Sometimes the thought of cycling to work can be daunting but many people find that after doing it once they can’t believe they were ever worried about it in the first place.
Join an adult cycle training course – FREE to all commuters over the age of 16
Become a Bike Friendly Business – Your workplace can apply for support & grants up to £5000
Win prizes for cycling to work – Take part in a Love to ride event
So here’s some tips from CityConnect to help you take that first step in conquering your commute.
1. Plan your route
Research where the best cycle routes are between home and work. Segregated or off highway routes such as the Leeds to Bradford Cycle Superhighway or Canal towpaths are often a good place to start. Find the best route for you on the CityConnect cycle route planner.
2. Build your confidence
Sign up to CityConnect Cycles, a FREE adult cycle training course, where you can either learn to ride or improve your cycling skills.
If you’re nervous about cycling on your own for the first time, why not test out your cycle route to work on a weekend with a friend or family member or for the first few times, cycle to work with a colleague or neighbour. If you book on to a CityConnect Cycles course and continue to Level 3, your cycling instructor will help plan your route and then ride it with you.
3. Cycle in YOUR Style
As long as you’re comfortable you can wear whatever you like, there’s no need to wear full Lycra if you don’t want to. If you’re only cycling a few miles, why not be like Claire in the video above and ride in your normal work clothes, then you’re ready to start work as soon as you arrive.
4. Remember the essentials
Lights – For those of you who work outside of the usual 9 – 5 hours, it’s essential that you have working lights on your bike, even during the summer. It’s actually a legal requirement to have a white light at the front and a red light at the back when cycling in the dark.
Helmet – It’s your choice whether you wear a helmet or not, it’s not compulsory. Some people prefer to wear one and some people don’t, it’s completely up to you.
Bike Lock – D-Locks are the most secure and they can be easily attached to the frame of your bike, meaning its one less thing to remember on a morning
Bell – Having a bell is always a good idea, especially when commuting at peak times, it’s the best way to let pedestrians and other cyclists know you’re there and trying to pass.
Panniers/basket – Fitting panniers or a basket to your bike is handy for carrying your things, some even turn into trendy rucksacks or handbags so that you can use them when you’re not cycling.
Mudguards – There’s no need to worry about your wheels spraying you with water or mud when you have mudguards. They make all the difference.
Puncture repair kit – It’s unlikely you’ll get a puncture but it’s always worth having a repair kit just in case.
5. Stay Motivated
Sign up to Love to Ride, a social media cycling app where you’ll have the chance to win some fantastic prizes just for logging your miles and inspiring and encouraging others. You can even win prizes for your workplace. As the weeks pass, you’ll earn badges, high fives from other riders and you’ll soon see the miles ridden and calories burnt mound up.
6. Get support from your employer
Work with your employer to get the cycling facilities you need such as secure bike parking, changing facilities, cycle training or bike maintenance equipment. Your workplace can apply for support and grants of up to £5000 through the CityConnect Bike Friendly Business scheme, we’re always happy to help.
Remember, you don’t have to cycle to work every day, maybe just a couple of times a week would suit you better, it’s all about finding the best commuting routine for you. Happy Cycling!