On your bike – the SMARTY way
The gyms might still be closed, but the great outdoors is open for business. And what better way to get a workout while seeing what nature has to offer, than by cycling. Plus, getting to grips with your bike might have an added bonus if you need to avoid public transport post-lockdown.
But where do you start?
Choosing your bike
First things first, it’s important to get the right type of bike for you. To work out what you need, ask yourself what you’ll be using the bike for:
- If you’re going to ride mainly on roads, you’ll need a ‘road bike’.
- If you’re planning to be a bit of an offroader, then we’d suggest a ‘mountain bike’
- Or, if you want to have fun doing a bit of both, you can get a ‘hybrid bike’.
- One last thing to think about is if you’re worried about struggling on long journeys or steep hills, you could consider about getting an ‘e-bike’ with its own electric motor, that’ll give you an extra boost when you need it.
Once you’ve made your mind up about the type of bike you want to get, you’ll need to make sure you pick the right size. This handy guide from Halfords should help you out.
Cycle to work scheme
Planning on riding your bike to work? Find out if your workplace is part of the cycle to work scheme. If they are, your employer can purchase the bike and equipment and then you pay it off, tax free, in monthly instalments taken from your wages. It’s like a 0% interest loan.
Once a year is up, the bike will technically be the employers, but you can purchase it from them for a fair market price (up to 25% of the original value). Don’t worry, you still make a saving. If it sounds a little complicated, check out this article by Cycling Weekly.
Buy a cycle computer
As you evolve from casual cycler to passionate peddler, you may want to invest in a cycle computer to monitor things like the time, speed and elevation of your rides – they can even help with navigation too. This buyer’s guide by Cycling Weekly will help you choose the best cycling computer for you.
Choose your routes
There may be a whole world to explore, but when you’re first starting out you may want to avoid traffic-heavy routes. Let’s Ride can help you find over 1,000 free cycle routes across the UK. Plus, you can upload routes you want to try to your cycle computer or phone app.
Track your progress
See how your cycling has improved and share your progress with friends using the Strava app on iOS or Android. A great way to motivate yourself, you can create competitive ‘clubs’ with friends – there’s even a leaderboard. Plus, if you don’t want to purchase a cycling computer just yet, Strava can track your route, time, average speed and distance.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out and about when you can and practice your peddling. And if you’re spending a lot of time monitoring your trips on Strava, why not pick up a SMARTY SIM so you never have to worry about running out of data.
- SMARTY Team
- June 28th, 2020