For me, cycling to work started as a way of trying to squeeze exercise into an already very busy week. I’d wanted to do it for years, and finally after moving house and moving closer to work I got the push I needed. I started in summer, so weather wasn’t an issue. At first and at certain points it was tough whilst my legs got used to using muscles I clearly didn’t use regularly enough. After a few weeks though, I found that hills were easier, and where at first I was opting for easier gears and going slowly, I was able to continue riding at a similar pace to get to the top.
Another unexpected twist for me was how much I started to enjoy it. Especially over summer months, it’s so nice to get out and ride daily, and it not impact your day time wise. Over time I started to look at different routes that were longer so I could enjoy more of it too. It got to the point where I was riding in so regularly, we actually sold our second car, as it just wasn’t being used, so there are definite cost benefits too as well as the health benefits. I genuinely can’t recommend this enough if you live close enough for this to be feasible.
Over time, I improved the equipment I used to ensure I was ready for any (most) occasions, with three main focuses: weather proofing, safety and security.
Buying gloves and waterproof clothing were such great purchases as the winter months came in and stop the weather being a barrier to stop you riding. Safety is essential too, ensuring you have a helmet and lights as a minimum, and fluorescent jackets for example can add to this too in time. Finally security, ensuring that your bike is safe once you get to work or back home is essential too, this doesn’t have to be expensive though with many options available.
I would recommend planning the route you will take to start with, so you don’t have any surprises on the way and where possible can use cycle tracks too. I was surprised at how many options I found when looking at this, using a variety of apps and council websites to see what is available.
I would also recommend using one of the many free exercise apps to start with too, it’s a great way of mapping progress, seeing the distance you are covering, the calories and speed amongst others. It’s a great visual way of seeing the improvements your making that will complement the improvements you will see in how you feel too. I use one called Endomondo, although there are many popular ones available, that will allow you to see other people’s routes and even compete against them too as you naturally improve.
So in summary, I can’t recommend cycling to work enough, within a short time you will feel the benefits and hopefully begin to enjoy this like me too.