On yer bike

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What

Chopper, mountain bike, racer or penny-farthing. Whatever wheels you have – get ‘em rolling! Switching just a few short car journeys for a nice bike ride can have a big impact on your wallet, health and on air quality.

on-yer-bike

Why

For people
Modern sedentary life makes us ill; cycling is a great antidote. Skipping the car or bus and hopping on a bike lowers stress levels, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity and increases stamina, improves leg strength - in fact, cycling uses every muscle in the body yet is kind on the joints.

In the UK pollution from combustion engines cause around 13,000 deaths a year, cycling emits nothing. Avoid fumes by cycling through parks and down side streets whilst being part of the solution.

You can also save up to £3,000 a year by switching some journeys from car or public transport to bicycle. It can be quicker, especially in urban zones, and you could save on gym fees too!

For planet
Bicycles get you from A to B with zero carbon emissions. Nill, nada, none.

In some countries, including the UK, more than 40% of car journeys are less than 2 miles (4km) long - and during those first five minutes cars emit twice as much pollution.

These short car journeys are not very fuel efficient: cars can emit twice as much pollution in the first five minutes of running, and these distances can easily be covered with a bike.

How

It’s easy to say, 'just get on yer bike', but the reality is there may be some small barriers in your way. Here’s your four step guide to getting over them:

Get your bike and kit
If you own a bike, you’re all set. If not, head to your local bike shop. We love the Cycling Experts for independent bike shop listings to bike-buying advice; it's a veritable bible of cycling resources. Next step is the kit. Check out our friends at Torm who specialise in comfortable gear for cyclists. Alternatively Wiggle offer some great discounts. See if your employer has a Cycle to Work Scheme as you'll save around 32% on bikes and accessories.

Cycle safety
If you’re a nervous or new cyclist, help is here! Many councils offer free bike safety training and plenty of organisations have affordable courses available too. Trust us, you won’t look back (unless it’s safe to!).

Plan your route
Google maps is great at cycle routing, often providing a quicker versus quieter option. If you want a dedicated cycle route website, check out Sustrans for national cycle routes and Transport for London’s interactive cycle map.

You may like to find a cycle buddy for your first few rides.

Care for your bike
Keep your bike in good shape. A well-maintained bike is safer, will last longer and is a lot more fun to ride. Many bike shops offer introductory courses on basic bike maintenance and of course will let you book your bike in for regular check ups, to keep your noble steed in tip top condition.