10 things I wish I’d known when I first started cycling

Bicycle near Tower Bridge

Use two different locks

I’ll never forget the day I walked back to the bike shed after my college lessons, only to find my bike had disappeared. Confused I asked myself: Did I lock my bike? Is this a friend of mine playing a practical joke? Did I even ride my bike in today?

The bike was secured with just a flimsy secondary lock. Nowadays I’ll never leave my bike anywhere without two different locks keeping it safe. My Kryptonite and a chain lock.

Learn to ride assertively

About three years ago I was having coffee with David Love from the London Cycling Campaign. He turned to me and said: Have you ever taken a cycle training course?

Me! Of course not! I don’t need such a course. I thought to myself. However, I trusted David’s opinion and so I booked myself in with Cycle Training UK. The two hour session that followed changed the way I cycled for ever.

I started using techniques such as establishing eye contact with drivers. I also became more assertive on the road and didn’t let drivers put me in dangerous positions.

To this day, it shocks me how much high vis is synonymous with safe cycling. There’s so much more to it.

Fear no punctures

When I first started cycling I was always worried my bike was going to get a puncture and I’d have no idea what to do. Fortunately, early on I splashed out on puncture proof tyres. This made punctures a very rare occurrence. I also figured out how to repair one – just in case!

Gear down at traffic lights

As anyone who’s pedalled up to a traffic light in a high gear will know, it’s a pain to get started again. Now I always gear down before I hit the lights so I can set off more quickly and without angering my knees!

Use CycleStreets and BikeHub to plan your route

If your image of cycling in London is Euston Road, lorries and angry traffic then you’ve not yet discovered the magic of the CycleStreets route planner. Also, don’t forget to download a copy of BikeHub for route planning on the go.

Learn a thing or two about bike maintenance

Whether you use an app, videos on the internet or a bike maintenance course, learn a thing or two about bike maintenance! I chose to learn because I wanted to save money and ended up really enjoying discovering how my bike works (especially as it was much easier than I imagined).

Learn the rules of bike locking

Always lock your bike through the frame, through the wheel and through the object you are securing it to. Don’t lock your bike to a post that it can be lifted over. Lock your bike somewhere busy. Never leave your bike unlocked – even for just a minute. Don’t place the lock too near the ground as it will be easier to leverage for attack. Remove all accessories.

Get a floor pump

I spent my first couple of years cycling without a floor pump. Little did I know all this time I was riding without properly inflated tyres. A floor pump with a pressure gage
helps you pump up tyres quickly and get them to the required pressure. This prevents punctures and dramatically improves your performance.

Don’t wear underwear beneath your lycra shorts

Whilst most people won’t wear lycra when they first get started, eventually, for a long distance bike ride they can’t resist trying it! A classic mistake is to wear underwear beneath the lycra shorts. Don’t do it!

Be zen! Breathe and don’t get angry

Pedestrians are going to walk in front of you, cyclists are going to jump through red lights and Brompton’s are going to overtake you(!). Each time this happens you have a choice: Get angry, or breathe and let it go! There are plenty more things that are irritating, but focus on them and you’ll miss the many joys of cycling.

Have any more lessons? Share them below!

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61 Responses to 10 things I wish I’d known when I first started cycling

  1. DaveM 11/04/2013 at 10:38 am #

    Great article. Very useful tips!

  2. Daniel Groves 11/04/2013 at 11:09 am #

    Get a bottle of Stans tubeless sealant if your tyres have removable valve-cores and stick a good squirt inside. I’ve been using the stuff on a set of tubeless tyres/rims on my full suss and have never punctured.

    I started commuting by bike about a week ago, I’ve stuck some of this in the inner-tubes for the roadie as well now, and am confident I won’t ever puncture. Stans sealant easily seals holes up to ~1/4 inch in diameter, so it’ll take more than a bit of glass to puncture that. The chances are, if you do get a hole Stans can’t seal, you’ll need a new tyre after anyway so a puncure repair kit wouldn’t help either.

