I’m at that age where acquaintances from secondary school are tying the knot left, right, and centre, and all I’m committed to is getting eight hours of sleep every night and convincing everyone I meet to invest in a bike. You, dear reader, are my most recent target. If the idea of reducing your carbon footprint in itself isn’t enough to convince you to join the bandwagon, consider this:
You could sleep longer in the morning if you had a bike. I’m one of those East End students who choose to prioritise dirt cheap rent over proximity to campus, so on foot, my morning commute would take me half an hour. On bike, it takes me ten minutes. Think about all that potential sleep going to waste. All those alarms you could snooze. All those episodes of Rick & Morty you could squeeze in before facing another day in the Glaswegian rain. The possibilities are endless.
Biking in the city is far from risk-less, but when I first started, I was surprised by how considerate drivers are here. I have been in an accident, but that was a collision with a pedestrian, so if you must be apprehensive, be apprehensive because pedestrians are unpredictable, not because there are cars on the road. Also, buy a helmet. Nobody looks good in a helmet, but I can guarantee it’s a better look than your brains splattered across Cathedral Street.
Another concern a lot of people have is the relatively hilly landscape Glasgow has to offer. I spend most of my days at the library, which means I have to fight my way up John Knox Street on a daily basis. I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s fun, because it is honestly miserable, but going home is amazing because I can coast almost the entire way. The hills are a struggle, but you adapt faster than you would think – and one thing’s for sure: they wake you up.
I have a thousand different pitches and it’s a struggle to pick the most convincing ones, but if the ideas of helping the environment, saving money, sleeping more, and getting in shape don’t appeal to you, there’s only so much I can do with my subpar saleswoman skills. It’s all up to you.
It’s easier to dodge your ex on two wheels, though.
By Catrine Bollerslev