• emilyowen847

Taking your cycling to the next level

2020 has been a very strange year, but one thing it has brought us is more cyclists. And it looks like the drive to get more people on bikes isn’t going to stop with the government creating a new department dubbed ‘Active Travel England’. The new department will oversee the spend of the pledged £2 billion allocation over the next 5 years.

On top of this, they’ve also released a voucher scheme to claim £50 towards fixing up your bike.

The government has been pushing cycling, and you, the people, have been getting out there. And some of you might be enjoying your time on the bike so much you want to find out more, explore more and get out more. Here’s 3 tips to help you out:

1. Join your local cycling club

Joining your local cycling club will open your eyes to the local cycling community. Not only will you be surrounded by like minded people who enjoy cycling, you’ll be able to get advice, meet new friends, join on club rides etc. Most clubs also run monthly introduction rides, an opportunity to ride with club members, ask questions about the club and also join other people who are new to cycling or wanting to join. There’s some great resources to find your local cycling clubs including CyclingUK and on the British Cycling website.

2. Cycling Apps

There are loads. But here’s 3 that will help get you started:

Strava: Speak to anyone who cycles and it’s more than likely they will have Strava. To start with, just download and use the free version to see how you get on and if it’s something you get on with. Strava is simple, to begin with anyway. It’s a social network for active people. Upload your activities, see what other people are doing and join challenges to receive prizes and badges. Fun.

Komoot: If you want to explore but still fancy riding solo, Komoot could be for you. The free version allows you to map routes within your county, beyond that you’ll need to pay a small fee. The app is specifically great if you’re looking to get from A to B but have no idea about the best route, just drop both locations in and it will suggest the best route.

Ridewithgps: Similar to Strava, in the way that you can log your activity and upload your rides, but you will need to pay to be able to use some of the better features. The main feature we find useful is being able to use other routes that have been already uploaded with such ease .Yes, you can take routes from Strava, but with Ridewithgps it’s simpler and easier to find routes that start close to you, for the distance you want, how much time you want to spend on the hills but also what terrain.

3. Speak to your local bike workshop

This may not come as a surprise, but most local bike workshops employ staff who enjoy riding their bike, and they should be more than happy to share some local knowledge. Ask about routes, local hot spots for cycling, if they organise any rides from the workshop or just ask them for their favourite rides.

At Handlebars, we’re here to help you get out on your bike, safely. If you’re a commuter, weekend warrior or a keen bean who is clocking KM’s daily, we’ve got you covered.

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