CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Cycling past Coronavirus: The best way to travel

25 May, 2020

Coronavirus has disrupted our lives in general, including how we work. As the lockdown eases, many of us are considering changing the way in which we get to work. If you are living in a major city, you most likely use public transport to get around. Public transport is cheap and efficient, however, it is not the safest way to travel at the minute these days. Many studies have proven that Coronavirus spreads most rapidly within confined, packed spaces. Those who are working from home don’t have this worry, but what if you need to get back to work?

Let’s consider all your options first. Driving your car and or taking a taxi is expensive, time-consuming, and detrimental to the environment. Walking is arguably the best way to get to work, but this is unsustainable for many who live far from their workplace, it can take a lot of time. In London, you might also be soaked by rain before you even start your workday! If you live in a suburb or there are no pedestrianised pathways to work, this can also pose a major problem to those who wish to walk to work.

The most sustainable and fast way to get to work is cycling. Hopping on a bike is good for your overall fitness, a way to get fresh, clean air into your lungs and carries major economic and ecological benefits.  Cycling is a fantastic way of getting from A to B. No wonder it has seen a major uptake across many European cities. Amsterdam is famously a city for cyclists, with many angered by cars or pedestrians getting in the way of a cycle lane!

Nowadays, there are countless options when it comes to bicycles. There are city bikes, road bikes, and e-bikes, which have become extremely popular with those commuting to work in the last five years. Customise your bike to suit you, whether you need a picnic basket for leisurely days in the park or mudguards to protect you and your bike from the inevitable dirt from our  everyday adventures!

You can get anywhere on a bike,  and you are also guaranteed to have less contact with viruses if you remember to wash your hands, and regularly sanitise your bell and bike handles. Keep the wind in your hair by cycling carefree and bypassing Coronavirus!

If you are thinking about buying a bicycle, but haven’t invented yet, take a look at Bikester. You can figure out what size, type, color and brand of bicycle you might want, along with any accessory you might ever need!

If you are looking for something which will carry you from work to mountain trails, think about a road bike or a mountain bike. If you imagine yourself cycling down the canal without a care in the world, invest in a city bike. If you want the best of both worlds, and need to climb a few hills, seriously consider buying an e-bike. Most stores will allow you to take trial runs of your future companion, so make sure you get a good feel for each type of bike, and think about what you need!

If you already have a bike, congratulations! You’re most likely enjoying all the benefits described above and even more. However, make sure you take into account the following tips to keep yourself and your bike safe:

Make sure you have a light and a bell fitted on your bike. Whether you are cycling in poorly lit streets, or down a busy road, you will have the necessary tools to let other road users know that you’re around and be safe.

Invest in a good lock (or two). Locks are key to ensuring your bike’s security in busy cities. Take time to research the best locks, or ask any experienced biker what they use. You might even want to invest in two good locks just to make sure your bike can’t be stolen.

Regularly take your bike for a check-in. Just like your own health, you want to make sure your bike is always in good shape. Whenever you can, take your bike to a trusted repairman and make sure everything’s as it should be. Many sports centres or bike retailers include this service in the purchase of your bike for free! Avail of it.

Cycling is not only the best way to travel during a pandemic, but the best way to travel in our modern, busy world. When everyone is constantly rushing, you will be able to keep up with the pace of the city on your speedy sidekick. Once you get used to weaving between lanes, cycling will seem effortless and save you countless hours waiting at underground stations or stuck in traffic. Take your commute into your own hands and cycle on into the sunset!

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