Tomorrow (September 13th) is Cycle To Work Day, the annual event that will see tens of thousands of people, among them working women and city professionals, get on their bikes and cycle into work.
Greater numbers of people are waking up to the benefits cycling can bring; not least for your health and wellbeing. Cycling provides a relatively simple way of getting in your exercise before the day has even begun. It also provides the chance for the busy professional to snatch some valuable ‘me time’ each morning and evening, and enjoy a little space with no phonecalls, emails, friends or family to distract.
However, getting back on to your bike after what might have been a long time – or braving the roads at peak commuter hour – can feel quite daunting. It doesn’t need to be scary; but to get yourself off to the best possible start there are a few simple things you can do to prepare.
1. Plan your route
Google Maps is a good place to start but, if you’re a little nervous, it might be worth thinking about a quieter route with less traffic. Think scenic, even if it means going the long way.
2. Find a bike and make sure it’s safe
If you have one but haven’t used it in a while, make sure that the tyre pressure is high enough, the seat is at the best height for you and the chain has been oiled. Your local bike retailer will help you out.
If it’s been a while since you got in the saddle, why not do a test run? The roads will be quieter on a Sunday, so take the wheels for a spin and get a feel for the road. You’ll be much more confident on the actual commute.
4. Dress yourself ready
Trouser seams will become uncomfortable very quickly, so save your workwear from getting ruffled and get in the lyrca zone! So that you’ve less to think of in the morning, try leaving your work clothes in the office the night before, or alternatively pack your lightest weight outfit into your bag before you go to bed. Having a small hairbrush, set of facewipes and a deodorant is a good idea too.
5. Know where to leave your bike
Forward planning will be your saviour here. If you’re planning to use a Santander bike, make sure you know where the nearest bike stations are to your home and work. It might even be worth being the early bird if you live in a busy area – its first come, first serve and you don’t want to miss out! If you’re using your own, check out what the facilities for storing it are at your workplace, or the nearest place to leave it when you get there.