The rising cost of living has led to more people getting on their bikes as a cheap form of transport and leisure activity. You really don’t need any special clothing or equipment to get started. For most of my bike trips I’m in normal clothes and riding a secondhand shopping bike. Just invest in good quality lock (e.g. A ‘D lock’ with the ‘Sold Secure’ label).
Here’s some tips to help you save on the cost of cycling:
- Buy Secondhand – Not only does buying secondhand save money but older bikes are often built better and don’t look so flashy and attractive to criminals! Getting an hybrid bike can provide you with a comfortable ride around town, a great alternative to short car trips, saving you money on fuel and parking costs. My daily workhorse is a 30 year old Raleigh Cameo, it’s only got 3 gears but with a basket and a pannier rack it’s so useful and very reliable. Why not check out Recycles in Swindon, a great social enterprise where you can buy a refurbished pre-loved bike for a fraction of the cost of a new one.
- Get Your Bike Fixed or Security Marked for Free– Throughout the year there are various chances to get your bike checked over and fixed for free by a local mechanic. We’re funding a mechanic to provide these services at the Repair Café and Free Shop held at Eastcott Community Centre, the next event is on Sunday 6th November from 2-5pm. Many events also offer free bike security marking (or ‘stamping’) with BikeRegister. Keep an eye on the Swindon Cycle Campaign Facebook page and the events page of the Swindon Travel Choices Website to find the next one.
- New Development Cycling Incentives – If you live in a newer development it is likely to have a Travel Plan and offer incentives to help residents get cycling (and often help with bus travel too). For example, residents of Badbury Park are able to claim a £100 cycle voucher to spend on a bike, equipment, or servicing at Recycles or Mitchell Cycles. Whereas at Canalside in Wichelstowe residents can try out cycling on a folding bike, hybrid or electric bikes for free as part of a 6-week bike loan scheme. Locks and helmets are provided along with the options of pannier bags, a childseat or a trailer. There’s a list of some of the offers from various developers here: https://swindoncyclecampaign.org/developments/ or you can get in touch with the Travel Plan Officer at Swindon Borough Council firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.