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Get on Your Bike - How to Catch the Cycling Bug

Published on: 07/06/2018

When you think of cycling, do you see tonnes of lycra, hollow fibre bikes with a million gear settings and helmets shaped like a shark’s fin?

It is easy to catch the cycling bug, particularly with the many health and environmental benefits which come from a daily cycling commute!

Starting is simpler than it seems and doesn’t require a lycra makeover or investing a small fortune in high-tech equipment. 

Here is our simple guide on how to get on your bike and commute to Milton Park!

 

What are the benefits of commuting by bike?

Health

Cycling is a very effective form of exercise which helps burn fat, build muscle, and get you from A to B at the same time!

It is a fantastic way to boost your mood in the morning and early evenings (usually when your mood is definitely in need of one!)

Cycling is also a weight-bearing, low-impact exercise, which is good for joints, with a much lower injury risk than running.

In fact, the overall health benefits of cycling, such as a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, outweigh any injury risks by 20 to 1!  

 

The Environment

Cycling is a pollution-free mode of travel, cutting fossil fuel use and emissions.

You also contribute to decreases in traffic congestion. As the state of pollution, smog, and the quality of air in our cities becomes a more pressing issue, you can feel great knowing you have chosen one of the greenest modes of transport out there.

 

What do I need to start cycling?

Here is a simple starter kit:

  • A bike
  • Helmet
  • Safety lights or reflective tape
  • Tyre repair kit
  • Floor pump
  • A bike lock

There are plenty more accessories to try once you have been bitten by the cycling bug, but this is all you need to start!

 

Commuting by bike safely - simple rules to follow

Wear a helmet

Making sure you can be seen is one of the best ways to keep safe whilst cycling, this can be done by wearing reflective clothing, having lights on your bike and wearing a helmet.

 

Find a safe route

Your safest route to work may be different to the one you drive in. Check maps for cycling lanes, you may even find there are short cuts for this more compact form of transport. There are also websites and apps such as CycleStreets or Strava you can use to plot out a safe and cycle-friendly route.

 

Use your gears

Knowing your gear range and changing your gears to run alongside your incline will take any undue stress or strain for your knees, keeping your legs and joints healthy. 

 

Which commuting bike should I buy?

You can buy any type of bike which suits your commute. Unless your office is on top of a rocky mountain, you don’t have to go high-end or high-tech. Even a second hand bike, or raising an old bike from the dead is a great option. We would recommend having an older bike serviced to make sure it is safe to take on to the road.

Road bikes are designed to be fast on road surfaces, so may be suitable for some commutes. Hybrid bikes are a popular choice for commuters, as they mix elements of road bikes and mountain bikes to create a bike perfect for a varied city commute.

We also recommend getting a bike fit to make sure your ride will be as comfortable as possible. This involves making sure the bike is at the right height and angle to suit your body and preferred positioning. This will ensure a safe and comfortable commute.

Ebikes are also growing in popularity as commuter bikes. These battery-powered cycles use a ‘pedal assist’ function, which gives you an electric ‘boost’ as you pedal, making hills and tougher terrain a breeze, and increasing your speed, making sure you complete your commute in a flash. 

Interested in ebikes? Milton Park is hosting an ebike demo day on the 14th June at the Park Centre, with several manufacturers attending.

 

Cycling to and in Milton Park 

It is easy to cycle to Milton Park from surrounding areas such as Didcot, Abingdon and Oxford. You can find popular local cycling routes here.

There is also a dedicated cycling path on the south side of Park Drive running through Milton Park. We also have dedicated bike storage at most of our buildings.

We also have hire bikes which you can even leave at Didcot Parkway Station for those who want to quickly catch a train.

Read more about how to easily hire a bike in Milton Park.

We also take the security of your bike seriously at Milton Park. Thanks to our fantastic security and storage, there have been no reports of bike thefts from Milton Park’s bike shelters over the past 5 years.

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