As working from home rules start to ease, and more of us are making our way back to the office, you might choose to hop on the cycle – it’s warm enough!
If it’s been a while since you put the pedal to the metal, or you’re trying it out for the first time, here’s some guidance to get you safely on your way.
If you’re considering a cool and breezy cycle into work as opposed to stifling public transport or a stuffy, boring car-ride, we can’t blame you.
Cycling your morning commute offers more predictable travel times and a breath of fresh air, not to mention the fact that it’s an eco-friendly alternative to motor vehicles.
And it can also help your waistline! Burning those few extra calories before you’ve even started your working day is a great way to ensure you get your recommended minutes of daily exercise.
According to Better Health, the health benefits of regular cycling include:
- increased cardiovascular fitness
- increased muscle strength and flexibility
- improved joint mobility
- decreased stress levels
- improved posture and coordination
- strengthened bones
- decreased body fat levels
- prevention or management of disease
- reduced anxiety and depression.
But, for all the benefits of cycling to work, there are some things to keep on top of. Namely, safety, hydration and sweat! So here are some tips on how to keep you getting on your cycle day after day.
Our top tips for cycling to work
1. Plan ahead
It’s a good idea to plan your route so you can include as many quiet, shaded streets as possible. Cycling amongst the traffic can not only be intimidating but will also make you feel warmer due to the vast number of fumes being emitted from each vehicle as you pass.
Luckily, there are lots of route-plotting apps available to help you with this, so experiment with the different options to find which one is right for you.
If your commute is particularly lengthy or you don’t feel comfortable cycling on busy main roads, you might decide to ride part of the way. At a stopping point, you could leave your bike in a bike locker or attached to a bike rack before walking, driving, or using public transport for the rest of the journey.
This way, you’re still enjoying the great outdoors on your way into work, and you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your bike is ready and waiting for your return home.
Just make sure you plan by devising a route beforehand and checking your local area for available bike storage.
2. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is a crucial part of ensuring you don’t overheat or get to work feeling ill or dizzy after your morning commute.
Make sure you carry a bottle of water with you at all times and remember to keep sipping it at regular intervals throughout the ride. It’s also important that, once you’re in work, you keep drinking water throughout the day to replace any fluids you have lost as a result of sweating during your active commute.
3. Stay safe
Don’t make your way to work in a rush, weaving through traffic and putting yourself in dangerous situations. As we’ll reiterate in the next section, leave yourself ample time.
By leaving extra time for your journey, you won’t need to rush (and likely sweat more) or put yourself in danger. Also, you give yourself time to stop for a morning coffee, or in the unfortunate incident of puncture, you have time to stop and repair.
Wear a helmet. There are no excuses not to. It could save your life.
4. Freshen up on arrival
Try to leave your house an extra 10-15 minutes earlier than you usually do to ensure you have enough time to cool off and freshen up after your commute.
Many offices now include showers and changing rooms to accommodate your busy commute. Still, if this isn’t something currently available, a good option is always joining a gym or leisure centre near your office. Membership will allow you to use the facilities there before you head into work—of course, it helps if you also use the gyms other facilities!
Bringing a change of clothes is also an option, especially if you’re going to be cycling long distances. It makes sense to cycle in breathable exercise wear, then change on arrival.
If you’re lucky, you may find that after a leisurely-paced ride, all you need to do is whip off your helmet, smooth down your hair and you’ll be ready to start the day.
Ultimately, the best way to know what will work for you on your active morning commute is to try it out for yourself.
Whatever you choose to do, remember to slow down, stay safe and enjoy! A workspace that includes a secure cycle shelter or compound will put your mind at rest when you’re locking up your bike. For any questions you have concerning your cycle security – feel free to contact us today.