Some common concerns

 On the way to work Credit: Rosie Collins

I can't cycle as I have to wear smart clothing

Don't think that because cycle couriers wear lycra you have to do the same. In Cambridge and Oxford lycra is rarely seen; in Holland it's even rarer. You can cycle in suits, skirts and uniforms without any discomfort.

If you prefer not to wear your suit on your bike, pannier bags that you attach to your bike can hold a change of clothes, or a fresh shirt. Some people choose to leave their office clothes at work and change when they arrive.

Read Amy Fleurot's advice for women cyclists here.

My journey is too far

You can easily cover five miles in half an hour in London by bike, and many people commute much further.

Seven or eight miles is still a comfortable distance to do twice a day. Cycle routes are often shorter than car routes because of special 'cut-throughs', which are shown in the free London Cycle Guides (and help to avoid the traffic too).

Half of all journeys made in London are two miles or under; that's just 10 minutes by bike.

Many people who live further out choose to keep a bike locked up at a station so they can commute into London, and then cycle from the station to their workplace. This saves money on expensive tube fares.

I have to go shopping and take the kids to school

Dropping a child off to school before going to work Credit: Stuart Coles

You'll be amazed at how much you can carry on a bike. Pannier bags and carriers help carry heavy loads on bikes.

And you can put child seats on bikes or attach trailers. Older children can cycle alongside you until they are old enough to cycle on their own.

You will find that kids want to walk or cycle to school, and they are more awake and alert when they arrive. See our pages on ‘Schools and family cycling’ for more information.

I don’t have a bike

Second-hand bikes start at about £40 and whatever you spend on a bike you will soon save by not buying tube tickets or paying for petrol and parking.

If your employer is participating in the Cycle to Work scheme, the government initiative which allows employees to purchase a new bike through their employer at VAT-free price, you could get a bike for around 60% of its retail price.

There are no showers at my workplace

Unless you’re cycling very fast or a long way, showers aren’t essential: many people hop off their bike and go straight to work, while some change into a fresh top.

Modern cycling fabrics can help as they wick sweat away from your body, leaving you cleaner when you change into your work clothes.

There's nowhere to park my bike

If your workplace lacks cycle parking, consider asking your employer to apply for the Take a Stand scheme for free cycle parking which can also include match funding for showers (click here for more info).

Alternatively, have a look at the London Cycle Guides for details of cycle parking locations near your workplace.

Otherwise, invest in a pair of strong locks, and park near your office.



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Nobody’s perfect. For the majority of us, there are always going to be little bodily flaws we would like to fix, and slight tweaks we would like to make to ourselves.

More often than not, of reurse, we can cover up our insecurities. But when we jump on a bike and wrap ourselves up in Lycra it’s a different matter, and things may take a turn for the worse. There is just no hiding. It’s just you, the Lycra and the bike versus the world, which can be a scary thing — especially if you have some anxieties and inhibitions.

That extra roll of flab, which can be hidden away in a baggy t-shirt, now looks like a spare car tyre wrapped around your waist. Sunshine is always a good thing on holiday, but does it cause more harm than good when cycling? flex belt review

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