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Top tips for commuting to work by bike

Published on: 08/09/2020

Are you thinking of taking the plunge and commuting to work by bike? If so, you’re not alone as at Milton Park during lockdown, on some days we have seen the number of bicycle journeys to and from the Park increase by 300%!

But what if you haven’t cycled before? What if you aren’t sure of the best and safest route to take? What if you have no idea how to even start? 

We’ve pulled together some top tips to help you decide if cycling is right for you.

1. Find a Cycle Buddy right here on the Park

We are fortunate to have a brilliant cycling community at Milton Park. It is made up many of cyclists who commute in from pretty much the whole area around us, including Oxford.

When it comes to which is the best route to take, look no further than our brilliant community right here on the Park.

We have a Cycle Buddy scheme with willing cyclists who are more than happy to cycle in with you initially, just so you can find your feet or wheels!

Just email Veronica Reynolds, our sustainable travel advisor, let her know where you will be cycling in from and she will easily match you with someone who lives nearby. Easy.

Our buddies will be really happy to talk you through their experience and travel in and home with you.

Mepc-382. Research your route

You can't go wrong with Cyclestreets.

It’s a brilliant website that helps you to journey plan your route in your area and includes photos of the cycle infrastructure along the way so you will know what to expect or have to navigate. 

Start planning your route here: https://www.cyclestreets.net/

3. Practise your route on a weekend when it’s quieter

Why not try out your route on a weekend so that you haven’t got pressures of commuting traffic or needing to be in the office at a certain time? 

It’s advisable to avoid having a meeting straight after you arrive at work after your journey in. That way you can focus on the route and getting worrying about an immediate meeting when you get to your desk.

5. Join the Love to Ride cycle scheme

This month, there is Cycle September which is a fun, global competition hosted by Love to Ride which helps more people enjoy the benefits of riding a bike.

Sign up and every time you ride or encourage someone else to in the community, you’ll earn points and be entered into a prize draw. 

Find out more here: Cycle September.

6. Use one of our ebikes

We have 18 bikes and six ebikes available to hire across the Park, all of which can be unlocked through a handy app.

To hire a bike, you need to download the Donkey Republic app from IoS or Android and follow the instructions.

Make sure you register using your Milton Park work email address as the system will recognise that and not charge you for rental.

Find out more here: https://www.miltonpark.co.uk/about/amenities/bike-hire

7. Take things in small stages

Cycling is brilliant for your health, wellbeing and there are cost savings to be had rather than using public transport or a car.

Remember to break it down into stages though and don't put too much pressure on yourself to be a Sir Chris Hoy.

It's a positive lifestyle change and with the right support, it should be a rewarding experience too.

8. Lastly, stay safe

It may sound obvious but make sure your bike is fitted with front and rear lights so you can be seen in the dark or when there are poor weather conditions.

Some cycle helmets also have lights embedded in them. Consider high visibility clothing or accessories.

We are also starting works over the next few weeks to reduce the speed limit throughout Milton Park to 20mph which will make it a safer place for pedestrians and cyclists.

Further reading:

Find out about our new shared pedestrian and cycle route: https://www.miltonpark.co.uk/news/our-new-shared-pedestrian-cycleway-route-phase-1-is-now-open-at-milton-park

Read Veronica's latest blog on cycling to work: https://www.miltonpark.co.uk/blog/thinking-of-cycling-to-work-its-easy-plus-a-free-e-bike-giveaway

Happy and safe cycling!

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