Cycling to work

 

New Year’s resolutions are very personal, but getting fit, losing weight and saving money are common to many and the big health and fitness centres rub their hands together at the prospect of signing up new members, many of whom will not use the facilities beyond the middle of February. 

 

 

Certainly, they offer the prospect of helping you get fit and possibly of losing weight, but at quite a price…  Commuting to work by bike is the perfect way to save money and shape up and a great habit to get into in an Olympic Year. 

 

To help you get started, we’ve put together some helpful hints to help you get you started. 

 

Fuel up: Make sure you have taken on some fuel for your commute before you leave the house.  Skipping breakfast is never a good idea, but if you are cycling to work, it becomes even more important.  Check out our tips for the perfect commuting breakfast in fuel your ride

 

Keep warm and dry: There is nothing more likely to put you off riding your bike to work than if you do not have the right gear to keep you warm and dry.  Gloves are especially important, find something warm that fits well and allows you to change gear and use the brakes easily.  It is also worth investing in a waterproof shell, that you can layer over whatever you need to keep warm and waterproof trousers might not be the most stylie addition to your wardrobe, but you won’t ever regret wearing them when you need them.  Finally, don’t forget your feet – they get really cold with little provocation!  Invest in some quality socks and neoprene over-shoes.

 

 

Look after your bike and it will look after you: Check out winterise your bike article to get top tips from Corinne Knoesen, mechanic at The Bike Whisperer, to understand what you need to do to keep your bike running well in the winter months.

 

Be high vis: There are some really small, but powerful lights available now and knog produce options that can be charged from your computer when you get to work.  There are also some stylish clothing options that work to help you increase your safety.  Our be safe be seen feature highlighted the importance of wearing hig vis clothing.  Without reflective clothing, lights or other accessories a cyclist is visible from just 30 metres in low beam headlights – reflective items increase this range to 150 metres away, which might give drivers time to take notice.

 

Lock it or lose it!  Over 115,000 bikes, worth £80 million were stolen in the UK in 2010. If you can take your bike indoors, that is always the best option, but if you can’t, find somewhere that is well lit and with lots of passing foot traffic.  Find something solid and permanent to lock it to – a bike stand is perfect, but there are other immovable objects you can use – and then buy the best lock you can afford.  Why not try two different types of lock at the same time?  The harder you make it for a prospective thief the better.

 

Find a bike friendly route: The busy roads you use in your car, or on public transport might not be the best option for a cyclist.  There are some quieter, safer and often more picturesque options available and it is worth doing a little research.  Check out the National Cycle Network which has with over 15,000 miles of sign-posted cycle routes, using quiet roads, dedicated cycle lanes and traffic-free paths.  Go to sustrans.org.uk a charity which offers online mapping and a journey planning from its website.

 

Prepare for the worst and always carry a puncture repair kit, or a couple of spare inner tubes and a pump.  Make sure you always have your mobile phone with you, plus some cash and an emergency contact number.

 

Wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year!

 

 

 

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