A chap at work used to get the bus into work everyday from the edge of Cambridge to the centre. Several times a week he would grumble about buses not turning up for 15 minutes, sometimes longer and having to stand waiting in the cold. The worst thing was waiting for the bus not quite knowing when it would turn up. Then, he hands over £2 something for a return journey and it takes another 15 minutes travel time. Sometimes, he could have walked in the time it took to wait and travel.
We badgered him for a whole year, saying you could easily cycle within half an hour, its not even 3 miles. Buy a bike and you'll be saving money after about 125 journeys and it will take the same time every day. The bus is there as a backup if you ever need it.
What delayed him getting a bike was our tales of woe, about being cut up by cars, taxis and buses. Actually, these are minor events that never stopped us from cycling, but that's a big part of what he heard. Somehow the joy of just cycling, the reliability, and cycling past stationary traffic, the independence, didn't come over as loudly.
One more barrier was having not cycled for 15 years. That went away after a few wobbly but confidence building practice rides at the weekend.
Eventually, the frustrations of waiting for a bus pushed him in the right direction.
He started in the summer, and now he is still cycling in December. The moment I knew he was totally converted was when he said: It's was bloomin' cold this morning, but as I cycled past the bus stop near my house I realised that I used to stand at the stop chilled to the bone whilst waiting, but on the bicycle I was already starting to warm up.
Cambridge Bus Prices
Park and Ride return: £2.40
StageCoach Day Rider: £3.50