Ah, January. The month of new beginnings, failing diets and still feeling a bit ill at the thought of roast potatoes. Are you looking for a way to boost your wallet, get fit and reduce your carbon footprint in 2019? We’ve got the answer: commute by bike to work!
As well as being great for your health and the environment, having a regular cycle commute is a fantastic boost for your energy, and may be the most fun you’ve had on your way to and from work in a long time! But as with all new habits starting can seem daunting. So before investing in an expensive bike try riding with a free floating rented bike. It’s one-way so you can start riding alternate days, and there’s no pressure if you change your mind half way and want to get the bus! And just to give you a little hand getting started, here are some of our top tips for creating a sustainable cycle to work habit.
6 Tips to start commuting to work by bike
1. Test-ride your cycling route on the weekend
Knowing your route is half of the battle when it comes to riding a bike to work for the first time. You’ll want to pay attention to cyclists, pedestrians, of course CARS and your bike, so the last thing you want to do is stop to check Google Maps every 500 metres to make sure you’re actually riding to the office and not to the other end of town. To avoid this, do a test ride on the weekend when the streets are emptier and you’re under no time pressure to familiarise yourself with the route!
2. Go to bed half an hour earlier
A cycle commute may take slightly longer than a car, scooter or public transport commute and one thing is for sure: you don’t want to be on a rush during your first few rides. To make sure you’re not cutting short those much needed z’s when you start exercising more, make sure you get a half hour extra sleep!
3. Eat breakfast before you ride
It’s no secret that cyclists love coffee. Having something to eat and a hot drink (it doesn’t technically need to be coffee but come on) before you ride also gives you energy for that cardio you’re about to do – and warms you up before you head outside.
4. Have a snack at work if you need it
So you’ve clocked by now that cycling will make you hungry – especially when you start making it a daily routine. Stash a few snacks at work for that mid-morning hunger. Bananas, nuts and dried fruit work a charm!
5. Alternate days and ride 1 way
When you first start cycling to work it might be tempting to ride every day for maximum happiness/burning off those excess roast potatoes after Christmas. But save yourself from sore seat bones and exhaustion by starting off slow and commuting to work by bike one way every day or every other day. To make this super easy, start off with bike sharing so you don’t have to worry about leaving your bike locked up outside the office overnight – and treat your sore legs to a car ride when you’re not cycling! Here are some extra commuting tips for cars, scooters & bikes.
6. Don’t worry about gear – EXCEPT HELMET AND GLOVES
When you first start off cycling you may notice a lot of people riding with fancy gear. You don’t have to be kitted out in lycra from head to toe for your first commutes but there are two things you absolutely need. The first is a helmet. Some cities have wide cycle paths which many cyclists feel safe on without a helmet, but after a few google searches of bike accidents you’ll be glad you wear one. Trust me. And the second must-have kit you need is a pair of gloves, at least in temperatures below 15 degrees. Once you start commuting daily you’ll be saving so much money you can spend it all on fancy lycra.
Ready to start your cycle commute? Try out the mobility aggregator app Free2Move, you’ll be able to compare cars, bikes & scooters and find the closest & cheapest ride every time. PLUS, you’ll find great offers from different providers in your city!