Make the switch to a cycle commute
Posted - July 17, 2020
Over the last few months’ a lot of people have got into cycling. Some for the first time and some for the first time in a long time, but as lockdown restrictions ease, there are a lot of people considering changing their commute and cycling to work.
If that sounds like you then you’re in luck, we’ve put together some helpful pieces of advice that can make the whole experience less daunting, easier to keep doing, and more enjoyable.
Here are a few thoughts to take your commute to the next level…
The Great British weather is consistently inconsistent. Cold and Rainy in mid-July, warm and sunny November days, it really can be anything. So how do you prepare to ride in what could be any weather?! The answer is layers. Base layers, jerseys, jackets, gloves will give you the flexibility to change as you go along to keep you comfortable. After all, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing right?
Keep spare clothes at your workplace
An easy way to make the process easier is to plan in advance and have as much of your stuff as possible already in your workplace. If you know you’re cycling in then leave a change of clothes there. It also gives you peace of mind that halfway through your ride you won’t realise you’ve left your underwear at home!
It may sound obvious but when you're traveling back and forth to work then you will need to be carrying things with you and the right type of bag can make all the difference. Frame bags on your bike can make quickly accessing items very handy, seat post bags are great for packable clothing in case you quickly need some waterproofs and handlebar rolls put smaller items at your fingertips.
Learn basic repair
Better to know it and not need than the other way around. Simple bike repair can help you sort out any unexpected issues on your journey. Keep a small toolkit and repair essentials like innertubes in a small frame bag and you’ll be happier knowing you can handle anything that may happen.
Get the best quality lock that you can afford. Look for the ‘Sold Secure’ rating and ideally go for a ‘Gold’ rating. There’s a whole range of locks out there to choose from that can be easily transported, HipLok even produces wearable ‘belt’ locks that are super-portable and strong.
You can be sure that you will, at some point, be cycling in the rain or on wet surfaces. You may not have thought about mudguards when buying your bike but that first journey where you realise that the surface water you are riding through is being sprayed all over you, will make mudguards essential for your next trip. Even a short rear mudflap will make a big difference.
When the nights start drawing in and the mornings start a bit darker a good quality lightset will keep you riding. Try and find a set that you can charge via USB, the last thing you want is to realise you haven’t got enough charge for your return trip!
Choose your route
This is one of the most fun parts. Your previous route to work would have always been dictated by roads, not anymore. Cycling gives you the freedom to find a route that works for you, the ‘shortest’ route may not be the quickest any more, you may find a picturesque cycle-path that you can use, you may want to find a route that limits the amount of time you ride on roads. The choice is yours.