Work out your route in advance
Work out what route you’ll be cycling before you first set out – look for cycle lanes and quiet roads. Try cycling your chosen route first so you know how long it will take you and when you will need to set off to make sure you can get to school on time.
If possible, pick the scenic route
A route through a park, leafy suburb or country lane can make your journey much more enjoyable, even if it adds a bit of time to your journey. The nicer your route is, the more fun you’ll have cycling it and the more likely you’ll be to keep it up! It might also be a good idea to have a shorter route you can use as well, on days when you’re running later, or if the weather isn’t the best.
Buddy up – find a friend on your route and cycle to school together
Cycling with someone else always makes it more fun. If you have a friend who lives near you or your route to school, you can meet up on the way and enjoy your cycle together. It’s also useful to have a friend around if you need help with a puncture.
Be prepared – for weather and punctures!
Making sure you have the right kit before you set out is really important – there’s not much worse than sitting in soggy clothes if you get caught in a sudden downpour! A good set of waterproofs, including a jacket and trousers, will be very useful. Make sure you have a good puncture kit as well, pushing a bicycle to school is not much fun. The quickest way to deal with punctures is to change the inner tube, you can patch up your puncture later at home. You will also need a hand pump and tyre levers to help you get the tyre off and then pump it up afterwards.
Keep your bike in good working condition
Making sure your bike is working will make getting out in the morning much easier. There are a few basic steps to keep it in good condition.
Do this basic ABCD check to make sure your bike is safe to ride before you head out.
Air – Have your tyres got enough air?
Brakes – Do the front and back brakes work properly?
Chain – Have you oiled it recently?
Direction – Are your handlebars fixed on tight? Is your seat on tight and pointing forward?
Keep your bike clean
A clean bike will work better, be easier to ride and the parts will have less damage from wear and tear. This article has a great step by step guide to cleaning your bike.
At the very least, oiling your chain will stop most of the squeaking, keep your chain running freely and keep other parts from getting damaged. Making sure your tyres are pumped up and are as firm as an apple is also essential – plus cycling is a lot easier on firm tyres!
Hopefully these tips will help you make sure you and your bike and ready to get cycling to school.