Save money and start cycling to work
by Kelly Henderson (follow Kelly on Twitter: @kellythekiwi)
I am trying to weigh up the pros and cons of biking to work. I don’t own a bike, and it’s been a while since I have ridden one so I don’t want to spend a fortune. Here are some tips for getting started:
#1 Purchase your bike through the Cycle to Work scheme
Cycle to Work is an initiative that forms part of the Government’s Green Transport Plan. The scheme was established to promote a healthier lifestyle, and to benefit the environment. Another advantage is that cycling cuts the cost of your daily commute – great for those of you who are trying to save money.
With the Cycle to Work scheme, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a new bike. If your employer has signed up then you will be able to purchase your bike and accessories tax free! Not only that, but it takes the cost of the bike from your wages each week/month. You can save up to 42% on a new bike.
#2 Take a FREE training course to develop cycle confidence
If you haven’t ridden a bike since you were at school then you might be feeling a bit nervous about cycling in London’s busy streets.
Cycle Confident offers FREE training for people who live, work or study in the following boroughs:
City of Westminster
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
London Borough of Newham
London Borough of Lewisham
London Borough of Waltham Forest
The training will give you the confidence you need to feel safe on the roads. Once you feel confident enough to cycle your daily commute, ask your instructor to help you find the best routes to the places you visit most often.
#3 Attend a FREE cycle maintenance workshop
Learn the basics of maintaining your bike for free and cut the costs of small repairs such as punctures and the changing of brake pads.
The Tower Hamlets Wheelers offer a free workshop on the third Saturday of each month. Tools, advice, tea and cakes are provided but donations are welcome to help cover the costs. If you can’t make it on a Saturday then the Hackney Cyclists run a workshop every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month. You can just drop into the workshops but allow yourself enough time to work on your bike, and bring along parts if you know what it is that needs repairing.
Get out of the cars and off the buses, stay above ground and start cycling to work. Be safe and follow my money saving tips on getting started with your new bike.
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You may also want to check our Guide for Cycling in London.