“COMMUTING by bike is fabulous - once I’m on the cycleway I’m totally confident a car isn’t going to hit me because there’s a kerb between the route and the traffic.”

Hawarun Hussain cycles to work from her home in Saltaire to her office in Bradford’s Canal Road. “I like the route and it really works for me, as someone who’s new to cycling, this opportunity has given my confidence a surge,” she says.

Hawarun works at NHS Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Sandwiched between one end of the Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway and one end of Bradford’s Canal Road Cycleway, the offices in Bolton Road are in a good location for people travelling by bike.

CGC is one of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Bike Friendly Businesses, receiving expert advice and support on how it can be more cycling friendly. In addition, thanks to a £4,880 grant staff from the combined authority, staff have access to four electric pool bikes.

Hawarun does not cycle every day. “On Mondays I take the car to work. I take a few days-worth of food I’ve batch cooked at the weekend and I like my heels, so I bring a few different pairs of shoes , a smart jacket and a couple of scarves. This means on the days I cycle I haven’t got lots of things to carry,” she says.

“Cycling to work saves me time and money. It takes me a similar amount of time to get to work on a morning as it does by car and in the evening it’s much quicker to cycle than to drive.

“Although it’s not my main reason for doing it, I also save money on parking.”

From Monday people across the region are being invited to switch to two wheels and take part in a fun, friendly cycling challenge. Run through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, it is aimed at encouraging people to travel by bike and on foot.

The Combined Authority has joined forces with Ride to Work Week organisers Love to Ride - an online platform that encourages cycling - for the UK-wide event aimed at getting more people to discover the benefits.

Registering on the Love to Ride website allows participants to log miles, set goals and earn badges for cycling to work for a week, riding 100 miles or encouraging a friend or colleague to take part, with friendly competitions taking place between individuals and workplaces.

Leeds councillor Kim Groves, chairman of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s transport committee, says “Last year, nearly 600 people across West Yorkshire cycled more than 20,000 miles during Ride to Work Week, saving more than 15,000 lbs of CO2 - and we’re hoping to make this year bigger and better.

“We want as many people as possible to get involved in Ride to Work Week - whether you cycle every day or whether you’ve never cycled to work. Encouraging more of us to travel by bike or on foot not only boosts people’s health and saves money, it also brings wider environmental and economic benefits, which is why we want to make cycling and walking a natural choice for short, everyday journeys.”

Adds Hawarun: “I’ve been telling everyone to use the route -try it and if you don’t like it that’s fine but just have a go.”

*Love to Ride can be connected to popular cycling apps such as Strava and Ride Report, which will then automatically record the miles cycled on Love to Ride and enter riders into prize draws. Register at lovetoride.net/cityconnect.

From route information to business support visit cyclecityconnect.co.uk.

CityConnect’s top tips for your first cycle to work

lYou don’t have to cycle the whole way: if you live too far away you could cycle part of the way and then get a train or bus.

l Recruit a bike buddy: If someone you know already cycles ask them which routes they use or even better ask them to ride with you

lPack a waterproof: In case it rains.

lGo at your own pace: The great thing about being on a bike is you don’t always have to keep pedalling.

lKeep your bike in good health: Check your brakes, make sure there’s air in your tyres, that fixtures and fittings are not loose, and the chain is clean and oiled. Sustrans 11-step M-Check is a good place to start or visit a cycle shop.

lLast but not least, enjoy it: Cycling to work has been proven to boost health and happiness, and it can save you time and money, and it. What’s not to love?