If you've seen my social media you'll know that I just got myself a new Bike.
The Cycle to Work Scheme is a government scheme that promotes healthy living by promoting cycling. It's a salary sacrifice scheme that allows a person to get a bike 'tax free'. Essentially you lease the bike for 12 months and afterwards it depreciates off your employers spreadsheet until you technically own it. It's a great way to get a bike if you don't have the cash to buy outright.
As every cyclist knows the optimum number of cycles to own can be worked out by using the formula N+1 (where N is the number of bikes you currently own). My employer has resisted running a Cycle to Work scheme for many years citing an array of excuses along the way. At the beginning of the year I heard from someone in the big bosses building that there could be a chance that a new scheme could be on the way. Then it all went quiet, it looked like the scheme was dead in the water. Out of the blue, a couple of weeks ago a new scheme was announced on our intranet front page.
I recently retired my regular commuter bike and being financially unviable to repair, the bike was only ever a stop gap until I could afford something better. So what was it I was looking for. Well, I'm a road bike guy but I needed something that I could take onto paths and bridleways on occasion. Something that could handle a rack and panniers. Finally, I have dreamed for some time of having an adventure bike that I could go off and take camping.
One word… Cyclocross.
Cyclocross is quite popular at the moment but I've no intention of taking up the sport. The bikes used though fit my criteria perfectly.
I did my research and taking into account the retailers that I could use through the scheme I identified the bike. I applied through the scheme website and received my confirmation email the next day. I submitted my order straight away.
I asked for the bike to be delivered the following Tuesday (today) as I was already waiting in for a smartmeter installation. Unfortunately that wasn't to be, and it arrived extremely promptly on Friday, much to the surprise of Morticia (who knew I was getting one but didn't know I'd already ordered it).
So it's here, I wasted no time setting it up and I've taken it out on a couple of light commutes. So here it is, my new commuter / adventure bike…