In accordance the Nationwide Journey Survey two-thirds of individuals in Nice Britain aged over 5 by no means cycle or cycle lower than annually on common, and a European Fee survey discovered that solely 4% of individuals within the UK cycle each day. These aren’t spectacular numbers – within the EU, solely Cyprus (2%) and Malta (1%) have a decrease proportion of each day cyclists.

If the numbers elevated to nearer the 43% of individuals within the Netherlands who cycle each day, the advantages can be unimaginable, each individually and for society as a complete – suppose lowered air air pollution and a more healthy inhabitants decreasing the strain on well being providers. And as extra individuals begin to cycle, the infrastructure will proceed to enhance, which in flip results in extra cyclists biking in safer environments.

So ask your self, why aren’t you biking to work? And hopefully no matter causes you provide you with will probably be coated under. Except the reason being you work from home. You’re off the hook.

Why must you cycle to work?

“Biking to work is an effective way to incorporate train in your weekly routine, with out the necessity for costly fitness center memberships or private trainers,” says Luke Harper, head of British Biking partnership at HSBC UK. “You get to work feeling invigorated, endorphins are flowing round your physique and also you begin the break day on a pure excessive.

“A motorcycle can be low cost to purchase in contrast with a automotive, significantly with sos many employers participating within the Cycle to Work scheme, and it’s less expensive to run. In lots of UK cities there are additionally bike sharing schemes which make utilizing a motorbike straightforward and inexpensive.

“There are quite a few advantages to biking however, maybe most of all, biking is enjoyable. Most of us discovered to cycle as a baby when it was an exercise which offered a way of freedom.”

So that you’ll get fitter, get monetary savings and have a blast. We’d additionally counsel that for most individuals in cities biking to work will probably be a minimum of as quick as taking public transport, even in the event you’re pootling alongside at a simple tempo, as a result of you may decide a extra direct route and the one sudden delay you would possibly expertise is a flat tyre.

Is biking to work harmful?

A standard worry, particularly in London, however the risks of biking are overplayed. Take it sluggish and your confidence will shortly construct.

“Our perceptions of the hazards to biking far outstrip actuality. For many people, these are psychological boundaries which stop us from getting on two wheels,” says Harper.

“You don’t should be a bicycle owner to experience a motorbike. In case you’re nervous about using to work, there are methods to construct your confidence together with doing apply runs through the weekends when there’s normally much less site visitors, which is able to enable you to to familiarise your self with the route. We regularly take into consideration biking as a method of commuting however, in actual fact, using a motorbike recreationally round your native park or on nationwide biking routes will help you re-learn the abilities or strategies that could be rusty after not being on a motorbike for some time, and assist to spice up your confidence earlier than utilizing the roads.”

Just a few stats from Biking UK drive house the purpose that biking is secure. Just one bicycle owner is killed for each 29 million miles coated by bike on British roads, and mile for mile the danger of loss of life is about the identical as strolling. Moreover, biking is so good on your well being that statistically, the years of life gained outweigh the years misplaced by means of accidents by round 20:1.

Do cyclists want to fret about air air pollution?

Solely on extraordinarily uncommon events. In London TfL will challenge alerts when the air air pollution could be very excessive and it’s value contemplating not biking outside (you may join textual content alerts or obtain an app through airText). Nonetheless, generally the well being advantages of biking far, far outweigh the potential dangers of air air pollution. And the extra individuals experience, the much less threat there will probably be.

“Biking is usually a resolution to lots of the points going through cities and cities throughout the UK, whether or not that’s weight problems, despair or air pollution,” says Harper. “Finally, extra individuals biking can cut back the variety of automobiles on the highway, decreasing air pollution and serving to in the direction of a greener, fitter, more healthy Britain.”

How match do I should be?

This is determined by how far you reside out of your work and whether or not there are any large hills en route, however we’ll allow you to into somewhat secret – not that match in any respect. Metropolis biking tends to contain quick bursts of delicate effort which might be curtailed by site visitors lights steadily sufficient that you just don’t get all that out of breath. You’ll be able to after all put the hammer down and up the depth of your train whereas biking, however in the event you’re trying to tick off your 30 minutes of each day reasonable exercise, biking is right.

