I need to start cycling to work. Any advice? - HotUKDeals
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I need to start cycling to work. Any advice?

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I move offices in March and we're going to be charged to park. I also have a son starting nursery. For these reasons we're going to be giving up our second car and I'll need to get into work under my …
aronandjim Avatar
1m, 5d agoPosted 1 month, 5 days ago
I move offices in March and we're going to be charged to park. I also have a son starting nursery. For these reasons we're going to be giving up our second car and I'll need to get into work under my own steam at least 3 times a week.

The journey is about 5 miles each way and it's mostly fairly busy roads (there's some bits of canal I can use I think).

I've got a decent mountain bike (I think), but I've read conflicting things about other necessities.

Any thoughts?
aronandjim Avatar
1m, 5d agoPosted 1 month, 5 days ago
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#1
I've also got a pretty solid motorbike chain I intend to use as a bike lock. Think it'll be suitable? Too heavy?
#2
good effort. wrap up warm this time of year/lights. and take some lynx for the summer months. if new location is charging can you place bike indoors anywhere for safety?
#3
If you are happy with your bike then stick with it, or you could consider a racing bike as that will go faster. The bike needs lights and you will need helmet and cycling clothes as you will need to shower when you get to office and get changed. I trust there is shower facility at the office?

Also something to put stuff in that goes on the back of the bike could be helpful. Great to cycle to work as it is gratuitous exercise and saves you travel money.
#4
aronandjim
I've also got a pretty solid motorbike chain I intend to use as a bike lock. Think it'll be suitable? Too heavy?

Bigger the bike lock the better, leave that at your place of work to secure your bike each day. You can always carry a small lock for popping into a shop etc. Make sure you get good lights and make sure you use them. Even in daylight a good rear light is great for make motorists aware of you. Also get some nice reflective gear (waterproof!). If its only 5miles a mountain bike or hybrid would be fine (and as you say you then maybe able to use other bridleways).
Also check if your company does the cycle scheme. You can get lots of bike bits, you don't have to use the vouchers to buy an actual bike.

Edited By: manc80 on Jan 18, 2017 19:27
#5
aronandjim
I've also got a pretty solid motorbike chain I intend to use as a bike lock. Think it'll be suitable? Too heavy?

You can leave the lock at the office so you dont have to hike it around with you every day.
#6
If you can leave the chain at work, do that. It'll save having to carry it each way.

See if your work has a cycle to work scheme. A cheap road bike will be faster than the mountain bike. But it's an expense you can avoid if you're happy on the bike you've got. Consider getting road tyres though.

decent lights
Waterproofs
Warm gloves
Helmet
Thermal layers for the winter. Compression base layers do a good job of keeping the morning chill out.
High vis clothing/rucksack - be safe be seen.

Good luck!
#7
Get your employer on board, especially if an office move has prompted reconsideration of commuting method. https://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/free-cycle-parking
and possibly not applicable as you indicate you already have a bike, but otherwise https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycle-to-work-scheme-implementation-guidance
#8
get a tandem and let the other person pedal
#9
Read the cycling parts of the highway code. Don't take risks. Don't run red lights. Hybrid bike might be a good option depending in the condition of the roads. Get mud guards if you don't have them already
#10
I'd say the absolute essentials are your bike, a bell, a helmet, some half decent bike lights and preferably a high visibilty top. You don't need loads of new cycle-specific clothing, a new bike, new tyres, panniers, mudguards, computer... All those things you can get later, if or when you feel like what you have already is holding you back (slowness, flapping clothes, back ache, sogginess, can't see how many calories you are burning in that order)!
#11
Get a mud guard as posted above. There's nothing worse than getting battered with flicking water up your back. And get some pre-practice. 5 miles of non stop peddling can be knackering. Builds up your legs quickly. I had to bike to work when I was a shift manager at a pub. Did not drive at the time. And had to start at 7am. Was starving by the time I got there. Burnt off any breakfast lol oO

Edited By: dusktilldawn on Jan 18, 2017 20:11
#12
Keep with the mountain bike if the canal path is rough.
#13
manc80
aronandjim
I've also got a pretty solid motorbike chain I intend to use as a bike lock. Think it'll be suitable? Too heavy?
Bigger the bike lock the better, leave that at your place of work to secure your bike each day. You can always carry a small lock for popping into a shop etc.
I often see seemingly abandoned bike chains/locks attached to lamposts/railings/etc- I just worry that the chain itself will get nicked if I leave it there over night!
#14
Have a look at the site below to plan a route. It gives 3 routes - fastest, safest and balanced. So it might recommend a slightly longer but ultimately away from nasty roads route.

