Upsurge in cycle commuting as the credit crunch bites

More than 12 per cent of the nation's workforce have got on their bikes in the last few months according to a new survey for Sainsbury's Home Insurance. 

Men are more likely to ride to work than women (see our previous story on helmet hair for the reasons why) with 15 per cent of male workers now cycling to work against 8 per cent of women.

A number of reasons for the growing trend towards cycle commuting are cited by the company but the one they make greatest play over is that it is yet another side-effect of the credit crunch. 

According to Sainsbury's the changeover to pedal power is saving people an average of £33.70 a week which adds up to a collective saving of £111.2million every week. 

However, as you might expect in a survey from an insurance company the news wasn't all good with a spokesman for the company pointing out that more than 1200 bikes are stolen in Britain every day. 

Commenting on this aspect of their findings Sainsbury's Home Insurance manager Neil Laird said: "Using a bicycle to travel around can be a very effective way of saving money.

"However, with thousands of bicycles being stolen in the UK each week, it could soon turn out to be a white elephant, costing you far more than you expect if you haven't secured and insured it properly. It's important to make sure that your home insurance policy covers your bicycle."

Locking your bike up properly is sound advice, but a quick back of the envelope calclulation by the road.cc economics team (that'll be me) shows that over a year even without insurance you'd have to be a very unlucky cyclist indeed not to still be up on the deal. And that's of course before you factor in the other benefits such as better health, reducing road congestion, and doing your own little bit to save the planet.


Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.