Fed up with long queues? Resentful of paying overpriced fares? Looking to get to your 9am’s on time? I, like many, have been asking myself the same questions this term. Not wanting to run the risk of missing anymore lectures (‘ohh no’ I hear you cry) I took a leap of faith and got myself a bike. Here are my seven top tips for getting yourself a pair of wheels.
- Shop around, online re-sale websites such as Ebay and Gumtree are always good options if you want to find the best for your buck. Exercise caution though! In more cases than not, bikes may be damaged or in need of some TLC. Unless you are willing to spend a little extra money on getting your bike refurbished, as is often the case with lovers of vintage models, be sure to read the product description to avoid any nasty surprises.
- Use your resources. Bath is home to a plethora of good bike shops so get out there and start exploring! If you’re looking for something more expensive, John’s bikes or Avon Valley Cyclery stock the latest models of road, hybrid and electric bikes. For a cheaper option, head down to Julian’s bike shop, a charity run enterprise selling a range of fully refurbished second hand bikes.
- Stay safe! Coming from the sleepy haven of the Dorset countryside, my experience of cycling on busy roads was somewhat limited. In order to prevent being a hazard to not only yourself but also the cities motorists, be sure to invest in some proper safety kit. A helmet will certainly stand you in good stead when attempting to replicate Geraint Thomas’s Tour de France heroics. Front and back lights are also essentials for cycling home in the dark.
- It’s getting cold out there folks. As Christmas approaches the temperature is beginning to drop. A good pair of thermal leggings are an indispensable part of any cyclist’s winter wardrobe. I would also high recommend a pair of touch-screen friendly gloves for keeping up to date with any tinder messages whilst on the go.
- Plan your morning routine. Pre-packing will save you a considerable amount of time, especially when trying to beat the morning traffic. Students needing to ferry a considerable amount of literature to campus may want to invest in a pannier (a bag rack, attached to the side of your back wheel for those of you who don’t speak French).
- Do your research when it comes to showers around campus. However much course mates and friends may value your presence in lectures and on campus, do not ruin this by turning up to your 9am’s dripping with sweat. After an over-indulgenemnt night at Score, that is the last thing someone wants to sit next to.
- Bathwick Hill is not your enemy. Depending on where you live, the cycle up to campus takes between fifteen and twenty five minutes. Stick it in an easy gear, get some Tribe of Quest on, and think about all that Dominoes you had last night. Cycling down is the fun part!
So friends, please, I implore you to ditch those bus passes, put down those car keys, make those long queues a thing of the past… get yourself a bike!