With many people looking to reduce short distance car journeys and incorporate active travel into their lifestyle, here are some tips for using your bike even more than for leisure, exercise & fun.
Check out how bicycle commuting will improve your body here.
If you are considering riding to work instead of driving or using public transport, do a dry-run on a non-work day. The ride in, (whilst not under pressure of getting to work on-time) will allow you to work out what time you will need to leave home and also look at alternative routes / paths. The route you drive might not be the most safe or fastest route to ride. Using shared paths, bike lanes and even trails and canal tow paths can all make the ride-in more interesting.
While frame protection stickers protect the parts of the frame which usually suffer cable rub and chain slap, commuting or riding to the shops, brings up plenty more opportunities to scratch your bike. Parking and locking your bike needs a little bit of thought. Gaffa / Gorilla tape layered around where lock contacts the frame does two jobs. Firstly it protects your frame. Secondly, it makes your bike look a bit rubbish and should put off potential thieves.
Keeping your bike clean is essential for keep it running well in the long term. Check out our blog on cleaning here. Even if you are pushed for time, a quick wash, rinse and drivetrain degrease / oil can be done in just a few minutes with practice.
Many bike riders choose to ride with daytime lights for extra visibility, especially when the weather is gloomy. Lights provide various levels of power output, and come in all shapes and sizes. Check out our blog on lights.
While giving your bike a quick clean, use this as an opportunity to check it is still safe and working as it should. Check out the British Cycling video on checking your commute bike below.
Bikes get stolen much more often these days. There is nothing worse than finishing work, looking forward to getting home and then finding that your means of transport has been taken. The key to avoiding this, is to make it as hard as possible for potential thieves.
1 Invest in a decent quality lock.
2 Swap quick release skewers & seat post bolts for Allen key bolts. If your ride is electric, remove the battery and take it with you (can you sneak a worktime re-charge?).
3 Make sure your lock is attached to something non-movable which it can’t be lifted over or easily cut through. Ideally, purpose built bike parking locking plates. Locking through both the frame and wheels is the best way to deter a bike thief, they will look for an easier option.
4 If possible, lock it where it can be seen by yourself or a work mate. Or at the very least somewhere with a high volume of foot traffic passing by. Lock the bike with the lock mechanism off the ground and facing downward & out of sight.
5 Find out if there is opportunity to park & lock the bike within your workplace premises. As more people take to riding in to work, there might be enough people to justify some work based parking.
6 Consider taking out bike insurance which covers commute parking.
The good news is, you can pop to the shops or commute on any bike and in any clothes. However, riding in colder, wetter weather is much more comfortable in weather specific clothing. Depending on where you live and work, there could be some lovely new bike riding infrastructure or maybe opportunities to get off the tarmac and use canal tow paths, bridleways, greenlanes and parks. If you need a little assistance to get to the office with less effort, have a look at our ebikes. Here’s our curent pick of bikes and accessories to get you to work or the shops and maybe have a bit of fun on the weekend…