Commuting by bike

People photo created by drobotdean – www.freepik.com

The global pandemic as well as the climate crisis have highlighted cycling as a good option for commuters, either for door-to-door journeys or for sections of your trip to work. 

Here are a few pointers to help you make the switch to the bike commute:

Justification 

If you thought you had a few solid excuses for not commuting, many of them are invalid, argues Dr William Bird, who set up the first Beat the Street game in 2010 to encourage people to walk and cycle more. In his entertaining piece 9 reasons I don’t cycle he evaluates a range of excuses including not wanting to arrive at work all sweaty as well as that old one: the weather. 

Finance

Ask your bike shop about the numerous cycle-to-work schemes which help you save a big chunk of the cost of a new bicycle as well as accessories. Read about how cycle-to-work schemes work.

How to ride in traffic 

If you’re not accustomed to riding in traffic you would be well advised to get some practice on quiet roads and taking some guidance before venturing into the rush hour maelstrom. 

British Cycling has produced a series of videos called Commute Smart  with useful advice on planning your journey, road positioning and preparing for the weather.  

Parking your bike 

You don’t want to lose your bike, so make sure it’s properly secured. Reading is notorious for bike theft so choose your parking spot carefully and if your bike is outside in a public area then use a sturdy lock or two to secure it to something solid. 

Read the advice from the London Cycle Campaign – Lock it lose it.

Bike hire 

Reading doesn’t currently have a bike hire scheme.  

But many of your destination cities do have schemes, which you can find on the internet. These include schemes run by the cities themselves, such as the Santander Cycles in London, or dockless hire schemes run by commercial enterprises such as Pony  or Mobike. You can even hire a fold-up bike from Brompton in several places.

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