Everything You Need To Know To Start Cycling To Work


In accordance the Nationwide Journey Survey two-thirds of individuals in Nice Britain aged over 5 by no means cycle or cycle lower than every year on common, and a European Fee survey discovered that solely 4% of individuals within the UK cycle each day. These aren’t spectacular numbers – within the EU, solely Cyprus (2%) and Malta (1%) have a decrease proportion of each day cyclists.

If the numbers elevated to nearer the 43% of individuals within the Netherlands who cycle each day, the advantages could be unimaginable, each individually and for society as a complete – assume diminished air air pollution and a more healthy inhabitants decreasing the strain on well being providers. And as extra folks begin to cycle, the infrastructure will proceed to enhance, which in flip results in extra cyclists biking in safer environments.

So ask your self, why aren’t you biking to work? And hopefully no matter causes you give you will likely be lined beneath. Until the reason being you work from home. You’re off the hook.

Why must you cycle to work?

“Biking to work is an effective way to incorporate train in your weekly routine, with out the necessity for costly fitness center memberships or private trainers,” says Luke Harper, head of British Biking partnership at HSBC UK. “You get to work feeling invigorated, endorphins are flowing round your physique and also you begin the time without work on a pure excessive.

“A motorcycle can be low-cost to purchase in contrast with a automotive, significantly with sos many employers collaborating within the Cycle to Work scheme, and it’s less expensive to run. In lots of UK cities there are additionally bike sharing schemes which make utilizing a motorcycle simple and reasonably priced.

“There are quite a few advantages to biking however, maybe most of all, biking is enjoyable. Most of us realized to cycle as a toddler when it was an exercise which supplied a way of freedom.”

So that you’ll get fitter, get monetary savings and have a blast. We’d additionally recommend that for most individuals in cities biking to work will likely be not less than as quick as taking public transport, even for those who’re pootling alongside at a straightforward tempo, as a result of you possibly can choose a extra direct route and the one sudden delay you would possibly expertise is a flat tyre.

Is biking to work harmful?

A standard worry, particularly in London, however the risks of biking are overplayed. Take it sluggish and your confidence will shortly construct.

“Our perceptions of the risks to biking far outstrip actuality. For many people, these are psychological limitations which stop us from getting on two wheels,” says Harper.

“You don’t must be a bicycle owner to trip a motorcycle. In case you’re nervous about driving to work, there are methods to construct your confidence together with doing follow runs in the course of the weekends when there’s normally much less visitors, which is able to enable you to familiarise your self with the route. We frequently take into consideration biking as a way of commuting however, the truth is, driving a motorcycle recreationally round your native park or on nationwide biking routes may also help you re-learn the abilities or strategies which may be rusty after not being on a motorcycle for some time, and assist to spice up your confidence earlier than utilizing the roads.”

A couple of stats from Biking UK drive dwelling the purpose that biking is protected. Just one bicycle owner is killed for each 29 million miles lined by bike on British roads, and mile for mile the danger of demise is about the identical as strolling. Moreover, biking is so good on your well being that statistically, the years of life gained outweigh the years misplaced by means of accidents by round 20:1.

Do cyclists want to fret about air air pollution?

Solely on extraordinarily uncommon events. In London TfL will difficulty alerts when the air air pollution may be very excessive and it’s price contemplating not biking open air (you possibly can join textual content alerts or obtain an app by way of airText). Nonetheless, usually the well being advantages of biking far, far outweigh the potential dangers of air air pollution. And the extra folks trip, the much less threat there will likely be.

“Biking could be a resolution to lots of the points dealing with cities and cities throughout the UK, whether or not that’s weight problems, despair or air pollution,” says Harper. “Finally, extra folks biking can scale back the variety of automobiles on the street, decreasing air pollution and serving to in the direction of a greener, fitter, more healthy Britain.”

How match do I should be?

This will depend on how far you reside out of your work and whether or not there are any huge hills en route, however we’ll allow you to into a little bit secret – not that match in any respect. Metropolis biking tends to contain quick bursts of gentle effort which can be curtailed by visitors lights incessantly sufficient that you simply don’t get all that out of breath. You possibly can in fact put the hammer down and up the depth of your train whereas biking, however for those who’re trying to tick off your 30 minutes of each day average exercise, biking is right.

