Beginner's guide to cycling to work
We might be biased, but cycling to work is a great idea. Keep fit, save money, and stop sitting in traffic jams. But what about all the practicalities? In this guide, we’re going to show you just how easy it is. Remember, you can save loads of money through a Cycle to Work scheme. Click here to find out about the schemes we offer.
Where are you going?
The first step is to take a look at what your route is going to be. Is it a quick jaunt through the city? A longer ride on country roads? Will you be getting on a train for part of the way? The sort of ride you do will determine the kit you need. If it’s just a short journey, you can often get away with just a bike, a helmet, and a waterproof for rainy days. Alternatively, you can turn your commute into a proper training ride and make the most of the time you spend getting to work.
When you arrive
Another thing that might impact your commute is the facilities you have at work. Do they have showers and somewhere to lock your bike? If not, you could use a gym near your place of work instead. If you think you’re really stuck, a folding bike is small enough to hide under your desk, or an e-bike will help you get to work without working up too much of a sweat. Of course, there’s also always the option of just taking it easy on the ride in.
What kit might you need?
Once you know what your route is going to be like and how you’re going to be riding, you can sort out the essentials that you might not already have. Unless you’re lucky enough to have bike lockers at work, you’re going to need a lock. You’ll also need to pick up some lights to see and be seen in early mornings or the evenings after work. No matter what your plans for riding, it’s a good idea to keep some waterproofs on hand – even if it’s just a basic jacket to keep in case you get caught out by an unexpected shower.
It’s also a good idea to think about how you’re going to carry your kit to work. A rucksack or messenger bag is the simplest way to do this, but if you’re planning on using your bike a lot, why not think about panniers? They attach to a rack which bolts to the back of your bike, and lets your bike take the load instead of you. As a bonus, they can help prevent you getting a sweaty back on your ride.
Our top tips
- If you drive to work on a Monday and bring a week’s worth of clothes, you can ride all week without luggage and then pick it up again on a Friday.
- Try to vary your route as much as you can – make the most of your ride and see your city!
- If you work at a computer, pick up some lights that you can recharge over USB and never have to worry about batteries.
- Finally, see if your company has a Cycle to Work Scheme. These schemes let you buy a bike and accessories tax free over a longer period of time, and can save you up to 42% of your hard-earned! Click here to find out more.