Lincoln Smith- Bike
I am a student at Birmingham University living near Birmingham city centre. I have various options available to me to travel to university every day. In November I started cycling the 2 miles to University. The route I travel runs along one of Birmingham’s busier roads. It’s great to be able to feel as though you are powering yourself along on just your breakfast. As a cyclist in busy Birmingham, it’s possible to cycle right past rush hour traffic.
At first it was a little daunting being a small bike user sharing the road with cars and Birmingham’s buses. After a while your confidence improves and you learn that so long as you make your intentions clear to other road users they are happy to accommodate you on the road. See and be seen… a set of lights and high vis jacket go a long way to making the journey as safe as possible.
Occasionally you are faced with a splash of rain or Birmingham drizzle, although in general it’s possible to cycle through it without getting too wet. This year’s mild winter climate makes it great for cycling without toes and fingers getting cold.
Cycling is good exercise and makes a change from walking, driving or taking the bus. In 2009, when I started university the price of an all day Birmingham bus ticket was £3. Now in 2013 it’s £4, a rise of 33%. Over the same period data from the AA has shown the price of unleaded petrol in the West Midlands rise from 87p per litre to £1.32 per litre, a rise of 52%. The cost of a return train ticket with a railcard from New Street to university increased from £1.15 to £1.40, a rise of 22%.
With the cost of travel increasing all the time, is it any wonder I’ve switched to cycling around Birmingham.