You additionally don’t must cycle to work every single day – for those who get drained at first, do alternate days till your health and confidence enhance and you’re feeling like doing extra. And for those who dwell too far out of your work to cycle the entire approach a folding bike might be a nifty resolution for a part of the journey, they usually’re simpler to stash at dwelling or at work than common bikes.

Am I going to get sweaty?

Take it simple in your trip and also you received’t want a bathe if you arrive at work. And in case you are getting sweaty, shopping for your self a biking prime will assist as a result of light-weight, sweat-wicking supplies actually make a distinction. You don’t must go for Lycra throughout – a prime and a jacket for winter will see you proper, they usually’re normally odour-resistant so you possibly can put on all of them week with out having to scrub them. There’s additionally loads of fashionable biking gear out there that has the technical particulars it is advisable to keep cool and sweat-free whereas being trendy sufficient to put on off the bike.

In case you actually don’t need to get sweaty in your commute, there’s at all times the choice of an e-bike. Using with a little bit help continues to be good train, but it surely’s solely on the depth of strolling, so that you received’t sweat. If e-bikes are solely new to you, try our e-bike purchaser’s information for all the information you want.

Do it is advisable to put on a helmet?

There isn’t a regulation saying you must put on a helmet within the UK, and biking marketing campaign teams are very lively in opposing any try to introduce such a regulation. The argument is easy – enforced helmet sporting results in fewer folks biking and one of the simplest ways to make biking safer is to have extra folks doing it.

Whatever the authorized necessities you would possibly nicely select to put on a helmet – they will save your life in a sure sort of accident, though you shouldn’t anticipate them to do an amazing deal for those who’re hit by a motorcar. In case you’re eager on lugging a helmet with you on the finish of your trip, then a folding helmet you possibly can slip right into a bag is perhaps what you want.

What lights do I want?

The minimal requirement below UK regulation is that you’ve one entrance mild, one rear mild, one rear reflector and reflectors in your pedals. The lights might be flashing, however must flash between 60 and 240 instances per minute. There are some extra detailed rules in regards to the quantity of sunshine emitted, however in follow you don’t actually need to fret about that. Simply purchase some lights, and put them in your bike from sundown to dawn.

If you wish to go above and past together with your bike lights there are numerous nice choices. Lights that mission laser pictures onto the bottom a number of metres in entrance of your bike, wheel lights, reflective clothes and ankle bands are all issues to attempt if you wish to make completely sure that you simply’re seen on the street.

Do you want any particular gear?

In brief, no. Except for bike lights and a motorcycle, there’s nothing important it is advisable to purchase, although you most likely will need a helmet and a biking prime too. Past that the subsequent buy you would possibly think about is mudguards in case your bike doesn’t include them – for those who cycle in your work garments, you don’t need them splashed on the way in which in to the workplace. Additionally, the folks biking round you don’t need to be splashed both.

When you get into the swing of commuting you may additionally need to purchase a biking rucksack. This will likely be light-weight and have some sort of airflow system to assist keep away from your again getting too sweaty when you trip. Or, if you wish to don’t have any such issues, you possibly can spend money on panniers and stash all of your gear by your wheels.

Different gear you would possibly need to get is a few sort of route planner. This might be a biking app that plots the very best routes – whether or not you need the quickest or quietest roads – or a full-on bike laptop that attaches to your handlebars and tracks your trip in addition to guiding you.

How a lot will I’ve to spend on a commuter bike?

The excellent news is that there’s one thing on the market for each funds. Ollie Glover, grownup bikes professional at Halfords, says, “usually, £300-£700 will get you one thing dependable, sturdy and hopefully much less of a goal for thieves for those who’re locking it exterior.”

When understanding how a lot you need to spend, give some thought to how a lot you need to spend on repairs. “Merely put, the extra you spend, the higher the trip will likely be however the costlier the restore work,” says Glover. “A £100-£200 bike will likely be fantastic for commuting one or two days per week, and restore work over a yr received’t add as much as any greater than the price of the bike. Bikes that value upwards of £1,000 will likely be quick, mild and designed completely for the terrain, however restore work will likely be pricey and it’s possible you’ll discover them extra of a goal for thieves.”

What are the hidden prices?

We see nothing will get previous you, and we prefer it. On prime of the price of a motorcycle there would be the worth of substances, upkeep, new elements and probably issues like insurance coverage.

