Cycling is good for you and it's green too! With our Cycle Chic fashion tips you don't have to wear unflattering clothes on the road to stay safe.
On Friday 30th July, Mayor Boris Johnson will launch his highly-anticipated Cycle Hire Scheme in London.
Users will be able to pick up use one of 6,000 bikes in Central London for a small fee. But before you thinking about hiring a bike there's a bigger question..what to wear.
There is no doubt that cycling is good for you and the environment, but let's face it, the idea of being in gym gear all day is not very appealing. The good news is that there are plenty of fashion options to cycle around in style without putting your safety in jeopardy. This summer's trend for jumpsuits works very well. Go for one with short or tight trousers to avoid it getting caught in the wheels. Dresses too work well, but avoid maxis for the same reason. Wearing comfortable shoes is very important too. We often see celebrities cycling in high heels, but that's not the safest option, especially if you are a bike novice. Chunky low heels, flat boots and trainers are a safe and trendy option. Bright clothes are always great as they make you visible to car drivers. Hot pinks and reds are vivacious colours and easier to pull off than fluorescent yellow. Handbags can be a little difficult to carry when cycling, so choose one that can turn into a rucksack and then back into a handbag. Waterproof jackets may not be the pinnacle of fashion, but there are plenty of beautifully cut ones on the market now that will keep you dry and stylish at the same time. Wear gloves to protect your hands whilst cycling and pick a classic leather or faux leather pair instead of velcro, fingerless ones. Helmets are very important for safety and whilst they may never be a beautiful accessory, there are several around now with cute, colourful patterns.Sunglasses too are a must if it's sunny or windy. Those made specifically for cycling stay put and look great. And don't forget to wear a good face moisturiser and lip balm with SPF: you'll be spending more time outdoors and the wind and pollution can make your skin really dry.
‘Cycling is great for all ages - once you learn how to ride a bike you should never stop! It offers a great cardiovascular workout which means that it is brilliant for your heart and lungs, it also helps to strengthen your core' says Gillian Reeves, National Group Exercise Manager at Virgin Active Health clubs. But how can you make sure you are fit and safe on the road?
Bike courier Ed Houghton has been cycling for 15 years and he's kindly shared some tips with us:
Be seen - high visibility clothing, reflectors for your bags and lights at night.
Be assertive - always stay in front of cars or behind them. Don’t wait next to cars or lorries at lights.
Practice - quiet roads and parks that allow bikes are a great way to gain confidence
Watch out - for car doors and people crossing the road.
Stop at zebra crossings - this is a legal requirement and if you don't stop you are liable for a £30 fine and you can now get points off your driver’s licence for cycling offenses. Ouch!
How exactly does it work?
How can I hire a bike?
Firstly, you have to register online at the Cycle Hire Scheme website. Once you have done that, you can then pick up a bike from one of the docking stations any time you want.
When can you hire the bikes?
Bikes are available 24 hours a day, with no need to book.
Where can you hire the bikes from?
Bikes can be picked up from any of the 400 docking stations around Central London.
How much does it cost? - get a full rundown here
Who can hire the bikes?
Any registered user over the age of 14 who can ride a bike without help is free to make use of the bikes.
What if I can't find a docking station to return the bike?
There are 6,000 bikes and 10,200 docking station spaces, so you should never have a problem returning your bike exactly where you want to.
The Cycle Hire Scheme In Numbers
|10,200||The number of docking station spaces you can return the bikes to
|6,000||Bikes available to hire|
|400||Docking stations around central London|
|300||Number of yards between each docking station on average|
|30||Amount of minutes you can cycle for free on each journey|
|24||The number of hours a day, bikes will be available|