    • Howard 12/04/2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Sorry, no – in my experience it doesn’t work nearly as effectively in tubes as it does sloshing around in a tubeless tyre.

      I’m not entirely sure why, but I imagine it’s because the tube rapidly changes shape as it loses air making gaps around the ‘plug’ formed by the latex. The higher pressure also tends to force the latex out, too, if you are running road tyers.

      You may even find it harder / messier to change your tube as the sealant will be all over your rim, and just putting air in becomes trickier as the pressures tend to force sealant out when you open the valve.

      Not worth it – save it for the MTB and low pressure applications.

  3. Wheelers steel 11/04/2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Merino for anything longer than 5 minutes on the bike.Its magic ; warm in winter, cool in summer.Six million sheep can’t be wrong.

  4. goonz 12/04/2013 at 10:15 am #

    I really really really wish someone had told me how darn expensive my hobby would get. I cant have anything delivered at home and all tags must be destroyed before anything is bought into the house. I think I am on the final warning with my wife. Anymore strikes and I’m out! Gulp!

    • Tom 13/04/2013 at 9:33 am #

      Too true I have to get gear delivered to mothers house, if wife ever discovers the price of Rapha I’m for the high jump

  5. goonz 12/04/2013 at 10:28 am #

    Oh and why shouldnt we wear underpants under lycra?

    I cycled to Paris withy that set up sure it may have looked a little odd but it was so comfortable, I dont even remember ever being sore after 24hrs on the saddle.

    • Phil Hamilton 12/04/2013 at 8:13 pm #

      The quoted tip refers to ‘lycra’, and presumably means ‘padded lycra shorts’ – which are designed to be worn next to the skin, where the pad material can absorb perspiration and wick it away from the skin and preclude chaffing. The pad is also designed to be smooth and stay ‘stretched’ over your skin.
      Most underpants contain some cotton – a material notorious for retaining moisture and so very likely to cause chaffing (which will eventually lead to, painful, saddle sores). Even if the underpants are 100% synthetic they will tend to bunch into your ‘tender bits’ and result in discomfort, leading to chaffing and sometimes worse!

      • SteveP 20/12/2013 at 3:12 pm #

        This is a “style” rule. Sure, there may be good reasons not to wear cotton boxer shorts under padded Lycra riding shorts. but if it works for you, who is someone else to say? You’ll know what doesn’t work.

        The two-lock rule is a big-city suggestion, and even then you are at the mercy of thieves. A cheap lock (just one) will work fine with a cheap bike, and any lock is better than no lock. Got an expensive bike? Don’t leave it anywhere ever. Sure, you can uglify it to make it less attractive, but that’s not why you bought it, is it?

        • Alan 13/10/2015 at 7:56 pm #

          I disagree, it’s not just a style point. Not wearing underwear removes a source of friction from your kit. Having an extra layer means you’re more likely to experience chaffing over a long ride, particularly if that layer soaks up sweat.

        • MJ Ray 14/10/2015 at 11:48 am #

          And no-one’s ever suffered a pad chafing (especially an edge) or absorbing sweat?

          There are strong proponents of most types of underwear. Do whatever you find works.

  6. Joe Fisher 12/04/2013 at 10:28 am #

    I’m sorry Andreas but I wholeheartedly disagree with your last point – A Bromptom will never, EVER, overtake me! 😉

    • Eddie Tate 15/04/2013 at 2:23 am #

      The only way that a Brompton would ever overtake me is if i have a breakdown! Otherwise if i was riding & one ever did? It’s time i packed in riding! :/

      • mark watson 02/05/2013 at 5:05 pm #

        My Brompton comes with me every time i come to London the small wheels make it really nippy allways fastest off at the lights kojaks help.

