1. Plan your route
If you are new to cycling or haven’t been on the bike for a while, your best bet is to plan your ride. Work out the route that works best for you. Whether it’s a direct route that includes riding on roads, or a more scenic journey along Canberra’s many cycle paths – find a route that you’ll enjoy. Plan and ride your route on a weekend when you’re relaxed and not in a rush, so you know what to expect.
Transport Canberra’s journey planner will help you find different route options from home to work by bike, bus, and/or light rail. There are also other online mapping tools like www.mapmyride.com.au, and www.openstreetmap.org
2. Start small
Start with an achievable distance and frequency, and build from there if you choose to. Try riding part of the way and increase the distance over time. Try riding to work one day, and home the next. Give yourself some rest days between rides.
If you think the distance is out of reach, you might like to use Park and Pedal – you can park your car for free and ride the rest of the way. Or try combining cycling with bus travel by parking your bike at a Bike and Ride. Most buses have a bike rack on the front so you can break up a longer journey with a bus ride.
If riding to work isn’t for you – because of logistics, or trip chaining, or distance, think of a different journey that you could do by bike instead. Maybe you can ride to the local shops once a week, or to a friend’s house? Have a think about what works for you.
3. Be safe, be seen
Obey the road rules and make sure you are visible to other road users. Ride predictably and signal your movements. Whether you are riding on a path or the road, always stay alert and pay attention to and respect other riders, pedestrians and drivers.
Light coloured clothing is best for visibility. If you are riding near dusk or at night, you might like light to invest in hi-visibility or reflective clothing. If you will be riding in the dark or in low light conditions, front and rear lights are essential.
4. Show your bike some love
Dust off your bike, pump up those tyres and make sure your bike is ready to ride! If it hasn’t been used for a while, it might need servicing at your local bike shop. Brush up on basic bike maintenance skills with our bike care tips.
5. Dress for comfort
Ride in clothing you feel comfortable and safe in. Lycra is not necessary!
Consider taking clothes into work and changing there, or storing spare clothes and toiletries at work. Glasses are useful to keep bugs out of your eyes, and gloves will come in handy as the weather cools down.
6. Lock it up
Find out where you can park your bike at your destination and what amenities are available. Is there a secure storage area you could use?
No matter where you keep your bike, its a good idea to make sure it’s locked at all times. Make sure you have a good quality lock (like a D-lock) and practice using it before heading out. Lock your bike securely to an immovable object, as tight as you can, low on the bike, and through multiple components if possible.