Thursday, December 07, 2006

Back in the saddle

What with visits to the dentists, various meetings, trips and evening events I have not cycled to work for over two weeks. So it was good this week to get back in the saddle and cycle to work with Mary on her new "company vehicle".

Under the government's "Cycle to Work Scheme" the company can buy a bike and loan it to the employee. So we can not only reclaim the VAT but also pay for it out of pre-tax profits *and* it is not treated as a "benefit in kind" for personal tax purposes. A triple result.

Mary's previous bike's hub gear was starting to malfunction so we went and got her a shiny new Specialised bike complete with all the gear. The nice thing about the scheme is that the company can also provide all the extras as well: shoes, helmet, clothing, lights and lock. Those easily came to 300 GBP on top of the cost of the bike.

So I cycled Monday and Wednesday. Tuesday was an off-site meeting in the afternoon so cycling was not possible. Today I woke to the sound of rain lashing against the window and thought "S*d that for a game of soldiers" and caught the train.


Anonymous said...

Great scheme, just a shame it's not currently available to the memebers of the very department that manages it: HM Revenue &Customs!!

Rosa said...

What a great idea. You two would fit right in in Amsterdam! I've never seen so many bikes in my life!

Mark McLellan said...

Lynn - ironic indeed. Still cycling to work?

Rosa - many years ago I did a week's cycling holiday in Holland, thinking it would be nice and flat. The trouble is it is so flat there is no protection from the winds off the North Sea and cycling into the teeth of a gale is hard work.

As I cycled into Amsterdam in the rain I too was amazed to see so many bikes and many of them holding umberellas as they cycled! I soon realised they had "back-pedal" brakes so it was not as dangerous as it looked.

Anonymous said...

Nice perk.
I miss cycling/walking to work now the distance and available transport options mean getting into the car everyday.

Ballpoint Wren said...

We need a deal like that here. We've got too many cars and not enough highway!

paris parfait said...

It's a terrific idea - good for the environment and the body. I have a bike that hasn't been used nearly enough lately. Of course it's too dangerous to ride a bike in Central Paris. I stick to the Bois de Boulogne area and my neighbourhood streets.