  7. Lewis Hill 12/04/2013 at 10:31 am #

    I wish I’d switched to SPDs earlier. 15 years of cycling without them and now it feels weird when I’m not clipped in 🙂

    • Steve@Tern 28/05/2013 at 7:18 pm #

      Absolutely Lewis – and SPDs rather than road cleats for me – you can walk into the cake shop in a reasonably controlled fashion…

  8. Neil 12/04/2013 at 10:50 am #

    Ahh the confusion you feel when your bike has been stolen. Even the sight of the cut cable lock, I still refused to believe it had happened 🙁

    Merino wool 🙂

    @goonz get items delivered to work 😉

  9. Graham C 12/04/2013 at 11:14 am #

    Learn to brake properly. Brake well in advance. Never slam the front brake first, particualry on a wet road, because you’ll probably lose control or the have a crash. Particualry if you have narrw highly inflated tyres extra care should be taken especially on road marking which when wet can be as slippery as ice.

  10. Andy 12/04/2013 at 11:49 am #

    Some great tips here. Sadly I already knew about the underpants under the licra… had to learn that the hard way. Punctures really annoy me, I may have to invest in puncture proof tyres. Also there is nothing more infuriating than having your bike knicked.

  11. Martin B 12/04/2013 at 11:49 am #

    Use your ears as much as your eyes. NEVER wear earphones.

    Years of riding motorcycles has taught me a lot:
    1. make eye contact in the mirrors
    2. Look at the front wheel of the vehicle in front
    3. if feeding down the outside always have an escape gap in the traffic planned
    4. Always expect a U turn from a Taxi!
    5. Always expect someone to walk in front of a stationary bus

    • Ed 12/04/2013 at 12:01 pm #

      Martin B – I ALWAYS wear headphones when I am on my bike.

      The music helps gee me on.

      It also stops me hear my coughing and wheezing.

      Stop dictating – PLEASE!! It is a really moot and angry “argument”.

      You are basically saying that anyone who is deaf CANNOT ride a bike.

      Think about it – you really need to.

      I realise I have dulled one of my senses when riding with ‘phones. As a result I visually check, check again and triple check – with my EYES!

      In fact I think anyone that relies on their hearing to get a bearing of the road conditions is in fact a complete moron.

      Especially with silent electric cars and silent….


      You need to reassess your prejudice.

      • Phil 13/04/2013 at 11:03 am #

        The deaf can ride a bike, of course, but if you have hearing then it’s a useful tool in keeping you safe. I think you’re wrong, Ed, but I don’t think anyone is dictating. It’s just advice that people strongly believe in. You’re unlikely to hurt anyone but yourself because you can still see pedestrians so really, it’s up to you.

        I disagree about pavement riding and jumping lights. It’s not par for the course. It’s dangerous, criminal and worse, it hardens attitudes against cyclists and that affects all of our safety.

      • Perce 13/04/2013 at 8:40 pm #

        Wrong, so wrong. You need as many senses as you posess working for you especially riding in the city.

      • R Forder 19/04/2013 at 7:17 am #

        Ed: ‘Stop dictating’ is dictating. I’m with Martin on this. We should use sight and sound.

    • Russ 12/04/2013 at 12:11 pm #

      Top stuff Martin – I agree with you on the earphones thing (even Ed doesn’t); the other 5 points are bang on the money 🙂

  12. Ed 12/04/2013 at 11:54 am #

    As a now “experienced” cyclist of 3 years, more seriously anyway I agree with these points but struggle to see how it is anything more than “common sense”.

    Unfortunately the article is quite poor IMO. No mention of lights I find quite shocking.

    As a motorist & cyclist there is nothing that annoys me more than a “bike rider” not using lights.

    Pavement riding or light jumping is just “meh” to me – it is par for the course. However riding without lights is unbelievably moronic.

    I run my lights whenever I am on my bike. Day or night. Costs me next to nothing as my batteries are rechargeables (£2.99 for 4 from Lidl)!!!

    I always ensure they are charged & carry spares if going on long rides.