Merlin Cycles has accomplished a powerful little bit of beer-mat maths, understanding the prices of doing a 30km, two-hour commute over a yr by automotive and by bike. The net bike store and producer has totted up issues like the price of a motorcycle over its lifetime (which they assumed to be a bit over 4 years), in addition to a mean value of including your trip to your house insurance coverage and a laundry record of extras – a lot of which we haven’t bothered to spend money on.

The oldsters at Merlin banged all of it right into a calculator and it spat out £4,011 for the pleasure of sitting in a automotive in a visitors jam for a yr versus £268 cruising together with the wind in your hair. They didn’t even deduct the price of a fitness center membership you don’t actually need to trouble with now.

In our expertise, the price of an annual service has put us above that determine, however then we did make some noob errors. As an illustration, don’t simply assume you understand what the strain in your again tyre will likely be – doing so can result in issues that may be… er, pricey.

Nonetheless, hats off to Merlin for crunching the numbers. Right here’s its economics of biking to work for those who’d prefer to test the working.

How a lot upkeep does a motorcycle want? What’s absolutely the minimal somebody can get away with?

“Maintain the bike clear and lubricated and you can see that elements last more,” says Glover. “As an absolute minimal, restore issues once they break, however repairs are extra pricey if you find yourself changing elements fairly than servicing them. In case you commute roughly 30 miles per week, each six months (or when one thing doesn’t really feel or sound correct), get your bike checked out. Common evaluation of the bike may also help spot an issue earlier than it occurs. The wheels and drivetrain can take a beating in the course of the each day grind, and servicing or changing elements earlier than they break prevents additional harm.

Gained’t my bike get stolen?

A good query. Finally there isn’t any surefire approach to make sure your bike by no means will get nicked, however you possibly can massively scale back the possibilities. The best technique is to make stealing your bike extra problem than it’s price, or not less than extra problem than the bike parked subsequent to it. With virtually 400,000 bikes stolen within the UK yearly, it’s each bicycle owner for themselves on the market.

Earlier than you head out the door register your trip at bikeregister.com, document your body quantity and some other key particulars like your bike make, color and any distinctive identifiers. You may as well connect a coded label to your bike to assist establish it and deter thieves – the police typically have occasions the place they’ll do that for you without spending a dime. Strive looking out your native power’s web site.

In terms of your lock, don’t skimp. Locking a £1,000 bike with a £10 lock shouldn’t be a savvy transfer. In a really perfect world you’ll at all times have a safe indoor location to park your bike, not less than at work and at dwelling, however you additionally want not less than one lock if you do must retailer it exterior.

Bought Safe, a not-for-profit firm run by the Grasp Locksmiths Affiliation, charges locks as gold, silver or bronze, with the requirements regarding how lengthy they may cease a thief for – gold is 5 minutes, silver three, and bronze one. It’d sound miserable that even the very best locks solely purchase you 5 minutes, however for those who park in a well-lit, public spot 5 minutes of labor will hopefully deter would-be thieves. Getting two gold-rated locks of various varieties – a series and a D-lock – gives you the very best stage of safety, as a result of a thief will want completely different instruments to sort out every.

All the time ensure you’re locking your bike to one thing strong and stuck – and ensure it’s not a brief pole {that a} thief can elevate your bike, lock and all, over, and carry it away! Lock your body as the primary precedence (it’s the most costly a part of your bike), then the again wheel (ideally the body and again wheel might be locked in a single go), then the entrance wheel. If in case you have quick-release wheels, a lock for every is required, as thieves can pop off the wheel in a matter of seconds. The much less area between the lock and your bike the higher, as a result of which means there’s much less room for thieves to manoeuvre in opposition to the lock.

I’m undecided I can nonetheless cycle

In case you’ve ever ridden a motorcycle, it can most likely solely take you a brief trip to get again within the swing of it. In case you are frightened about it, don’t make your commute the primary time you trip – head out on the paths of Sustrans’ Nationwide Cycle Community, such because the quick rides really helpful for folks dwelling in London, Manchester and Newcastle.

In order for you some formal teaching, it’s possible you’ll nicely have the ability to get it without spending a dime. Cycle Assured places on classes in most London boroughs – test its web site or your native council’s for extra data. Cycle Assured often ventures exterior London for classes, so it’s price checking your your native council’s web site for alternatives to be taught to cycle once more with Cycle Assured, or certainly some other organisation.