Cycle commuting Q&A
17 April 2019
Want to cycle to work but got a couple of questions? Look no further than our commuting Q&A...
Cycling to work ticks lots of boxes: it saves you money, keeps you fit and gets your brain in gear for the working day. But we know that there are lots of barriers that can put people off about starting their day with a cycle: I don’t know how to cycle in traffic, I have to carry a lot of stuff, I might get sweaty are just some of the concerns we hear about cycling to work.
So we’ve put together our answers to five common commuting questions so you can get your working day off to a great start…
Q: what if I get lost? A: do a dry run
If you’re not sure of your route, use the weekend to do a practise cycle to work. Not only will the roads be a bit quieter, you won’t be clock-watching to make sure you’re at your desk and will have all the time in the world to stop and check where you are. Use CycleStreets to plan your cycle and you can choose options for quiet, fast and balanced routes.
Find out if your workplace has a BUG (Bike User Group) – there might be other cyclists who can give you tips, or even buddy up with you if they go a similar way.
Q: what if I don’t want to wear my cycle clothes at work? A: take a change of clothes
For hot days when you might get sweaty or rainy days when you might get wet, it makes sense to pack an outfit to change into when you get to work. Why not keep a pair of shoes under your desk or a spare shirt in your locker so you don’t have to carry them in with you? Find out if your workplace has a drying room or cabinet so you don’t have to cycle home in wet clothes (we are in Scotland after all…!)
Q: should I be worried about traffic? A: no, you just need to follow the rules of the road and ride with confidence
It’s true that roads are more likely to be busier during the week but this shouldn’t be something to make you worried or put you off cycling to work. There are lots of helpful resources to help with cycling around cars: check out our Essential Cycling Skills guide and videos to give you confidence to get out and about on the road.
Q: what if I get sweaty? A: keep a toiletries bag at work
Riding a bike can be sweaty work, even if you’re not cycling in hot weather (not that likely in Scotland!) or up steep hills (more likely). If you have them, take advantage of work showers, or keep a bag of mini toiletries in your desk drawer. It’s amazing what a bit of deodorant and wet wipes can do to freshen a person up!
Q: what if I have loads of stuff to carry? A: think about panniers or a cargo e-bike.
You don’t want to be cycling with a heavy laptop bag swinging around, so your options include a rucksack or if you have a lot of things to carry, have a think about panniers so you can carry your stuff without any strain. For those who have lots to carry or need to do a school run before work, have you every considered a cargo bike? More and more places let you trial cargo e-bikes for four weeks free of charge. If you want to hear more, get in touch with us.
And another point of reassurance, if you’re cycling during the day, to a meeting for example, you can also claim bike mileage allowance.
The Cycle Friendly Employer Development Fund is open now, and you can apply for up to £25,000 to help get you and your team on their bikes. Find out more here.