Leeds Beckett commuter stories
We have had a good number of people sending us their commute in the last few years. The series is about making people aware about how other people commute and we hope to inspire you to change your commuting habits.
The first three pictures which we received were those of Stephen, Kagsy and Anthony. All three have different routes, timings and motives for using the means of transport they use. Find out how each one is unique.
Following a call for sending us you commute, Stephen was first to do so. He takes his children to school in this bike, to the great delight of passers-by. He then pops home and gets onto another bike to work.
Having purchased his bike quite cheap on Ebay, he says it's a dream to ride and his children love it. Expecting to be a father once again, he has already anticipated the baby's arrival and got himself a Specialised child seat for when she's a bit older. On a practical side as well, he uses his bicycle to carry his shopping.
Stephen commutes everyday by bike, no matter the weather and admits he is lucky to have found a route which is reasonably quiet in Meanwood. After having principally used Otley Road for years, he has a heaven in Meanwood Road. Of the roads he's ridden on, he likes York Road and Kirkstall Road the least. Being a fearless cyclist now, he takes a great deal of pleasure in his commute as well as the obvious health benefits and enjoys making a low carbon choice.
Kagsy sent us these pictures via Twitter. She commutes from outside of Leeds into the city and has taken her own steps in coming in by using public transport instead of getting the car. Whenever possible, she takes the modern X84 bus (Leeds - Skipton) instead of the train which according to her should definitely run more often.
Despite finding the route 'OK', she thinks it would be great if there was a direct bus from Silsden (outside of Skipton). Her favourite thing about the journey is sitting the top deck of the X84 to enjoy the glorious Yorkshire Dales on the road up to the Chevin. Her tip she gives to other commuters is: leave your car at home, enjoy the journey, read a book.
As well as Kagsy, Anthony commutes from outside of Leeds. He cycles from his home near Selby to the local train station, just under 6 miles and then cycles to his office in Headingley from either Leeds Station or Headingley Station.
'At home it’s mostly quiet roads and farm tracks, although there is an unlit section on an A road that can be a bit hard work in winter', he describes the treacherous paths near his home. 'Where I live is very flat so the cycle up from Leeds to Headingley is a definite change, but I don’t mind it – and it’s a lot of fun on the way back into Leeds!'
Anthony enjoys the fresh air, exercise and scenery most about his cycle. Quite often, he sees kestrels, buzzards and owls near home and as it’s so flat there are big skies, so the sunrises and sunsets are stunning. Even though it can be cold and (very) occasionally wet I always get into work feeling better than if I’ve just sat in a car or on public transport the whole way.
Finally, as a tip to other cyclists or people interested in having a go, Anthony advises to work out your route and practice it at a quieter time, there are lots of resources to help you find one that suits you. 'Don’t worry about starting small and building it up as your confidence grows; I was wary of being around cars initially but the vast majority of drivers are considerate and you soon get used to riding safely in traffic. Make sure you dress appropriately – you don’t need to light yourself up like a Christmas tree but effective bike lights, distinctive colours and some reflective details are safer for you and other road users, and you’ll soon work out the best clothes to keep yourself at the right temperature without spending a fortune. Other cyclists and forums are the best source of advice and information, and it’s willingly offered – the Leeds Beckett Cycling pages are genuinely a good place to start.'