Have you recently decided to start cycling to and from work? Perhaps you’ve taken advantage of the bike to work scheme and bought yourself a bike? Commuting to your place of work via bicycle is a great idea – hence the employee benefit scheme to enable you to purchase a bike. It’s good for your health, and good for the environment. However, if you haven’t ridden for a while, here are some tips to help you got ready for this lifestyle change.
1. Ease into it gently.
If you’ve joined the scheme because you want to get fit, that’s great. But too much too soon could work out badly. You should begin a weekly routine of gentle exercise before you start riding, to help get your fitness level and stamina up. Don’t try to ride into work every day of the first few weeks – gradually increase the amount of days you commute by bike, to make sure your body has time to recover properly. Don’t worry, it gets easier!
2. Are you road safe?
If you’re going to be cycling through busy city streets, or even through a small town, you need to be road safe. There are lessons in road cycling available in many different venues, as more people have started commuting by bike. Once you’re confident that you know the basics of safe road riding, go for some short, gentle test runs – these should help you know if you’re competent and confident enough to tackle the roads at rush hour.
3. Respect other road users.
Just as you should when you’re driving a car, or, in fact, walking the pavements, respect others around you. On a bike it’s possible to fit into gaps you’d never try in a car: this doesn’t mean it’s a good idea! Always give other road users plenty of room, respect traffic lights, and resist the urge to use pavements as a short-cut – cycle-lanes are there for a reason. Once you’re a veteran cyclist, spare a thought for others who may be slowing you down or making obvious cycling mistakes: after all, that was you not so long ago.
Want to find out more about Cycle to Work schemes? Visit the website of Co-Operative Employee Benefits website to find out about Cycle to Work schemes.