Wednesday 13th September is cycle to work day. Swapping your regular commute for a bike has a whole bunch of benefits - it keeps you healthy, saves money and (most importantly!) cuts carbon emissions.
Wherever you’re heading this autumn, here are nine tips to get you into the saddle.
Get the right kit
Helmet and high-vis jacket are a must so you can be seen. Windproof gloves and jacket can take the chill off, and of course having a set of waterproofs come in handy - especially in the UK!
Check your route
Hit the cycle paths, and try to avoid major roads and busy junctions for a less stressful trip. Loads of websites have maps you can look at to find bike friendly roads, but there’s nothing like trying it for yourself. Why not practice cycling the route at the weekend to test it out?
Get your bike ship shape
If your bike has seen better days, book it in for a service at your local bike shop before you get going.
Then look after it
Give it a wipe down if it’s been through a lot of mud and grit, spray the moving bits with WD40 and oil on the chain. Lots of bike shops run workshops where you can get advice and pick up bike maintenance skills yourself.
Ride confidently, signal clearly and keep clear of the kerb. Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they’ve seen you, and give lorries a super wide berth, especially when they’re turning. And obviously, keep to the highway code yourself.
Lock it up safe
Scout out somewhere secure to lock your bike up. D-locks tend to be safest and adding a chain makes it extra secure.
Riding takes up lots of energy - so have breakfast before you head out. Take an afternoon snack to work too so that you’ve got some energy to get you home. And don’t forget a bottle of water to stay hydrated.
If it’s a short journey, you might be ok cycling in your work clothes. But take a change of clothes with you if it’s longer. If you’ve got showers at work, win. If not take some deodorant to spare your colleagues any sweaty meetings!
Don’t get deflated
Punctures don’t have to be game over for your ride. Skill up on how to fix one, and carry a puncture repair kit around with you.
This blog post is funded by our pals at Ben & Jerry’s.
Banner image: Jim Killock, creative commons.