As many of us already know, cycling is a great form of exercise; an efficient form of travel; and a useful way to wake up and gear up for the day ahead. If you received a new bike for Christmas or have set a resolution to cycle to school this year, beginning to cycle for the first time can be a nervous yet exciting experience. Therefore, we’ve asked our Cycling Development Officer Ally to share his top five tips to get you started on the journey to school. Thanks Ally!

  1. Some of you may have received new bicycles for Christmas but, new or used, always ensure your bike is in working order before beginning a journey.  Check your brakes work, the tyres are the correct pressure, the chain is nicely greased and that your gears work – if you have them. Oh and don’t forget to bring your lock to keep your bike nice and safe at school.
  2. If you are new to cycling to school then you may want to think about, and plan, your journey. A useful way of getting familiar with your route and confident  is to cycle with someone more experienced. Alternatively, you may want to cycle on a quieter day e.g. Saturday or Sunday. As an experienced cyclist you may want to shake out of the humdrum of cycling the same route everyday and explore new routes to school, this is also a great way to develop your cycling experience.
  3. Cycle mindfully – by this I mean: be aware of your surroundings and never take for granted that people can see you or know what you are going to do and vice versa. Always cycle responsibly (respect the rules of the road) and safely.  If you have to cycle on a footpath at any part of your journey to school remember you are the guest and always give priority to pedestrians.
  4. Cycle your way – be it cycling in your school uniform to cycling head-to-toe in lycra, cycling a racer to cycling a BMX, it is really important that you cycle your way and enjoy how you do it. To quote JFK: “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride” and simple it should be!
  5. If you can’t cycle to school then don’t be disheartened, there are many ways to enjoy the bicycle e.g. socially with your friends; as a sport – join a club and or go mountain biking or on your school holidays.

Share your tips with us on Twitter @GreenSchoolsIre! #biketoschool

The Green-Schools Travel Theme works with schools across the country to encourage sustainable modes of travel to school. To date the programme has cycle-trained over 40,000 students and provided over 5,500 fully-funded bike parking spaces.