Safety First! Get Your Cycle Helmet On For National Cycle To Work Day!
Safety first! get your cycle helmet on national cycle to work day!

Safety First! Get Your Cycle Helmet On For National Cycle To Work Day!

07 August 2018

Wednesday 15th August 2018 is Cycle to Work Day, the ‘UK’s biggest cycle commuting event’! Across the country people will be taking part in ‘bike breakfasts’ where employers lay on breakfast for everyone who cycles to work that day, as well as ‘ride ins’ where people cycle together into work providing support for those who are not regular cyclists.

It’s not too late to get your employer involved – send you HR department this link to see whether they would like to take part!

August is a great time to start cycling to work. The weather is generally kinder to cyclists and the roads are not so busy. The school holidays have a big impact on this – no school runs and people taking time off work for holidays means less cars on the roads. So if you’re new to cycling to work, why not start now and by September you’ll be a pro!

Below we share some information about keeping safe on your cycle to work.

Keeping Safe On Your Cycle To Work

Keeping safe when you’re on your bike is essential, yet it’s surprising how many people don’t take basic safety precautions like wearing a cycle helmet. Although this is a contentious subject, with many experts saying that helmets only offer protection against minor knocks and falls, they are a good idea if you’re new to commuting on your bike. A wobble at the traffic lights or hitting a pothole could result in a fall where you’ll be thankful that you have a helmet on.

Make sure your cycle helmet fits and you’re wearing it correctly. The brim of the helmet should only be a few centimetres above your eyebrows so that the helmet covers most of your forehead. If you wear your helmet too far back, although you may think it looks cooler, it won’t be doing what it’s designed for – protecting your head.

As well as a helmet it’s a good idea to make yourself as visible as possible. If you’re planning to cycle in your work clothes - depending on how bright and bold your wardrobe is - you may not be very conspicuous. If your work clothes tend to be dark or muted (black, grey, navy blue, beige etc.) consider wearing something bright or reflective over the top. High vis clothing doesn’t have to look ugly, there are lots of stylish options available that will make you stand out and look good at the same time.

Having suitable footwear is also a basic safety precaution. You don’t have to have cycle shoes – in fact if you’re relatively new to cycling it’s not recommended to wear cleats until you’ve got some experience! Instead a basic pair of trainers or even your work shoes will be fine. However avoid sandals and flip-flops, slip on shoes and high heels.

At this time of year you may be cycling to and from work in daylight. But, we’ve already had the longest day so the nights are drawing in and so if you keep cycling to work into the autumn you will need some bike lights. The front light needs to be a white light, and the back needs to be red. A spare pair of batteries for each light is a sensible precaution in case they stop working while you’re out.

Before setting off on your first cycle to work commute, read up on the Highway Code. There are a few rules specifically for cyclists that you may not know about; these are designed to keep you safe. Check out GOV.UK here for more information.

Finally, make sure your bike is roadworthy! If it’s not been used for a while you’ll need to give it a thorough check to make sure it’s safe to ride. The ‘M Check’ is a good way to do it, starting at the rear wheel and working your way up and down the frame in a M shape to the front wheel. This video from Sustran takes you through this bike check.

If your bike isn’t roadworthy and cannot be fixed, your employer may offer a cycle to work scheme that will help you save money on the cost of a replacement, as well as safety accessories to ensure you have the right kit.

Let us know whether you’re taking part in Cycle to Work Day this year. Share your plans on our Facebook page.

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