Return to work and avoid public transport with our guide to confident cycling

It may be a little while yet before we’re summoned back to our offices for the 9 to 5, but when that day comes, how will you want to commute?

The thought of squeezing on to a rammed tube in the wake of the pandemic doesn’t bear thinking about for many, while for others, they may want to try a safer and more sustainable means of getting to and from work.

Whatever your motivation, cycling could be the ideal mode of travel for you.

Riding a bike is an efficient means of getting around town, not to mention it’s environmentally friendly. Plus, it’s a low-impact exercise suitable for many ages and abilities.

Thinking of getting into cycling? We’ve compiled a short guide to safe and confident cycling with leading e-bike subscription company, DASH Rides – who are offering Metro readers an exclusive 10% off their subscription with code METRO21.

Here’s how you can get to work and around the city quicker.

Getting on the road

Whether you’re new to cycling or simply want to build up your confidence, practice makes perfect. So, before you hit the main roads, go for a cycle away from the hustle and bustle.

Local parks and quiet residential streets are ideal places to build up your confidence and get used to the feel of a bike again. Doing this a few times in the run-up to commuting will also help get your fitness levels ready – not to mention a great excuse for some fresh air and a de-stress!

Once you’re ready, hit your local high street so you can get used to cycling in a busier environment. You may find it helpful to take note of what other cyclists on the road do; watching and learning from more experienced road cyclists can boost your confidence and help you feel safer.

Another benefit to practising is that you’ll get a feel for the kind of bike you need. 

If you’re only going to be commuting short distances, a fold-up or normal road bike could be a nifty solution. While for those who live further away, or perhaps aren’t as physically able, an e-bike could provide that extra boost to help get from A to B.

An e-bike’s gentle assist will also help you arrive at your destination without the need for a shower or full change of clothes. This helps reduce the amount of forward planning required to cycle to the office and may mean you end up doing it more often.

Get equipped

Once you’re ready to start cycling properly, it’s time to gear up – and for that, there’s DASH Rides.

DASH is making bikes affordable and accessible via its innovative subscription ‘Cycle to Work’ platform, DASH 4 Work. 

Unlike traditional work cycling schemes, DASH Rides’ DASH 4 Work platform enables employees access to a range of premium brand e-bikes which are delivered to your door within a couple of weeks rather than months, so you can get riding quicker.

And that’s not the only perk. DASH 4 Work offers e-bikes for as little as £27 a month – which works out less than the cost of your daily coffee. 

Not only does an e-bike make cycling a little quicker, with DASH, cycling to the office on a daily basis becomes a realistic option for those who live miles from the office or need a little extra help while on the move.

Did you know?

On average, e-bike riders travel 95% further than standard bike users. This is because the electrical assistance in the bikes helps people ride for longer and tackle hilly areas more easily.

With your DASH Rides subscription, you’ll also receive a free helmet, rider insurance and servicing, so you’ll rest assured you and your bike are always safe and road ready.

Should an accident occur, DASH will help get you back up and running on a safe e-bike quickly and efficiently – it’s all part of the package.

Companies of any size can sign up for DASH 4 Work at no cost. In doing so, more people can cycle to work safely and sustainably while improving their health. Plus, it means having a great bike at your fingertips for your leisure time too.

Plan your route

Got all the gear? Now you need some idea of where you’re going.

During the summer of the first lockdown, cities like London poured investment into active transport including cycling, in a bid to reopen the city safely and sustainably.

Have a look online to see if there are any bicycle routes you can use to get to and from work safely. Take a look at alternative routes so you can mix things up, or scenic routes for those more laid-back days.

You can also use your free time to practice your route so you have a good idea of the time it’ll take and plan your day accordingly.

If you can’t remember the whole route from memory, don’t worry – use your phone’s satellite navigation feature to get you there. Just be careful using your phone while cycling.

Staying safe

You’re nearly ready to cycle – there are just a few simple tips to remember.

The main thing is to make yourself visible – like, really visible. Opt for high-visibility clothing and bike lights so you’re obviously noticable to other cyclists and drivers day and night, whatever the weather. You won’t regret it.

As for the cycling, the general rule for using a bike in urban areas is to cycle about 1m from the kerb, asserting your right to use the road – you have the same rights as car drivers, so don’t be bullied. However, you also need to obey the same rules as car drivers, which means watch out for red traffic lights!

Be wary of other road users and don’t trap yourself between cars in traffic. You should also try to make eye contact with drivers coming into your path or, failing this, keep an eye on their wheels so you can see what the vehicle is about to do. This could help avoid any nasty prangs.

Finally, keep your distance from larger vehicles like buses and trucks and remember, if you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you.

Sign your company up to DASH 4 Work now and secure an exclusive 10% off employee subscriptions* with discount code METRO21

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