We say: ditch the car and ride to work. We say: Save time and money whilst getting fitter.
We say: Choose Life, Choose Bike.
In big cities like Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, or New York, millions of commuters are stuck in heavy traffic every day. In London alone, roughly 4 million people commute to work. With the average traffic speed well below 16 miles per hour, they spend up to 1.5 hours on their quest to get to work.
However, there is a different way: around 80,000 Londoners currently choose to beat the rush by using their bike, and thereby choose to be faster, fitter, smarter, and healthier. They are more productive at work, and they get to spend more time out of work.
We hung around our bike shed this week to pick up some top tips from our commuting team to help you choose bike as your main mode of transport.
1. It’s not all or nothing – we can’t all make the full time switch to bike commuting; real life often gets in the way. Don’t let that put you off making that effort though. Three days a week still makes a big difference.
2. There are more than one way to skin a commute. Maybe drive in / ride home / ride in / drive home. Or perhaps catch the train halfway and ride in from there or train in and ride home?
3. Lay it out – make sure your next day’s kit is prep’d - out and ready to go the night before and ready to slip into. Check the forecast and make sure you have a waterproof if you need one and ditch it if you don’t.
4. Have a think about where and how you lock your bike. We’re lucky with a bike rack in front of our reception area and a bike shelter tucked away elsewhere at our HQ site. You might not be so lucky. Avoid places where thieves get a free run at your pride and joy. Invest in locks – find somewhere you can leave the lock in place overnight saves having to lug it around too.
5. Bike maintenance – have a practice at fixing punctures on your commuter bike before you have one en route – the chances of being stuck on the grass verge with bleeding thumbs from too tight tyres can be avoided with a quick test to make sure you know how to release the tyre properly. Give that old beater a clean from time to time too. A clean(ish) bike is a happy bike.
Bonus – stash a set of underwear somewhere at work. You will forget at least once. Going commando and breezy ankles can be avoided...