It’s Bike Week! It’s time to celebrate our two wheeled friends and get out into the fresh air. Whether you are a bike enthusiast, an exclusively summer cyclist or are still a bit nervous about setting off, this week has something for you.
Cycling is one of those brilliant activities that is a great big mixture of free, fun, healthy and practical. Cycling to work means no face-to-armpit situations on the tube, cycling to the shops means to bus fare, cycling with your kids gives everyone some fresh air and exercise and cycling just about anywhere means wind in your hair and that bubbling sense of freedom that puts a great big smile on your face. You don’t need a gym membership, you don’t need fancy equipment, you don’t even need special clothes (well, except for the helmet). Lycra is optional.
Buying bikes from places like eBay may mean you end up with a stolen bike. To be on the safe side, check out some second hand bike shops near you or buy online from The Bike Project. Make sure they have been fully checked by a trained mechanic and are safe for you to ride. But when it comes to helmets, don’t buy second hand. Even the smallest dent in a helmet can make it less resilient.
If you already have a bike but have no idea if it’s safe to ride, take it to Halfords during Bike Week (10th – 18th June). They are offering free bike checks with their trained mechanics to make sure your machine is in perfect working order. All bikes of any size or discipline are welcome and you don’t even need to book – just turn up.
No idea how to set off or just feel a bit shaky at the idea of pushing off into traffic? Sign up to one of TFL’s free cycling courses and get to know what to do on the roads. They have courses for everyone so whether you’ve never sat on the saddle before, want a bit of confidence when it comes to loud London roads or need some help with nighttime cycling and busy junctions, there is a free course for you in your area.
Mark it up
Get your bike marked and registered on BikeRegister so that if it does get stolen, the police are more likely to find it and get it back to you. And then buy a sturdy lock.
Don’t get lost
If you’re a super cyclist and looking for more paths to ride, check out these cycling maps from Sustrans.
Jump on, get cycling and be safe.