With the rising cost of travel and ominous global warming news, cycling to work may be your answer. If you live in a city or town you may be worried for safety whilst on a bike, but there are several safety tips to abide by to make sure you’re well prepared.
If you’re worried about the cost of a bike, check with your workplace if they offer a Cycle to Work scheme. Under the Government’s Cycle to Work initiative, this enables you to get a tax free bike for a hire fee for 12 months. At the end of the 12 months, you can decide if you want to continue with the bike hire for a small fee for the next three years, or the merchant could decide to offer the bike to you at market value. If your employer isn’t, you can suggest for them to join, as it is a completely free of charge service.
If you don’t feel completely confident on the roads, have a look at cycle and safety courses in your local area. These free or subsidised courses are a good way of building up road confidence, learning how to deal with traffic or as refresher courses if you haven’t cycled in a while.
Cycling in winter can be just as easy as cycling in the summer. To keep warm and dry on your bike, wear layers which are breathable which you can take off or put on as the weather gets warmer or cooler. Invest in a waterproof jacket and non slip gloves, and additionally you may want to consider waterproof trousers and shoe covers to keep your clothes clean. Remember to check your bike tyres regularly for any city detritus which may puncture them, and to keep them at the right pressure, as well as regularly cleaning and oiling your bike chain. Most importantly, make sure you are visible to other drivers by either wearing a hi-viz in the day or reflective vest at night, jacket or armbands.