Controversial Commute Tips 2 – Help!

[If you haven’t already, and are wondering why my cycle commuting tips might be controversial, please read the introduction!]

This is also possibly a non-controversial post. Hey, I’m easing myself into it!

It’s really just to point out that once you start cycling, you’re not alone, and there’s lots of help out there from friendly cyclists who have lots of experience. You’re reading this, for one thing – whether or not that’s a good start I’m not sure.

Here’s some ideas for where to get help:

  • Local knowledge: find someone in your workplace, or neighbourhood, who cycles. Find out from them where the cycle routes are (they’re not always obvious), which places to avoid, and what tips they have that are specific to your town, or workplace.
  • Your council: though the state of the cycling infrastructure may not show it, you council almost certainly have targets for getting people to use sustainable transport and will have lots of help and resources to get you going. Our council have some online resources and a great cycle routes map, and I know the person that writes transport plans in Swindon, and she’s very helpful. Transport for London also have some good cycling stuff!
  • Training: Some towns will have cycle training on offer. You had driving lessons, so why not riding lessons? I’ve not done one, but I’m certain it would be great for someone new to cycling on the road. Could start by looking up CTC’s training page.
  • Books: Highly recommended is John Franklin’s Cyclecraft – a hugely respected guide to cycling safely.
  • The Internet: Don’t believe everything you read, and you will come across some real cycle geeks who can identify a chain link at 50 yards and clean their spokes with cotton buds, but there’s a huge community of friendly people who are more than willing to help on the Internet. Try the forums at BikeRadar for starters.

Or post a comment here, and see if I or any of my tiny readership can help.