Commuting by bike is a great way to get regular exercise and save money at the same time.
Here’s some things to think about:
What do you need to take with you to work?
How will you carry it? There are two, common options:
- Rucksacks are light, cheap and can carry a lot of stuff, they can be uncomfortable in hot weather, though
- Paniers lower your centre of gravity so you’re more stable, but they can be expensive
Do you need any new clothing?
If you need to cycle in all weathers you’ll need a range of clothing to match.
Are your lights good enough?
If you haven’t done much cycling in the dark, consider:
- Buying a more powerful front light – especially if you have to use unlit roads or paths
- Using more than one rear light – batteries can run down quickly and you might not be able to tell if a rear light has failed
- Buying lights that use rechargeable batteries – if you keep them topped up, you’ll know there’s sufficient charge to get you there and back
- Alternatively, dynamos ensure you always have power for your lights and modern dynamo systems have a battery backup for when you’re waiting at traffic lights
What facilities are there at work?
- Somewhere to leave your bike securely
- Somewhere to change clothes and – if you cycle in the wet – somewhere to dry your clothes for the cycle home
- Ideally, a place to take a shower
Do you have a good bike lock?
Especially if you need to store your bike in a public place. Is there somewhere to secure your bike to? – ‘D’ locks are the most secure but they can be heavy – perhaps you can keep one at work or at the station?
Find out if your company runs a cycle to work scheme
It’s a legal way to buy a new bike with a subsidy from the tax man. There are a number of schemes administered by national bike shop chains (like Halfords) as well as one administered on behalf of local bike shops. These schemes are free and HMRC-approved, so there’s little excuse for your company not to join one.
Do you need better insurance?
You household insurance might not cover you against theft while commuting.
We’d be happy to try to answer any specific questions you might have here.