Bike Week 2016! 5 top tips for cycling at QMUL

As you might have heard, Bike Week 2016 is fast approaching. This year the week’s festivities will be held between Tuesday May 3rd and Friday May 6th, with activities across all 3 main campuses.

The aim of Bike Week is to raise awareness about the benefits of cycling and to encourage more people to get on a bike (whether that’s for leisure or for commuting to and from work). We have events and goodies for everyone – from experienced cyclists to complete beginners – so please do come along and get involved!!

So, in line with Bike Week, we’ve got 5 tips on cycling here at QMUL!

  1. Get the free training you’re entitled to

Both Tower Hamlets (Mile End/Whitechapel campuses) and Islington (Charterhouse Square) offer free cycle training to people who work, live or study in the boroughs. It’s completely free and can help whether you’re a total novice or have been cycling for years. We have two cycle sessions offered as part of Bike Week 2016 (see below), but if these aren’t convenient, get in touch with us or your local council and get signed up!

1:1 sessions at Charterhouse Square on Tuesday 3rd May

These training sessions are aimed at people who can currently ride a bike, but would like to learn more about cycling safely and happily on the road.

Group training sessions at Mile End Park on Wednesday 4th

This session is available to beginners through to experienced cyclists and will be split into 2 parts (making it easier for staff to attend during their lunch break). The first half will be a basic handling session and the second a led ride.

Bikes/helmets are free to borrow if enough notice is given, so not having your own bike is no excuse! Spaces are being offered on a first come, first served basis and have to be booked by 26th April 2016, so if you’re interested sign up before it’s too late!

  1. Keep your bike running smoothly

Buying a bike is an investment and there are a few ways that you can ensure that your bike has a long life. Bike maintenance is key, from giving it a good clean with soapy water every now and then, to making sure your chain is oiled.

We offer free bike maintenance sessions across QMUL to help you keep your bike running as it should, and we have 3 more sessions coming up in May.

Bike maintenance at Charterhouse Square on Tuesday 3rd May

2 bike mechanics will be on site between 10am and 2pm and bookings are being taken via an online poll. Sessions are currently fully booked up but do keep an eye on the poll for any cancellations!

Bike maintenance at Mile End on Thursday 5th May

1 bike mechanic will be on site between 10am and 3pm, bookings are taken on the day on a strictly first come, first served basis. So if you’d like to get your bike seen to, make sure you come along as early as possible!

Bike Maintenance at Whitechapel on Friday 5th May

2 bike mechanics will be on site between 10am and 2pm and bookings are being taken via an online poll. Sessions are currently fully booked up but do keep an eye on the poll for any cancellations!

If your bike is sadly beyond repair, Recycle Your Cycle are holding a bike sale on Thursday 5th May. They will be bringing a range of quality refurbished bikes on site, with prices starting from just £40! Come along and see if anything takes your fancy.

  1. Keep your bike safe!

There are a few things you can do to keep your bike as safe as possible.

  • Buy a decent lock (& use it properly)!

It may seem like a lot of cash to shell out for a lock but it is worth it. Using two different types of lock is recommended in order to allow you to lock the frame and both wheels to the cycle parking stand.

Bikeworks will be holding a bike lock sale on Thursday 5th May in Library Square so if you need a new lock, or are unsure of which one to get, come along and talk to the experts! Even better, students and staff get 10% off at Bikeworks with a student/staff card!

  • Get your bike marked!

If you’re unlucky enough to have your bike stolen, you have a better chance of getting it back if you’ve had it security marked.

The MET police will be in Library Square on Thursday 5th May marking bikes for free, so make sure you come along and keep your bike safe!

  1. Cycle safely on the road!

The free cycle sessions mentioned above will be a huge help in making sure that you can cycle safely and comfortably on the road.

We also have the MET police on site to help raise awareness about HGV safety. You’ll get a chance to sit in the driver’s seat of a HGV to get a better understanding of what the driver can and can’t see. Worth having a go as it can be a real eye opener!

  1. Have fun!

Cycling should be fun (at least most of the time) so come along to our Bike Week events and enjoy it! We will have smoothie bikes at Charterhouse Square (3rd May) and Mile End (5th May) so you can pedal for a free smoothie to enjoy whilst you get your bike maintained, grab some cycle freebies and peruse the bikes for sale!

If you have any questions about cycling at QMUL, please get in touch with the sustainability team at sustainability@qmul.ac.uk. Find more details about Bike Week 2016 and the full schedule on our website and make sure you’re following @QMSustTravel for the latest news/updates.

Do you have any top tips for cyclists in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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