Once commuting becomes a part of your routine, it’s easy to keep it up – but it can be a struggle if you get out of the habit. Getting back into that routine needn’t be hard work, here are a few handy hints to help you ride more this year:
Have your kit ready to go in the morning
Have your bag packed and ready to go, and make sure you have both gloves and other essential items
It might seem simple, but many a cycle commute has been abandoned due to one missing glove, a run-away overshoe or lost pump. Don’t get caught out – pack a bag before you go to bed with everything you need to take to work, and make sure you put the clothing you plan to ride in next to it or ready by your bed. That way, the whole idea of getting your kit together and getting out the gate on two wheels seems much easier. If you’re looking for the perfect backpack or pannier, check out our review of the options available here.
Check the weather forecast
Checking the forecast before bed means you won’t wake up to any surprises. Sure, you might drift off in the knowledge you’re going to get the wet the following day, but at least that means you’ve packed the right kit for the occasion. If you’re goal is to commute 2 or 3 days a week, knowing what the forecast will be all week will also help you pick the better days, thus making you more likely to achieve your weekly mileage, too.
Keep your bike in good running order
Owning a few maintenance items will help you look after your bike
Nothing punctures your good intentions like a flat tyre in the morning. Flats, dodgy brakes and squeak gears are all things that are likely to make you think twice before getting on your bike. For maintenance tips, check out our how to’s to keep you riding on a sturdy steed all year, and if you need some advice on what maintenance kit you should have at your disposal, check out our post on essential maintenance tools.
Keep it interesting
Sometimes riding the same way work every single day can get boring – but there is really no need to do that. There are plenty of mapping tools, such as MapMyRide which can help you plan new routes so you see more of the world on your way to work.
Get a bit competitive (with yourself or others)
You may be using your bike just to get where you’re going, but why not make it a bit of a game? You can do this simply by timing your daily ride and aiming to get a little bit faster as the weeks and months go on. Alternatively, you can get a bit more hi-tec and log on to Strava. As long as you have either a smart phone, or a GPS computer which hooks up to a computer, you can use Strava – the website which logs your speed over certain segments, and displays your ride on a leaderboard with every other Strava user who has ridden that section. Of course, you don’t have to be competitive with other people, but you can ride to beat your own times.
Reward yourself and think of your health
Unless you’re cycling to lose weight, your daily miles mean you can enjoy the odd indulgence – be that an extra biscuit with your morning tea or a super-duper latte with cream on top. According to thecaloriecounter.net, the average person cycling at 12-14 miles per hour will burn an extra 235 calories in 30 minutes, so that little carrot on a stick ought to keep you going.
On top of that, your 30 minutes of cycling can also cut your risk of heart disease by 50%, so if the extra munch isn’t on your menu, then you do get the benefit of knowing you’re pedalling your way to a happier heart. Check out the Urban Limits CycloFacts for more amazing stats.
Keep checking Urban Limits for new articles and advice
We compile our tips and tricks to help you stay out on your bike all year long – so keep coming back for more information which will keep you inspired and riding through the year.
Images courtesy Savio Sebastian, Michelle Arthurs