Britain seems to be finally catching up with other European countries with its love for cycling. If you attempted to purchase a bike during lockdown you will know how popular owning a bike has become and how impossible it was getting hold of one. But will our newfound adoration for the two-wheeled transport be long-lasting, or will it fizzle out with the dark mornings and rainy weather that inevitably lie ahead of us?
On 28th July 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised £2bn to boost cycling and walking. The much-needed change to infrastructure is necessary if Britain wants to make the roads and pavements a more attractive choice as a daily commute to work or school. Boris Johnson announced, “From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face.” Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps added, “We’ve got a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a shift in attitudes for generations to come, and get more people choosing to cycle or walk as part of their daily routine.”
Perhaps you have a forgotten old bike covered with cobwebs at the back of your garden. Before investing in a new bike, why not take advantage of the government’s £50 repair voucher? The first batch of vouchers went so quickly you will need to wait for the next allocation. Once you are in receipt of your voucher, you can take it to a Bike-Voucher scheme registered bike mechanic. For more information on how to get hold of a voucher, check out the government’s website – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/fix-your-bike-voucher-scheme-apply-for-a-voucher
If you are in employment and in need of a new bike the Cycle to Work Scheme offers the opportunity to buy a bike and save 25-39%. If your employer isn’t part of the scheme, they can sign up quickly and easily with no cost to them. For more information head over to this website and be sure to check out the cost calculator to see how much you could save – https://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/
It will of course take time for the infrastructure to change on our roads and make cycling a more popular and safer option for everyone. Whether you are new to cycling or a return cyclist after many years, Surrey has plenty of quieter routes to build your confidence as well as increase the mental and physical benefits that come with riding a bike in the great outdoors.
Residents of Surrey are particularly fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in Britain making it an idyllic place to explore by bike. With small villages and quiet country roads, it is the perfect place to hop on your bike, whether it be for a serious ride or a more gentle pace.
Some of the most picturesque bike rides in Surrey are in villages such as Shere, Abinger Hammer and Shamley Green to name a few. You may even be tempted for a steeper climb up to the iconic Box Hill that was used in the London 2012 Olympics. There are plenty of commons to explore across Surrey that have cycle paths. Epsom, Ashtead and Blackheath Common are just a few examples.
A great family route that is almost all off-road is the Thames Path that runs from Egham to Hampton Court. This 14-mile route can be taken at a steady and enjoyable pace and will be enjoyed by all ages.
Surrey Council provide detailed cycle routes on their website: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/cycling-and-walking/cycle-network
If you rediscovered cycling over lockdown then here’s to staying positive and motivated, even as Autumn and Winter slowly edge their way towards us. Why not let us know some of your favourite cycle routes in and around Surrey?