From the benefits of travelling by bike to maintenance and cycling skills training, we cover some answers to questions you may have.
What are the benefits of cycling?
Cycling is great for people’s health, as well as saving individuals time and money. It also helps reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. As an organisation, more people travelling by bike could help alleviate car parking issues, will reduce your carbon footprint and could help reduce absenteeism as research suggests people who commute by bike or on foot take fewer sick days.
We want to encourage people to travel by bike but don’t really know where to start?
Having secure bike storage should be your priority. Without somewhere to leave a bike people won’t feel confident their bike will be safe. If you don’t have outdoor space, then you could consider converting an unused space inside your building to bike storage and, whilst not ideal, wall mounted bike hooks will maximise capacity. A secure bike parking compound for 10 bikes costs in the region of £4,000.
We have staff who want to travel by bike but don’t feel confident riding on the roads, what can we do?
A great way to increase people’s confidence is cycle training. There are various organisations across West Yorkshire who offer this such as Cycle North. You could also run a bike buddy scheme where a more confident cycle commuter supports the less confident rider, showing them the best routes and giving them advice on where to ride.
Some of our staff would like to find out more about bike maintenance, is there a course they can do or any online resources we can share?
British Cycling has an easy to follow video that demonstrates a simple five-minute basic bike check. For information on how to fix a puncture, there are numerous videos and Park Tool have an excellent set of YouTube tutorials, which cover everything from mending a puncture to dealing with more complex issues. There are no face-to-face courses happening currently due to COVID-19 but we will update this guide as and when they begin to happen. It may also be useful for you to get a basic toolkit, a track pump, and some spares people can use at work.
We want to find out if staff have any particular barriers to travelling by bike or if there’s anything we can do to actively encourage them. Do you have a survey we can use?
A staff survey is a good way of identifying barriers staff might have to travelling by bike and the positive steps you can take to address them. We’ve produced a simple survey that you can download and adapt to suit your needs. Once you’ve identified any barriers, you can begin to address them with advice here.
What are ebikes?
An ebike is an electrically assisted pedal cycle and in the eyes of the law is the same as a bicycle. In the UK you must be over 14 years old to ride an ebike, but you do not need a licence, nor do you need to register it or pay vehicle tax. The bikes provide assistance up to 15.5 mph. They are a great way of overcoming several barriers such as West Yorkshire’s hills, longer commutes or lack of fitness. Certain cycle to work schemes now allow employees to spend more than £1,000 on bikes and equipment making better quality ebikes more accessible.
Do people need to wear special clothes to cycle in?
People can cycle in whatever they feel comfortable riding in, there’s no need for any specialist clothing and having a casual dress code at your place of work can be a great way of encouraging travel by bike. We would, however, advise having changing facilities and storage lockers, so people can get changed and store their belongings.