If you are new to cycling or haven’t been on the bike for a while, your best bet is to plan your ride. Work out the route that works best for you. Whether it’s a direct route that includes riding on roads or a more scenic journey along Canberra’s many cycle paths – find a route that makes you feel confident and want to keep riding. Plan & ride your route on a weekend when you’re relaxed and not in a rush so you know what to expect. Leave a little earlier the first time you ride and reward yourself with a coffee before work!
Transport Canberra’s new journey planner will help you find different route options from home to work by bike, bus, and/or light rail. There are also other online mapping tools like www.mapmyride.com.au, and www.openstreetmap.org
Set yourself a goal and break it down into steps – reward yourself when you achieve these smaller goals. Start with an achievable distance and frequency, and build from there. Try riding part of the way and increase the distance over time. Try riding to work one day, and home the next. Give yourself some rest days between rides.
If you think the distance to work is just out of reach, why not try mixing up your transport modes? There are Park and Pedal locations around Canberra where you can park your car for free and ride the rest of the way. Or try combining cycling with bus travel by parking your bike at a Bike and Ride. Most buses have a bike rack on the front so you can break up a longer journey with a bus ride.
Obey the road rules and make sure you are visible to other road users. Ride predictably and signal your movements. Whether you are riding on a path or the road, always stay alert and pay attention to and respect other riders, pedestrians and drivers.
Light coloured clothing is best for visibility. If you are riding near dusk or at night, you might like light to invest in hi-visibility or reflective clothing. If you will be riding in the dark or in low light conditions, front and rear lights are essential.
Follow this link for information on road rules for people who cycle in the ACT.
Dust off your bike, pump up those tyres and make sure your bike is ready to ride! If it hasn’t been used for a while, it might need servicing at your local bike shop. Brush up on basic bike maintenance skills with our bike care tips.
Ride in clothing you feel comfortable and safe in. Lycra is not necessary, but it’s OK too! Loose trousers, skirts or laces should be avoided – tuck trousers into socks to keep them away from moving parts. Consider taking clothes into work and changing there, or storing spare clothes and toiletries at work. Glasses are useful to keep the bugs out of your eyes, and gloves will come in handy as the weather cools down.
Find out where you can park your bike at work and what amenities are available. Is there a secure storage area you could use?
No matter where you keep your bike, its a good idea to make sure it’s locked at all times. Make sure you have a good quality lock (like a D-lock) and practise using it before heading out. Lock your bike securely to an immovable object, as tight as you can, low on the bike, and through multiple components if possible.
Stay tuned to our News feed for more tips and resources to help you get started with your ride-to-work routine.