It's been hard to choose from such a varied set of entries into our competition but we have had to pick three and so here they are:
From Alex Buckman:
I don't need a car. I have a bike. Five years ago I sold my car and bought a machine I can fix myself (mostly!) and have never looked back! Cycling lets me explore; you can only explore if you do it using your own two feet, and it's a lot faster on wheels. Being able to see and hear everything around you whilst covering miles and miles can only be done on a bike. Then you've got the fitness: cycling is exercise without the bore; the thrills of the downhill are countered by the exhaustion on the up; the sweat dripping, leg burning, teeth clenching climbs are rewarded with stunning vistas and an adrenaline junkie’s dream speed run. I feel free on a bike, independent of money and delayed trams, road blocks are but a speed bump and I have the key to a cycle network free of cars.
From Julia Patrick:
I started cycling because a year ago, I got a new bike, so I had to justify the expense. I kept on cycling when I saw (and felt, and smelled!) so many parts of Sheffield that I hadn't seen before. Each journey was an experience. Far from being made to feel inadequate, or a newbie, the Sheffield cycling community welcomed and inspired me, and best of all, they let me tag along.
I have a theory that all Sheffield cyclists either know each other, or only have one or two degrees of separation. They also know where all the best cafes are! Cycling is my fun, my exercise, sometimes my adrenaline, sometimes my peace and sanity (no phone calls allowed!)
I keep cycling because I never expected to fall in love with cycling the way I did, and now that I've got momentum, it's far easier to carry on than it is to stop.
From Sian Thomas:
I started cycling because my bike gets me to and from work faster than walking - which means I spend less of my day getting to work, and have more time for fun stuff (or procrastinating over breakfast). But I've since realised that my journey to work is actually doing more for me than just buying me back some time. For one thing, it's a break away from screens and social media, which is what I would be passing my time with if travelling by bus, avoiding eye contact with the other bored commuters around me. A commute by bike is never boring. You take in your surroundings. You appreciate what's going on around you as you pedal past. You see things differently than you do when you're on foot or in a car; cycling sharpens my senses and opens my eyes.
Congratulations to those winners who have all won a Hiplok Lite, we're sorry not everyone could win but in reality if you cycle you are a winner in our eyes.
We think all of these entries really express how we think towards cycling and commuting by bicycle too. We want more people to realise the pleasure and experiences that can be gained from cycling and incorporating it into their lives.