Last Updated on April 29, 2023
I started cycle-commuting as bus fares had gone up again, and it was becoming an issue for me to afford the bus. On a low income at the time the C2W scheme was a godsend for those of us who need a bike but might struggle to (a) afford it outright and (b) cannot get credit. My first bike was a Carerra Subway from Halfords for £250. Halfords had a deal with my employer whereby I received 15% of the bike value to spend on accessories which really helped. Effectively I walked out of the shop with the bike and everything else I needed.
The bike did me well for about 2 years and 4500 miles, not all of the miles were earned commuting as I used it for many other rides; I had rediscovered my love of the bicycle. The Subway is a bike that is often highlighted as an ideal starter bike and can be had for as little as £200 depending on the deals – Halfords have also started honouring sale prices on C2W vouchers which is very good of them.
My second C2W bike was effectively a better Subway, a Marin Belvedere, not Halfords this time so no free accessories, but again I was lucky and the shop did a sale price for me at £450. This is the bike I’m still using 3 years later and its done a lot of miles, sure I’ve replaced some parts but this is no different to buying new parts for my car.
I think for me the two best things about cycling to work are the time and money saved. Traffic is horrendous on my route and I didn’t fancy spending more a month than my monthly C2W payment, just for the privilege of sitting on a bus while it queued its way into town. The bus only got me between 2 places, I can go anywhere on my bike.
I’m fitter, happier and richer – I can’t see anything wrong with C2W.