https://www.cyclestreets.net/journey

It suggested a cycle path I didn't even know about for the majority of my wifes route to work...
#15
Don't go too cheap with your bike, it'll cost in the long term. Good water proof bottoms and jacket ( thin ). GOOD lights. Tire plasters instead of the old school repair kits, super quick and work well.
#16
Millionvoltage
Don't go too cheap with your bike, it'll cost in the long term. Good water proof bottoms and jacket ( thin ). GOOD lights. Tire plasters instead of the old school repair kits, super quick and work well.
What should I be looking for in a set of lights? I was just looking at these:
iEpoch Cyclists USB Rechargeable LED Bike Light Set Waterproof - White Headlight and Red Taillight https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0197P4OS2/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_xV9FybV8G96CP
Reviews seem good?
#17
dusktilldawn
Get a mud guard as posted above. There's nothing worse than getting battered with flicking water up your back.
Looks like mudguards are available pretty cheaply. I'm guessing you don't need to break the bank for them if all they do is get in the way of mud? What can go wrong!? Any recommendations? Will I need front and back?
#18
please use decent lights for your bike.

IV seen some cyclists on roads with them and they flash really well from far.
id like to say thank you to them for doing a rightful thing, if only I could stop one.
as a driver I'm fed up of those cyclists who use the roads on a night and don't use lights but rely on them what you get with the bikes.
#19
Get free cycle skills training through your local council.
Plan the route you will cycle - recce and get familiar with it and all hazard points.
Cycle defensively- be constantly anticipating threats - treat cycling as a dangerous sport (it is). Enjoy constantly being in the moment, fully aware and assessing road, vehicles, etc.
Get a BMX type helmet that gives decent protection from brain injury - E.g. Pro-Tec Classic.
Invest in good all weather puncture resistant tyres - e.g. Continental Grand Prix.
Don't copy behaviours of silly cyclists - instead watch 'silly cyclists' on YouTube.
Don't trust the roads. Seriously, don't trust the roads - there are potholes, incorrect road markings, slippery road markings, dangerous cycle lanes etc. etc. When you use the road, you are responsible for your own safety.
Roads change - potholes appear, broken glass, spills etc. Don't trust a road because it is familiar.
Wear hi viz - it gives the impression of being a responsible cyclist, drivers may have more patience reducing risk.
Learn basic bike maintenance.
Check tyres and brakes daily, service the bike regularly.
Carry the two Allen keys which need to adjust brakes, seat post,etc. (Lighter than multi tool).
Practice what they teach in cycle training - don't slip into bad habits.
Aim to get from A to B safely - and understand that not staying focused on that very significantly increases risk.
Understand just how dangerous it is - and what else you can do to increase safety. Do not believe promotional messages about how cycling is safe.
#20
If your MTB has knobbly tyres change them to something more slick, this will make a big difference on the road.
I'd use it for a while see how you get on then maybe invest in a nice comutter bike.
#21
The lights are the main issue. The little ones that flash are pretty useless when riding in traffic - in the headlights and tail lights of other traffic they get lost. Good, bright constant lights.
Riding safely... Do let cars, lorries, buses know what you are going to do. Many cyclists seem to think it demeaning to stick their hand out to signal. Don't undertake large vehicles in slow traffic even if there is a cycle lane. There are do many blind spots on buses and hgv's You run the risk off getting pushed if they move over to let traffic through (before everyone jumps up and down and says 'they shouldn't do it, and you are within your rights' this is about self preservation. Your rights are a small comfort to your family when you are Dead). Don't swerve around puddles, drains or pot holes without checking either.
I drive buses and coaches round Cambridge. I have experienced cyclists trying to kill themselves on an almost daily basis. I can't believe how ill prepared they can be, and being the most vulnerable road user they seem to abdicate responsibility for their safety to complete strangers.
You are doing the right thing and preparing for this, congratulations and good luck.
#22
Ride in middle of the road, try not to leave you bike in same place as thats when it will get stolen. Always try to park it next to a bike thats better than yours. If you have quick release wheels/seat get quick release locks. lock wheels and frame.

Be seen get a jacket like so (go for waterproof and windproof) https://www.google.co.uk/search?ie=UTF-8&client=ms-android-samsung&source=android-browser&q=altura.night+visikn&gfe_rd=cr&ei=JjSCWLXhF-jk8AeisI6QAQ


As been said mudguards are a must, you will get more wet from spray than actual rain.

As for lights watch what your buying. I bought one of amazon for about a tenner,its amazing so much i have to use it facing down as it blinds everyone on opposite side of cycle track. Although the 1st time i noticed was when some guy was going hell or leather towards me screaming "i cant see,i cant see" but not once tried to slow down. Found it quite funny.

Edited By: farmeruk1 on Jan 20, 2017 16:09: Edit

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