as cars and vans drive very close to you and as a hospital nurse I have seen the consequences of people being knocked off their bikes.
This is why I’m excited about the new cycle lanes that are being created down Wimborne Road, as for me this is a large part of my journey to work. It will make me feel safer being able to ride on these posh new separated cycle lanes. I hope that these new lanes, and the other sustainable transport improvements across the region, will encourage more people who like the idea of cycling, but who lack the confidence, to try! I hope that it will give them more motivation to get on their bikes and ride!