    I very rarely wear a lid. Always amazes me the amount of twads who kit themselves out in awful high viz clothing & helmets yet don’t bother with lights, night or day!


    High viz clothing only works when lights, from a car, bus, are reflected off it. That doesn’t help pedestrians, dogs or other cyclists.

    Again, idiots!

    • Scottie 18/04/2013 at 1:54 pm #

      Chill outEd……….

    • R Forder 19/04/2013 at 7:21 am #

      Ed, I half agree. Lights are essential at night, but the article is called ’10 things I wish I’d known when I first started cycling’, not ‘The 10 things you need to know when you first start cycling’. Perhaps the author already knew about lights.

  13. Russ 12/04/2013 at 12:06 pm #

    I second the “Learn to ride assertively” bit, especially “Take the lane!” – that’s the one thing I have changed about my cycling that has made the biggest difference to how safe I feel on the road.
    The other biggie for me is “be zen” – don’t swear/shout at errant road users, it does nothing to change their behaviour and just makes you grumpy. If I get chance I have a calm(ish!) word about the big green box with a bike painted in it, or whatever. Easier said than done sometimes.
    And number 3 for me, a bit more controversial and not covered above – get a helmet camera. Good for entertainment sometimes (e.g. did I really just see that driver doing work with clipboard and pen instead of driving?! Yup, I did…), timing your ride (if you’re into that kind of thing), and for the occasional thing that is really dangerous, you have something for the police (I got a driver a Section 59 warning the other day for an over-aggressive, too-close overtake).

    • Ed 12/04/2013 at 12:30 pm #

      “(I got a driver a Section 59 warning the other day for an over-aggressive, too-close overtake).”

      This sums up the problem with cyclists in the UK.

      You either get people who are completely oblivious to the rules of the road.

      Cycling nazis like you or easy going and sensible people like me who take things with a pinch of salt & get more angry about the state of the roads.

      Unfortunately we are never going to get anywhere if the camera Gestapo are filming everyone and getting tumescent about it by posting on internet forums.


      • Russ 12/04/2013 at 3:06 pm #

        Hi Ed,

        Happy to engage in a conversation about why I think the camera is a good idea (albeit with drawbacks as well) and what I do with the footage (almost always nothing at all – this incident however really did warrant a police response), but not if you’re going to be rude.

        Care to try again to elaborate your objections, a bit more politely and with a bit more reasoning? (Or are you trolling? I find it hard to tell, but there’s 2 Nazi references and a direct insult in your post…)



        • Scottie 18/04/2013 at 2:05 pm #

          Godwin’s Law!!!!

  14. Tony Parrack 12/04/2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Advice: don’t take a short cut anywhere near Condor Cycles?

    • Tony 13/04/2013 at 12:33 pm #

      As in, the guys in there are too helpful and the temptation is too great…..

  15. Bob Broglia 12/04/2013 at 12:33 pm #

    Never ever let yourself be caught at traffic lights on the inside of an HGV, bus or coach without an escape route – especially if there is a left turn available. Always assume they haven’t seen you. Sit just behind and wait to see what happens! It’s just not worth the risk.

    • racingcondor 13/04/2013 at 11:09 am #

      I’d be even more definite. Never stop alongside another vehicle at a junction. Go in front or stay behind and if you go in front move to the middle of the lane so the bike behind can also filter through.

      Only other rule. 2 lights on the rear. You can’t know when the battery has failed so you need two.

  16. Neal 12/04/2013 at 12:47 pm #

    “Never ever let yourself be caught at traffic lights on the inside of an HGV, bus or coach without an escape route – especially if there is a left turn available. Always assume they haven’t seen you. Sit just behind and wait to see what happens! It’s just not worth the risk.”

    Thats one of the best pieces of advise on here. Avoid HGV / Busses like the plague. They have many blind spots and your really asking for trouble if you undertake them.

    • Den 12/04/2013 at 7:43 pm #

      Here here to not overtaking big scary things at lights, look at the statistics is a bad read.

