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Motivations & Barriers of Cycling to Work: Overcoming Issues

A recent survey found that 90% of the UK population were physically capable of cycling, and over 92% had learnt to cycle at some point. 

However, only 47% of people aged five and over had access to a bicycle, and an even lesser amount used their bike to commute to work, with road safety concerns and lack of confidence being the two most common reasons for not biking to work.

Cycling has many health advantages, cuts costs and is easier on the planet, among other benefits. But, with commuters talking themselves out of picking up their bikes, we're going to bust any myths about cycling to work and help workers overcome potential barriers.

Potential Barriers of Cycling to Work

Most cycling 'issues' have solutions. Whether it's personal, safety or funding problems, here's how to overcome concerns about cycling on your daily commute.

I’m worried by bike will be stolen

If there isn't a safe and secure rack to lock your bike at work, look into buying a folding commuter bike. Folding bikes are small, lightweight and easy to carry, so if there's no parking solution outside of your office, these bikes will neatly fold up and sit next to or under your desk without disrupting the office. This is also great if you live in a smaller apartment with little to no extra space for a bike to live. Similarly, if your office or apartment block doesn't have lift access, at just 6.4kg, Hummingbird bikes are light enough to carry up the stairs!

I can't afford a reliable bike

Your commuter bike doesn't have to be all bells and whistles. If you want to start biking to work but can only afford a simple bike - don't worry about it - get yourself out there on a bike you are comfortable on. 

If you want to upgrade your bike, see if your company is enrolled with a Cycle to Work scheme. Hummingbird is part of Cyclescheme, meaning you can purchase one of our single-speed, multi-speed bikes or electric folding bikes through your employer with amazing tax-free savings. You will pay for your bike through a monthly salary sacrifice over 12 months, and you have the option to purchase the bike for a fee at the end of the rental period. 

I don't want to arrive to work hot and sweaty

If your journey to work is short and you have plenty of time to cycle slowly, you might not break a sweat. For the most part cycle commuters prefer to freshen up when they arrive at work. Many big city offices or co-working spaces have shower facilities. However, if not, you can take spare clothes to get changed in the toilets, and with a quick flannel down and spritz of deodorant, you will be good to go. 

I haven't learned to cycle properly

Like many life skills, cycling is easier to learn while growing up. But, if you didn't have the opportunity, it's never too late to learn. There are lessons you can take as an adult with qualified cycle trainers. Or if you have somebody to ask, you can always enlist the help of a friend or family member to help build your confidence on two wheels.

I struggle for time in the mornings

If you live in congested cities and your morning commute consists of sitting in traffic for 30 minutes, you might find that cycling to work is the quickest transport method. 47% of commuter journeys are 5 miles or under, meaning you can cycle to the office fairly quickly.

However, if you're tight on time due to distance, or it would be too physically demanding, you can try cycling part of your commute. You can cycle to your local train station or bus stop to depart on the second half of your journey. If you're completing a hybrid journey, portable folding bikes are ideal for transporting on buses or trains. 

I don't think i'm fit enough

Everybody starts somewhere. You don't need to be that fit to start your cycle commute. Allow yourself enough time to take it easy on your journey and your fitness will gradually improve over the weeks.

What if the weather is bad?

As long as you prepare for your ride, there's no reason why you can't cycle in the rain or the cold weather. In case of thunderstorms, you might be best finding a different form of transport. However, most UK weather conditions are cycleable with preparation. If you buy cycling accessories such as mudguards, fog lights, waterproof jackets and overtrousers, you'll be dry enough by the time you get to work. Take a change of clothes in a waterproof bag just in case!

If you’re looking for a lightweight, portable and compact bike to join you on your morning commute, Hummingbird is the solution. Weighing just 6.9kg, it’s the world’s lightest folding bike. Please contact us for more details on any of our products.