Back by bike
Nearly one in three people plan to cycle more now than before the pandemic. Will you?
Cycling is a straightforward way to build exercise into your daily routine. By cycling, rather than sitting in a car, you can increase your cardiovascular fitness, burn fat and calories, and build strength, all while being gentle on your joints.
Cycling is fun! Not only does it produce happy hormones (endorphins), it is also a wonderful way to get some headspace, feel more energized at the beginning of the day and forget about stress at the end of it.
Bicycles cost far less to run than cars. By swapping four wheels for two, you’ll be saving money on fuel and maintenance costs. You might even find you don’t need a car at all, saving you money on insurance, road tax and MOTs. What could you spend that money on instead?
Cycling is great for the environment. Cyclists reduce their own emissions AND are less exposed to air pollution than drivers. Cycling opens up more scenic routes, so you can not only help nature, but also spend more time in it.
Low cost options
A new bike doesn’t have to cost the earth. If you’re looking for a way to save money, why not consider getting a ‘Re-Cycled' second-hand bike.
Cycling as a family
Cycling as a family might sound a bit daunting but you can find out how to keep everyone moving in the same direction using Bikeability's excellent resources.
Adapted bikes for people with disabilities
There are a range of adapted cycles available to people with disabilities. Pavillion on the Park in Eastleigh allows riders to try out different types of bike with trained staff and volunteers there to help.
Back on your bike
Plan your route
If you have a destination in mind but aren’t sure of the best route, apps like Komoot or CycleStreets make planning your journey easy.
Komoot tells you how much of your route and which parts are covered by cycleways, how flat or hilly the route is and even what kind of surfaces you’ll be riding on. If you just want to get out for a cycle, you can also find local routes that others have done in the area.
CycleStreets offers you the fastest and quietest routes, along with a balanced route, with turn-by-turn directions and mini-maps.
If you’re feeling a bit rusty or you're not confident riding on the roads, My Journey offers FREE cycle confidence sessions though Monty's Bike Hub. It also has lots of tips online to help you get cycling.
If you are using your bicycle for commuting, make sure to check out My Journey's Canny Commuting webinar series!
Prep your bike
Get your bike ready the weekend before. Make sure tyres are inflated, brakes are working properly, the chain is oiled, and lights have enough battery power. Here’s a helpful checklist to make sure your bike is roadworthy.
Make sure you are wearing a helmet and visible clothing. On longer journeys it’s also a good idea to take some tyre levers, a spare inner tube, a bike pump, a multi-tool and bike lock.
The best way to make cycling a habit is to start pedalling. If riding to work feels like too much right now, how about riding to a friend's house or just for enjoyment?
Stay on your bike
Get to know you bike
Like a car, bikes need a bit of regular maintenance to get the best performance out of them. My Journey has pulled together some useful videos on how to fix a flat, keep your brakes working well and keep your gears from grinding.
Get your boss onboard
Many employers operate a salary sacrifice scheme to help you save money on a new bike. Ask if your employers runs such a scheme or whether they would be interested in doing so.
If options at your workplace are limited, you could ask your employers to apply for a workplace travel grant. Organisations have used grants to fund new bikes, equipment, and secure cycle parking.
You could also look into getting a bike doctor to visit your workplace, where they can offer a free bike service for employees and give advice about any further work that may be needed.
If you're planning using your bicycle for commuting to work, don't miss My Journey's canny commuting webinar series.
Give yourself an incentive
By registering with Love to Ride you can win prizes by just cycling for 10 minutes or more.
Apps like Strava let you log and share your rides with friends, so you can challenge yourself and others.
Make it a habit
Things don’t usually become a habit without them being obvious, easy and rewarding.
You can make cycling the obvious thing to do by putting out your cycling clothes by the side of your bed and packing your bag the night before. You could even take your car key off your key ring but make sure you have your bike lock one on there. Hang up your helmet next to the front door so you can’t miss it.
You can make cycling easy by going shorter distances. Take your bike onto public transport to break longer journeys down. Rather than saying you’ll cycle for a certain distance or amount of time each week/every day, make the rule to just get on your bike – even if it’s only for 5 minutes. Chances are you’ll enjoy yourself and go further than you thought.
You'll feel great after a cycle anyway, but why not give yourself a little reward – take the money you would have spent on petrol and put it towards something that makes you happy.
Be the cyclist you'd like to meet
Most cyclists are careful, considerate and respectful, but unfortunately one negative experience with a cyclist can lead someone to form a lasting bad impression of cyclists in general. To make sure you are not that cyclist, follow the Highway Code for cyclists, make sure you can be seen or heard (by using a bell if approaching from behind) and follow good cycling etiquette.
Thanks for cycling
By choosing to cycle rather than drive you'll reduce congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions!
Cycling rather than driving...
- Once a week saves 104 car journeys a year
- Three times a week saves 312 car journeys a year
- Five times a week saves 520 car journeys a year
A huge thanks to cyclists on behalf of everyone in the Borough!