      I have only been on a bike since September last year. totally hooked.com love it.
      I found a lot of information on here good despite my common sense. I know that red means stop and green means go. How can cyclists ever demand respect from other road users if we we do not also follow at least some of the rules. I see so many that don’t. Their business I guess and I cant get angry at other peoples stupidity! it has taken me a while to ride more aggressively but I have found it helps. I think helmet cams look stupid and I have High vis, does that make me a “twad” (tho i do have lights)?

      my tip… For good quality waterproof bags and kit go to a chandler or water sports dealer, they have some amazing kit at half the price of some of the cycle shops. Only it really is waterproof!!

  17. Rob McIvor 12/04/2013 at 1:23 pm #

    Unless you’re actually taking part in a time trial, it’s not a time trial. Your target should be a pleasant ride, not a personal best. So you’re not at the front of everything else at the lights? Don’t worry about it; you’ll lose, at most, a couple of seconds. Cycling is too enjoyable to rush.

  18. paul markham 12/04/2013 at 2:19 pm #

    My botty thanks you. l didn’t know about not wearing underwear under Lycra.

  19. John 12/04/2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Some great advice on here. I’m just looking at buying a new bike after being knocked off twice in the last 6 months, the second of which mangled my old Kona.
    I will be taking on board the above advice with my new bike, oh and I,ll be wearing a helmet, high viz clothes and body armour with underwear 🙂

  20. Patrick 13/04/2013 at 12:15 am #

    I think the point about learning a thing or two about maintenance is an excellent point. I have been riding for about 7 or 8 years now and through experience/lack of cash have learned how to replace cassettes, stems, pedals etc. When I first started I could not even fix a puncture properly! There is a lovely feeling of satisfaction when you realise you can do those things yourself.
    Just one other point – do not be afraid to experiment with how your bike is set up. Getting the saddle, bars etc at just the right height/angle for you really can make your riding experience so much more enjoyable and comfortable.

  21. Ian 13/04/2013 at 11:12 am #

    I cant express how important decent chains are. I bought a new bike to start cycling to the Station in Essex where I live. Within two weeks I returned to find that the rather surdy chain had been attacked by either a hacksaw or bolt cutters. Upon speaking to another cyclist to warn him he said he had had SIX bikes stolen in a one year period. I promptly went out and paid more for security.

    There’s no price on peace of mind.

  22. Perce 13/04/2013 at 8:52 pm #

    Don’t get upset if someone sits on your back wheel and doesn’t do a turn at the front. I pretend they aren’t there and enjoy my ride so much more.
    There was one occasion when one guy was so close that his handlebars hit my backside when I had to brake hard to avoid a car that pulled out on me. A gentle word to leave a gap seemed unnecessary!

  23. Sam Joslin 13/04/2013 at 10:11 pm #

    1) If riding for recreation or transportation, take all advice from a racer with a grain of salt. Employ fisticuffs only as a last resort. 2) If raising the handlebars makes you more comfortable, raise the handlebars. 3) If interested in upgrading, spend money on saddle and pedals instead of dérailleurs. 4) Good tires are always worth the money. 5) An old rusty bike that gets used is ALWAYS better than a new, high-tech bike that doesn’t. 6) Narrow tires don’t make you faster; wider tires are more comfortable and get fewer flats. 7) Fenders, racks and lights make bicycles more useful. 8) Better to lose body fat than spend money on lighter parts. 9) While speed is unimportant, orange bicycles are faster than black ones. 10) If you insist on naming your mechanical steed, eschew the moniker Rocinante–it’s already taken.

    • cafewanda 14/04/2013 at 7:57 pm #

      Hi Sam,

      I have to disagree with you on faster bikes. You will find yellow bikes are faster than orange bikes are faster than black ones 🙂

      Rapha is not just for us middle-aged folk. I love the (few) items I’ve bought (sale time only) and they do the job quite nicely when I’m on a long ride and want to be as comfortable as possible.

