Cycling will save you money, save you time and help you de-stress
By Lydia Castellano
Within the last few years the swap to cycling has become the latest trend. With people wanting to do their bit for the environment and following the success of British cyclists at the Olympics and the Tour de France, there is no wonder getting on two wheels has taken the UK by storm.
From watching the success of Team GB over the summer I was inspired and, with this in mind, I bought a bike with a basket to carry my books and decided to start cycling to university for my second year. I did this mainly as I live a little further away from campus than I did while in halls, and with the time constraints of deadlines I felt that cycling would be an easy way to fit in exercise to help me de-stress – and to help my waistline.
Cycling on campus can be difficult at times, with over 9000 students attending Royal Holloway it is understandable that paths and roads can get congested. However, I have found it to be a far faster way of getting around, aided by the space available in the shelters to lock the bikes. There are over 600 spaces to store your bike on campus, and the two sets of shelters outside the Windsor building are a useful base for your day. The predominantly covered bike stores are also in other key places such as outside the Students’ Union, the Hub and in Founder’s. In all, I have found that cycling and storing a bike on campus is far easier and faster than driving in and finding a parking space (not to mention the dreaded fines for forgetting to register your car!).
Ease of access is not only found through bike shelters on campus, but also through the cycle paths that link Egham and Englefield Green. These make tackling Egham Hill just that little bit easier. With the heavy and intimidating flow of traffic being off-putting for some students, the knowledge that the wide pavements are for pedestrians and cyclists alike is a comforting one. If the uphill climb proves to be a sweaty challenge, there are showers available for the more fragrant of us in the Sports Centre and at Founder’s East 127, which should offset any concerns about sitting in close proximity to others in seminars and lecture halls.
The decision to ditch my car for a bike in my daily commute is one that I have been happy to make as my petrol consumption has lowered significantly, for which my bank balance is grateful. My walking time has been cut from a 15-minute walk to only a (google-maps-calculated) 7 minutes. With all of this taken into account, I highly recommend students of all ages and abilities to give cycling to university a go. Who knows what opportunities lie within this? You may just end up being the next Bradley Wiggins.
Photography by Lydia Castellano
This article was published in our November 2016 issue.