Traffic lights at green showing ok to walking and cycling.
Get set Go!

How to get Cycling around

If you or your company are thinking about getting on your bikes, here’s my Top Tips for being cycle ready. All tried and tested whilst cycling around Edinburgh, but these could work for anywhere in the UK.

Buying a Bike

Get on your bike…and start cycling

  • If offered by your employer, sign up to the bike to work scheme. Designed to save you money and spread the cost, with monthly tax free instalments paid through your employer.
  • Business owners in Scotland, who have been operational for at least 12 months, can check out the Energy Saving Trusts interest free bike business loan. This provides up to £30,000 interest free loan repayable over four years, to fund the purchase of electrically-assisted bikes.  It’s capped at £3,000 per bike and £6,000 per cargo bike/electric adaptive bike, except when a cargo bike is replacing a car/van for business travel (in which case the cap doesn’t apply) and unassisted cargo/adaptive bikes.
  • Try an electric bike – makes everything easier, is insanely good fun and takes away the dreaded hot sweaty mess issue.

Getting Started

  • Build your confidence – If you’ve not been on a bike since you were 8, don’t worry there are plenty of adult cycling classes. Cycling Scotland offer training for adults wanting to learn cycling on roads. 
  • Join a local group – cyclists are a welcoming lot and several have slower shorter rides, guided by experienced cyclists to build your confidence. Women might like to check out this inclusive women cycling group.

What you’ll need for cycling

Helmet for cycling safely
The cycling essentials
  • Safety first – we highly recommend a good helmet and some hi-viz accessories.  I dress like a banana attending a 90s rave.
  • Rain or shine – it rains a lot in Scotland, Invest in waterproof trousers, jackets and cycling gloves.
  • Buy panniers – you’ll want to carry stuff around, and keep it dry.
  • Don’t disparage the bicycle clip, especially if you wear flappy trousers.  A dress works surprisingly well (depending on the wind!).  I go for dress over leggings, tuck the dress in.
  • Comfort is key, buy a saddle wide enough for your seat bones or a padded gel saddle cover – you’ll thank me later!

Be prepared

Pumping up bike tyres before cycling.
Pump it up
  • Plan your route ahead – buy a cycle map or use apps like CycleStreets to help workout your best route.  In Edinburgh and the Lothians you can’t beat the Spokes bike map.
  • Make sure your bike is maintained regularly – either learn yourself through attending a bike maintenance workshop, or through local repair shop.  Get to know  your local bike shop and you will be rewarded with advice – these folk know their stuff!

Also remember:

  • You need to accept that it often takes a bit longer to cycle to places.
  • But remember, whilst cycling, you can embrace the time to think.
Picture of cake and coffee signifying post cycling treat.
Post cycling treat!
  • Cycling is improving your health and wellbeing – threat yourself to cake guilt free!

For more information please contact Jayne Saywell, one of our Business Advisors. Her knowledge, experience and ideas can help your company thrive in a wellbeing economy, and find joy in a sustainable future.

Categories: How to Guide