      • Sam Joslin 14/04/2013 at 10:12 pm #

        Ah, yellow. No personal experience with that shade–though given my experience with traffic lights and number 2 pencils, I can readily assume a bicycle of that color would have to be handled with caution, least one take the machine to the breaking point.

  24. Phil Oliver 13/04/2013 at 10:14 pm #

    My main piece of advice to all my friends who are getting bikes is to get a bell. In my area there are many shared cycle routes so instead of screaming up behind walkers & scaring the shit out of them a quick ring will move them & you won’t have to slow down 🙂

    • Paul Draper 14/04/2013 at 1:25 pm #

      I find I get better results with a shout but the bell is useful for the more polite “I’m about to pass you” on a shared path.

  25. Marie Gibson 13/04/2013 at 10:46 pm #

    I’m intrigued by the lycra thing, as I’m a woman cyclist, and I get the impression a lot of you are guys. Is the advice useful to me, too? My advice, mainly to my fellow female cyclists, is to wear appropriate footwear, as heels can really damage ligaments and tendons. And I totally rate helmets! I’ve heard enough stories to make me wear mine! Also, there is a section in the Highway Code for cycling, which is free to download, so no excuses for not reading it.

  26. Victoria 13/04/2013 at 11:21 pm #

    Hi Marie, as a fellow female cyclist, I would definitely recommend leaving the underwear at home when wearing lycra! It’s infinitely more comfortable, and the lycra washes and dries very quickly, which will make you feel you’re staying fresher and more hygienic :).

    As for helmets, it’s a no brainer. I fell off on the ice, and had I not been wearing one I would have cracked my skull for sure. So glad I’d taken that advice and started wearing a helmet only a couple of weeks before.

    All good advice on being visible to other road users by adopting a more assertive position. I only wish it worked with dogs and their owners on the cycle paths …. Likewise bells – dogs mostly ignore them or find them intriguing enough to come closer to investigate, and many owners (and other pedestrians) totally ignore them. So I’ve started shouting as well, gets better results!

    • MJ Ray 27/12/2013 at 2:22 am #

      I’d probably wear a helmet on icy days, but be aware that a 12mph free fall is all they’re good for. I think most of the time, you’re better off with a soft hat than a hard one.

  27. Ralph 14/04/2013 at 12:48 pm #

    That’s a really good list.

    But as someone already said, lights are just vital. I used to think that in a well lit urban area at night lights were unnecessary, but with so many other competing distractions from other road users, pedestrians and light and movement at either side of the road you need all the help you can get.

    And again, as already stated, please don’t leave lights on your bike when you lock it. Anywhere.

    Id also suggest that investing in decent quality equipment rather than crap from the pound shop is worth it. While there might be front lights that you can get that cost £1, I’d rather spend £20 on a moon gem that’s usb chargeable, built like a tank, and I’m fairly sure will still be going after 20 of the cheaper lights have failed and are contributing to let more piles of landfill.

    Merino X 100,000! I have a couple of synthetic baselayers from years ago and every now and again when the washing pile gets big I have to wear them and they just remind me why wool is better than anything. My suggestion is that it’s worth getting a few decent merino baselayers (especially long johns!) from the howies or finisterre sale each January (when they will be cheaper than anything else, well made and ethically produced), and then use layers of any other thin wool jumpers over the top. I’ve got pretty deft at “fingertip fibre analysis” when trawling the sweater rails at charity shops and buying all the light weight city-boy v-necks. You’ll appreciate merino next to your skin but anything above that wool is fine.

    Oh, and as no one has pointed out, don’t wear anything other than wool within your layer system except a soft shell. The moisture will just stop wherever cotton is and stink wherever it’s acrylic rendering the whole thing pointless.

    Rapha is a mid-life crisis brand.

    Kevlar anti-puncture strip changed my life. they’re a pain to fit at first and once you cut them down to fit you need to spend time sanding the edges off where you’ve cut the strip to avoid damaging the tube but if you’re cycling anywhere in a city they’re well worth the effort. I went from average of a puncture a month to one every 18 months.

