‘Cheaper than the bus and quicker than walking’

Driving round the country as a medical rep, Chris Jarratt piled on the pounds as he grabbed food on the go between client appointments.

By the time he’d decided to return to clinical practice as a physiotherapist at Castle Hill Hospital, he weighed 16 stone.

“I bought myself a cheap bike and thought it would be quicker than walking and cheaper than the bus so off I went,” he said.

“It was two and a half miles from my house to Castle Hill, it was all uphill but it got easier every day. Then I moved to Hull Royal and it only takes me 10 to 15 minutes.”

Now two stone lighter, Chris cycles to the hospital every day to start work on Ward 11 with patients recovering from strokes and those with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and MS.

Cycling has become his passion so he’s traded up his bike through the CycleScheme and even raised £300 for the ward after taking part in the Humber Bridge sportive in June.

He said: “Cycling to work has huge benefits. It used to take me 40 minutes to drive home through the rush-hour traffic. Now, I’m home in 15 to 20 minutes, even at the busiest times.

“It’s a great way to wind down and you get half an hour’s exercise in your day, which is the Government’s recommendation, before you’ve even tried or had to think about going to the gym.”

Chris’s advice to anyone thinking about cycling to work is to build up their confidence on a bike first, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve been on one.

“Practise on quieter roads first to get your confidence up,” he said. “Traffic is the main reason why people don’t want to cycle because they’ll be in the middle of the road so practising will give you confidence to use the bigger road junctions.

“Most of the roads now have cycle pathways so that can help you if you’re planning your route.”