Omega consultant, Elizabeth Pettersen is ready for this year's Cycle to work campaign which starts April 23 and continues to June 22. Since she started on assignment for a client in Stavanger city center six years ago, she has biked to work whenever possible.
«I use approximately 10 to 15 minutes cycling to work, and it takes the same amount of time to drive. I find it better to start the day with fresh air and a nice ride through the city center and past the harbor, » she explains.
For Pettersen, the cycling season lasts longer than the Cycle to work campaign period, and she tries to choose the bike over the car when she has the chance. She emphasizes that one of the best things with cycling to work is that she experiences new things along the way;
«I have had the privilege of experiencing some amazing winter mornings where the sky goes from being black to pink and then completely blue. Sometimes I have to stop and get off the bike to take a minute to take pictures and enjoy the view. During the summer, we have the wonderful quiet mornings with lots of sun; this gives me a lot of energy. »
For Omega, the Cycle to work campaign 2018 starts Monday April 23 and continues until June 22. All employees can participate in the campaign.
«To get a cycling trip approved, participants need to cycle or walk for at least 20 minutes, both to and from work. Participants receive Advantage points for their efforts; 15 000 points if they cycle between 10 and 20 days during the campaign, and 25 000 points for those who cycle even more,» says Manager for Business Support, Aslaug Østrem Nesheim.
«We usually sit a lot during the work day, and I noticed a big difference between cycling and driving to work. When cycling, I was more relaxed after work because I had already exercised a bit during the day» she explains.
Pettersen says that there are days where it is difficult to keep the spirits up due to headwind, uphills, and extra weight after grocery shopping. However, these days are few and far between.
«I have experienced having headwind both to and from work, in addition to rain. This past week, I came to work and was completely soaked. Thankfully, they have good facilities and changing rooms at work, which makes everything a little easier. On my way home, I don’t mind getting cold or wet since I’m going straight home. »
To be better prepared for the windy and rainy days, one of the best tips from Pettersen is to have control of where you have rainwear and gloves.
«It is important to know exactly where one has the equipment if you suddenly need it. This way, it will become a part of the routine and will not demand extra time or effort, which in some cases might lead one to drive to work.»
She also adjusts the equipment to the season;
«During the winter I’m a cycling disco with led lights flashing and reflective clothes. During the summer, the tourists in Stavanger city center are the largest challenge. This is when the bicycle bell becomes my best tool.»
Explains Pettersen and goes on to tell a story about a special challenge this past summer;
«My bicycle bell was broken and I struggled with cycling in between all the people that crowd the city center at this time of year. I quickly realized that I had to get a new bell as soon as possible because I got pretty tired of shouting pling-pling all the way to work! »
Another tip she has for getting ready for the bicycle season is to deliver the bicycle to a bicycle repair shop for a check-up.
«I deliver my bike to a check-up at the Church City Mission’s repair shop, Paa hjul, where they check the air in the tires, the breaks, and wash the bike,» she explains. «This is a really great offer that I take advantage of every year.»
«Some places there are bad roads and often roadworks. Because of this it is important to think twice and be careful, » encourages Nesheim.
«We have many reflective vests at the main office, and are happy to send to our employees in Norway!» explains Nesheim.