You additionally don’t should cycle to work each day – in the event you get drained at first, do alternate days till your health and confidence improve and you are feeling like doing extra. And in the event you dwell too far out of your work to cycle the entire method a folding bike might be a nifty resolution for a part of the journey, and so they’re simpler to stash at house or at work than common bikes.

Am I going to get sweaty?

Take it straightforward in your experience and also you gained’t want a bathe if you arrive at work. And in case you are getting sweaty, shopping for your self a biking prime will assist as a result of light-weight, sweat-wicking supplies actually make a distinction. You don’t should go for Lycra throughout – a prime and a jacket for winter will see you proper, and so they’re normally odour-resistant so you may put on all of them week with out having to scrub them. There may be additionally loads of fashionable biking gear out there that has the technical particulars it’s good to keep cool and sweat-free whereas being modern sufficient to put on off the bike.

In case you actually don’t wish to get sweaty in your commute, there’s at all times the choice of an e-bike. Using with somewhat help continues to be good train, however it’s solely on the depth of strolling, so that you gained’t sweat. If e-bikes are fully new to you, try our e-bike purchaser’s information for all the information you want.

Do it’s good to put on a helmet?

There isn’t any regulation saying it’s a must to put on a helmet within the UK, and biking marketing campaign teams are very lively in opposing any try and introduce such a regulation. The argument is easy – enforced helmet sporting results in fewer individuals biking and one of the best ways to make biking safer is to have extra individuals doing it.

Whatever the authorized necessities you would possibly effectively select to put on a helmet – they will save your life in a sure kind of accident, though you shouldn’t count on them to do an important deal in the event you’re hit by a motorcar. In case you’re eager on lugging a helmet with you on the finish of your experience, then a folding helmet you may slip right into a bag is likely to be what you want.

What lights do I want?

The minimal requirement below UK regulation is that you’ve got one entrance mild, one rear mild, one rear reflector and reflectors in your pedals. The lights may be flashing, however should flash between 60 and 240 instances per minute. There are some extra detailed laws concerning the quantity of sunshine emitted, however in apply you don’t really want to fret about that. Simply purchase some lights, and put them in your bike from sundown to dawn.

If you wish to go above and past together with your bike lights there are a lot of nice choices. Lights that mission laser photos onto the bottom a number of metres in entrance of your bike, wheel lights, reflective clothes and ankle bands are all issues to attempt if you wish to make completely sure that you just’re seen on the highway.

Do you want any particular gear?

In brief, no. Apart from bike lights and a motorbike, there may be nothing important it’s good to purchase, although you in all probability will desire a helmet and a biking prime too. Past that the subsequent buy you would possibly think about is mudguards in case your bike doesn’t include them – in the event you cycle in your work garments, you don’t need them splashed on the best way in to the workplace. Additionally, the individuals biking round you don’t wish to be splashed both.

When you get into the swing of commuting you may also wish to purchase a biking rucksack. This will probably be light-weight and have some form of airflow system to assist keep away from your again getting too sweaty when you experience. Or, if you wish to haven’t any such issues, you may put money into panniers and stash all of your gear by your wheels.

Different gear you would possibly wish to get is a few form of route planner. This might be a biking app that plots one of the best routes – whether or not you need the quickest or quietest roads – or a full-on bike pc that attaches to your handlebars and tracks your experience in addition to guiding you.

How a lot will I’ve to spend on a commuter bike?

The excellent news is that there’s one thing on the market for each funds. Ollie Glover, grownup bikes knowledgeable at Halfords, says, “usually, £300-£700 will get you one thing dependable, sturdy and hopefully much less of a goal for thieves in the event you’re locking it outdoors.”

When understanding how a lot you wish to spend, give some thought to how a lot you wish to spend on repairs. “Merely put, the extra you spend, the higher the experience will probably be however the dearer the restore work,” says Glover. “A £100-£200 bike will probably be wonderful for commuting one or two days every week, and restore work over a yr gained’t add as much as any greater than the price of the bike. Bikes that price upwards of £1,000 will probably be quick, mild and designed completely for the terrain, however restore work will probably be expensive and you might discover them extra of a goal for thieves.”

What are the hidden prices?

We see nothing will get previous you, and we prefer it. On prime of the price of a motorbike there would be the worth of drugs, upkeep, new components and probably issues like insurance coverage.

