With week five of term fast approaching and work piling up, now is a great time to start a new hobby and become more efficient with your time. As much as Fallowfield and Withington have our hearts, the route to and from uni each day can be a headache. Bus lines go on for miles, and you’re lucky to get a seat at times. Because of this, we’ve outlined a few reasons why switching to cycling might be a good fit for you.
Firstly, cycling to uni is unquestionably the most efficient way to travel. Not only is it good for you and the environment, but it is also the quickest mode of transport. While Stagecoach is a wonderful establishment, the buses are not super reliable. They often don’t arrive when they say they will or inconveniently turn up in clusters – if you miss one, you miss them all. Waiting another 10 minutes is definitely not what you need on a Monday morning. Similarly, when you just want to get home after a lecture at the tail end of the day, all of the buses are full.
Typically from Withington, it takes 15 minutes to cycle to uni. By bus? Excluding the wait times, about 25-30 minutes. On a bad day, 45 minutes. You’ve not lived unless you’ve zoomed down Curry Mile with middle-aged men in lycra.
Mental and physical benefits
Next up, we all know how important movement is: regular exercise throughout the week has been proven to decrease heart problems and strokes. Exercising is also hugely beneficial for our mental health, with studies showing endorphin levels rising after just 15 minutes of activity.
Gym memberships can be expensive, it can be hard to find time to work out, and for many of us, the gym can be a very intimidating place. Cycling is a great way of working exercise into your routine.
Luckily, cycling to uni has never been easier. There’s a convenient, safe bike path from Fallowfield all the way to uni, and countless bike racks throughout campus and the city.
Of course, there are downfalls to cycling, namely the weather. We proudly live in one of the rainiest cities in the UK, and I would therefore strongly encourage you to invest in a sturdy raincoat. You are in luck that gorp-core is on trend and a staple in any UoM student wardrobe anyway! Other purchases might be necessary: bike lights and helmets are essential for any cyclist on the Curry Mile. While the bike path is great, when it comes to cycling, safety is cool!
Finding a bike might be easier than you think. Facebook marketplace, eBay and Gumtree are your best friends, with people selling second-hand bikes of all different sizes and prices. Platt Field Bike Hub and Withington Cycles are also great places to get an old bike repaired and revamped to get you back on the road.
Alternatively, if you aren’t totally convinced, Transport for Manchester has created ‘The Bee Network’, a network of pay-as-you-go bikes to hire. You may have seen these yellow bikes around and noticed that there are several docking stations on the route to uni. They are well priced at 50p to unlock and 5p per minute as you ride, so could be a great way to start cycling again.
Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to try a new way of getting around Manchester. Remember to stay safe on the roads, and happy cycling!