The pandemic has caused many problems for the commuters of London and put a large strain on the public transport system, causing tubes to be flooded with potential carriers and the people to wonder if it is worth putting their life at risk for their pay-check. 


Due to the crammed nature of public transport, more Londoners are opting to travel by bicycle as government data shows that cycling levels were up 300% during the UK’s first lockdown. 


The benefits are clear: not only does this alleviate some of the stress on our transport network, it also is an incredibly environmentally-friendly alternative to using a car instead. For the many that sit hour after hour stiff at a desk (especially during the restrictions COVID has placed) it is a convenient form of exercise that doesn’t need a gym or requires as much effort as other exercises like running do. It has also become a much-needed outing for families with children cooped up.


It is therefore no surprise how bicycles have also become significantly more popular amongst teenagers. As a way for them to independently get around while being safe, cycling also releases the endorphins much needed for an exam-riddled generation. In light of the ban of free travel for under 18s that was implemented after October half-term, it could also become a better financial investment to buy a bike than to pay for transport generally used twice a day with no reasonable source of income. An almost cruel regulation as financial burdens and uncertainty creep up on most households in London. 


From Stranger Thingsto E.T, bicycles have always been a symbol of personal freedom which, as the UK enters its second nation-wide lockdown, is very important to remind ourselves of. We are not caged.