    If you cycle with headphones on you’re a moron. You’re clearly not understanding the trust and responsibility that is involved when sharing the road with other users. While people with hearing impermanent do cycle, they firstly don’t have the option of turning their hearing back on, and secondly living with this context are a lot more able to deal with the reduction or absence of one sense than someone who does so occasionally and thirdly, they aren’t putting a distraction in place of all that sense data. You’re free to ride however you want (cops will will pull you over and fine you for the headphones thing if they notice and are particularity bored), but you should maybe think about what you’re doing a bit closer.

    Please look around and indicate (unless its really unsafe to do so) when you make a turn. Just because many car users don’t bother to indicate if the only other traffic is a bike, doesn’t mean you should do the same.

    Politely reminding drivers (including police) that crossing into the cycle box is exactly the same as running a red light is the only way anything is going to possibly change.


    Finally, the no-pants under lycra thing is going to change my life. Thanks.

  28. Victoria 14/04/2013 at 10:52 pm #

    My bike is pink. Not sure where I stand on the colour debate … 🙂

  29. Goodwheel 15/04/2013 at 12:09 am #

    I just learnt the hard way what happens when you lock a bike to a signpost pole that is 15 feet tall. This is what happens.

    In the middle of the night your sad little bike thief releases the front brake mechanism. You notice but don’t realise what that means.

    Under cover of the following night the poor wretch of a bike thief unscrews the sign from the pole and with the brake lever already open doesn’t have too much trouble lifitng the bike over the pole. Discards the sign.

    He then makes his way wherever these people go to get the lock sawn off and then presumably flogs the bike for a fraction of its real worth.

    Morals (nr 1): As per above, lock the bike with two locks a chain and a U lock. Don’t lock it for long periods of time in the same place where the thief can case the joint as it were. Lock the bike to a lampost rather than a signpost pole. Notice suspicious activity like someone meddling with mechanisms – it may well be a warning sign that you are about to lose your bike.

    Moral (nr 2): Try and forgive the wretched bike thief. It helps you get over it. Anyone who goes to such effort and expense to steal a bike not worth more than a £150 odd in the first place with a re-sale value of far less, has got to have a very sad life indeed. It’s probably too much to actually expect to feel sorry for him but at least feel lucky that your life is somewhat less sad.

    • Ralph 15/04/2013 at 8:43 am #

      That’s a really good attitude!

  30. Philip 19/05/2013 at 2:40 pm #

    I agree with making eye contact – you’ve just made your presence known with other road users.
    You’re far more likely to be given space when they pass too.

  31. Bozidar 12/11/2013 at 8:27 am #

    I would add two things to your list: Wear a helmet (should be high up on the list) and cycling eyewear if your city has a lot of airborne particles – streets not cleaned properly or windy conditions. I put those two items on my essentials for cycling, anyone interested can review them on http://www.officecyclist.com/2013/09/buying-cycling-equipment-tips-for.html

  32. Dave V 16/06/2015 at 10:38 am #

    After 30 years of cycling I paid for bike fitting and ordered a bike on the cycle scheme. Now there is the cycling I did before and the amazing cycling after. The two do not compare an absolute revelation! I cycle over 1/3 faster and so so comfortable. I was traveling with the aid of a bike and now I am truly cycling.

  33. TransAlpUk 11/08/2015 at 8:43 am #

    Other forms of transport are allowed. You don’t have to give up your identity as a person just to become a cyclist. It’s a choice, an option. It facilitates variety in your life. Sometimes it’s fun to pootle in the rain, sometimes you get the train. That’s ok. That’s allowed. Don’t be a martyr. Make it fun.

  34. Amanda Muscarella 02/10/2016 at 4:24 am #

    I used to cycle through Tower Bridge every single day for more than 3 years ago. A great experience!

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