Merlin Cycles has accomplished a powerful little bit of beer-mat maths, understanding the prices of doing a 30km, two-hour commute over a yr by automotive and by bike. The net bike store and producer has totted up issues like the price of a motorbike over its lifetime (which they assumed to be a bit over 4 years), in addition to a mean price of including your experience to your property insurance coverage and a laundry record of extras – a lot of which we haven’t bothered to put money into.

The parents at Merlin banged all of it right into a calculator and it spat out £4,011 for the pleasure of sitting in a automotive in a site visitors jam for a yr versus £268 cruising together with the wind in your hair. They didn’t even deduct the price of a fitness center membership you don’t really want to hassle with now.

In our expertise, the price of an annual service has put us above that determine, however then we did make some noob errors. As an illustration, don’t simply assume you understand what the strain in your again tyre will probably be – doing so can result in issues that may be… er, expensive.

Nonetheless, hats off to Merlin for crunching the numbers. Right here’s its economics of biking to work in the event you’d wish to test the working.

How a lot upkeep does a motorbike want? What’s absolutely the minimal somebody can get away with?

“Hold the bike clear and lubricated and you’ll discover that components last more,” says Glover. “As an absolute minimal, restore issues once they break, however repairs are extra expensive when you find yourself changing components slightly than servicing them. In case you commute roughly 30 miles every week, each six months (or when one thing doesn’t really feel or sound correct), get your bike checked out. Common evaluation of the bike will help spot an issue earlier than it occurs. The wheels and drivetrain can take a beating through the each day grind, and servicing or changing components earlier than they break prevents additional harm.

Gained’t my bike get stolen?

A good query. Finally there isn’t a surefire method to make sure your bike by no means will get nicked, however you may massively cut back the possibilities. The best technique is to make stealing your bike extra problem than it’s value, or a minimum of extra problem than the bike parked subsequent to it. With virtually 400,000 bikes stolen within the UK yearly, it’s each bicycle owner for themselves on the market.

Earlier than you head out the door register your experience at bikeregister.com, file your body quantity and every other key particulars like your bike make, color and any distinctive identifiers. You may also connect a coded label to your bike to assist determine it and deter thieves – the police usually have occasions the place they’ll do that for you without cost. Strive looking out your native power’s web site.

Relating to your lock, don’t skimp. Locking a £1,000 bike with a £10 lock shouldn’t be a savvy transfer. In an excellent world you’ll at all times have a safe indoor location to park your bike, a minimum of at work and at house, however you additionally want a minimum of one lock if you do should retailer it outdoors.

Offered Safe, a not-for-profit firm run by the Grasp Locksmiths Affiliation, charges locks as gold, silver or bronze, with the requirements referring to how lengthy they’ll cease a thief for – gold is 5 minutes, silver three, and bronze one. It would sound miserable that even one of the best locks solely purchase you 5 minutes, however in the event you park in a well-lit, public spot 5 minutes of labor will hopefully deter would-be thieves. Getting two gold-rated locks of various sorts – a series and a D-lock – offers you one of the best stage of safety, as a result of a thief will want completely different instruments to sort out every.

At all times be sure to’re locking your bike to one thing strong and stuck – and ensure it’s not a brief pole {that a} thief can carry your bike, lock and all, over, and carry it away! Lock your body as the primary precedence (it’s the most costly a part of your bike), then the again wheel (ideally the body and again wheel may be locked in a single go), then the entrance wheel. In case you have quick-release wheels, a lock for every is required, as thieves can pop off the wheel in a matter of seconds. The much less house between the lock and your bike the higher, as a result of meaning there may be much less room for thieves to manoeuvre in opposition to the lock.

I’m undecided I can nonetheless cycle

In case you’ve ever ridden a motorbike, it should in all probability solely take you a brief experience to get again within the swing of it. In case you are apprehensive about it, don’t make your commute the primary time you experience – head out on the paths of Sustrans’ Nationwide Cycle Community, such because the quick rides really helpful for individuals residing in London, Manchester and Newcastle.

If you would like some formal teaching, you might effectively be capable of get it without cost. Cycle Assured places on classes in most London boroughs – test its web site or your native council’s for extra data. Cycle Assured often ventures outdoors London for classes, so it’s value checking your your native council’s web site for alternatives to be taught to cycle once more with Cycle Assured, or certainly every other organisation.