Would be great if people could share their experiences of using a bike. Loads of people may not feel confident enough or don’t know about the benefits of electric bikes. Would be great if people could share their experiences.
2 posts were split to a new topic: My experience of daily travel using a bike
We have folding bikes, but use the car for longer journeys. At the Bike Show in Birmingham we got a ride on electric bikes. Our last mile home is all uphill. We have bought a kit to convert a third bike we already had, and it is great for trips to town. We share it at the moment. Cheaper than buying an electric bike. Only problem is that to keep the motor going you need to hold the switch down with your right hand, so if you need to put your hand out to indicate a right turn or pull out in traffic, the motor stops and you have to pedal to keep the speed up.
I use my bike for all my daily travel - as I’ve just posted elsewhere, the car is used relatively rarely, for family visits and holidays (and for taking the dog to Epping Forest!).
I’ve been commuting to work by bike for over 10 years and wouldn’t ever consider doing it any other way (other than changing to an e-bike when my legs are too old to manage the 22 mile round trip!). I’ve seen a lot of changes in London over those years - infrastructure is definitely improving and many routes are becoming more appealing for inexperienced riders. However, I would definitely recommend that anyone who is considering it find out if their local council provide cycle training - many do (even the ones you least expect!) and that really does make a difference. Knowing where to position yourself on the road and having the confidence to do it might get you a few grumpy comments from drivers, but it will make your ride safer!
In London, you don’t need lots of gears - I ride a single speed bike. The type of bike you use is really all about your own personal choice. What feels right for you won’t feel right for everyone. I’d recommend something with a fairly upright riding position if you’re new to it, as it gives you a good view (and makes you more visible). Plus it’s generally more leisurely. I’d also go for something that has a rack - or that you can attach a rack to. Riding with a rucksack in hot weather is not pleasant - panniers all the way!
I also use the bike for local shopping, going to the cinema, going to the theatre - pretty much everything really! I’m not a long distance rider, or a speed cyclist. For me, the bike is genuinely the best way to get from A to B - to enjoy the view, the weather and my city. Plus it means that I don’t have to go to the gym and the costs once you have bought the bike are pretty low!
It’s worth looking at organisations like London Cycling Campaign or Cycling UK for tips on routes - plus membership of either of those will give you third party insurance if you’re not sure about going for specific bike insurance.
I loved your post Tommo. Getting onto a bike for the daily commute is just a question of changing one’s mindset IMHO; wear bright and save clothing + helmet and be prepared for rain some days. I have produced my own shoes just because I got fed-up with the usual offering for cyclists in the context of either hot or wet weather…see attached. With something like these and cycle shorts, one can put a nice jacket on and very quickly be ready for work within a few minutes of arriving by bike and feeling great. I also find travelling by bike very theraputic in that it gives you a space to think through the day just passed or about to begin and to be able to do this whilst exercising, it does not get much better! I usually cycle through the winter but this involves other issues and not everybody will want to do that. The main point to remember is that for each journey completed by bike, you have done something constructive during that day whatever else gets thrown at you! Happy cycling and to those who are still hesitating: don’t!
Tim - really like this. How have you ‘produced your own shoes’. They look great… Have you made them yourself for yourself or are you selling them?
I had them made in China. I would not recommend them for a day-long ride but for the daily commute they are great. I put my socks (or a fresh pair if it is cold and I do not want to ride bare footed!) in my pannier and can quickly be changed for the office after arrival. You can buy them in my shop (https://active-living.eu/opencart1/activewear-outside/Outdoor-life-footwear/Practical-cycle-leisure-shoes) but I so far have only this colour and sizes 40 -45 inclusive. If you have any problems, please let me know.
Can I put images such as these on Twitter?
Since you have shared them on this forum …
Thought to ask you first.
Just posting this here.