Great reasons to encourage your big kid to cycle at University.

Great reasons to encourage your big kid to cycle at University.

By Catherine ELLIS, Hill & Ellis

With the recent start of university terms, most kids – or young adults – are finding their way round by now. But what about how they get around? Cycling is a great way to travel at University – it’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s eco-friendly, and they will always have ‘wheels’ to get them where they need to go whether it’s a lecture or a drink at the student union. And, if you buy the right kit, it’ll last them well beyond their degree course.

Here are six reasons to support your newly-fledged kids to cycle at Uni. And the basics they will need to get going.

GREAT REASONS TO ENCOURAGE YOUR BIG KID TO CYCLE AT UNIVERSITY.

man sitting under a tree and working on his laptop CYCLE AT UNIVERSITY
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  1. Stay safe. Sadly, we are now living in a time of a pandemic and avoiding crowds and busy spaces is vital. Buses and trains are operating with limited numbers but ultimately there are numerous people in a confined space. Cycling reduces the risk of catching Covid-19 significantly by avoiding contact with surfaces and people who might be infected. It is easy to cycle two meters away from any other cyclist and chances of contact are very low. Also as more evidence is showing that obesity and lack of fitness leave individuals more at risk of the effects of Covid, regularly cycling could help protect against the effects of the disease.

GREAT REASONS TO ENCOURAGE YOUR BIG KID TO CYCLE AT UNIVERSITY.

action active activity adult CYCLE AT UNIVERSITY
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  • It is great exercise. With team sports now being limited, it is really important to keep exercising, and cycling as transport puts exercise into the daily routine without adding extra time. Cycling to and from Uni can provide an hour’s cardio activity and can burn off approx. 300 calories and improve muscle strength and tone.

GREAT REASONS TO ENCOURAGE YOUR BIG KID TO CYCLE AT UNIVERSITY.

man sitting beside bicycle CYCLE AT UNIVERSITY
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  • It is great for mental health. Numerous studies have proven that cycling is great for mental health – it reduces stress, reduces risk of depression, improves sleep, improves memory, and improves productivity. A recent study by Cycle Scheme found 82% of people believed cycling made them feel happier and 75% of those who took up cycling regularly believe it improved their mental wellbeing.
woman in brown coat riding a bicycle CYCLE AT UNIVERSITY
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  • It is free. Apart from the cost of the bicycle and the vital accessories cycling every day is free, no charges, no petrol costs, no bus passes, nada. Let’s face it, the two crucial things you want them to leave Uni with is 1. A degree and 2. as little debt as possible. The cycle scheme has estimated that switching to a bicycle (from either public transport or driving) could save more than £3,000 a year. Even after the cost of buying the bike and essential accessories.  That is £9,000 saved for their university life.
  • It is quicker. A recent report by INRIX, a data company specialising in roads, found that it was quicker to cycle than to drive, based on last mile speed in six major UK cities.

With many cities now adopting 20mph speed limits for cars and buses, and significantly better cycle paths and cycle friendly traffic lights – this means cyclists can get across a city faster than ANY other mode of transport.

GREAT REASONS TO ENCOURAGE YOUR BIG KID TO CYCLE AT UNIVERSITY.

A report by Find Property found that almost ALL journeys of under 5kms were quicker by bike, and public transport is only quicker if you travel more than 13kms. Based on my University exploits waking up late for lectures, vital time was only saved by pedalling a little faster. Believe it or not, time is of the essence at University and cycling helps you beat the traffic.

people riding bicycle on concrete road CYCLE AT UNIVERSITY
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  • It is easy (and free) to park. With universities getting bigger and parking charges increasing (some to over £10 a day) if the other option is driving, switching to a bike is a no brainer. A bike offers zero parking issues, if your child still hasn’t perfected the parallel park, cycling will solve the problem. All you need is a lock and they can park up their bike anywhere. As long as the lock is solid, the bike can be left safely overnight so if their plans change and the union bar gets extra attention, it can easily be left to collect the next day.

So what are the basics your fresher needs to get in the saddle? Investing well in these vitals will ensure that they all last longer than the three years it will take them to get a degree. After which time they are definitely old enough to buy their own kit!

GREAT REASONS TO ENCOURAGE YOUR BIG KID TO CYCLE AT UNIVERSITY.

yellow flowers in brown woven basket on bicycle CYCLE AT UNIVERSITY
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Bikes come in all shapes and sizes and the price tag can vary dramatically. If they don’t have a bike already, it is worth checking out second hand options to save on extra cost, Ebay, Shpock and Gumtree all sell bikes but always ask for the original receipt to avoid buying a stolen bike. Another tip is to check out local police auctions, where they sell off seized bikes that they haven’t been able to trace the owner. If there is one near you they do offer some great bargains.

Investing in good lights is definitely worth the money. USB charging lights are brilliant; their luminosity is really high, and allows the rider to see and be seen even on the darkest of nights. You can easily recharge them and no money is required for batteries. Beryl and Lezyne are some of the best on the market at the moment.

Although not required by law, not wearing a helmet is just not worth the risk. And now with companies like Dashel and Closca, creating well-designed helmets, that are stylish to wear, helmets are on trend.

GREAT REASONS TO ENCOURAGE YOUR BIG KID TO CYCLE AT UNIVERSITY.

bike with basket parked near tree
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Investing in a pannier bag – one that attaches to the bike – is vital. It takes the strain off the back and reduces those embarrassing back sweat moments. For example, Hill & Ellis pannier bags are built for life on and off the bike – transitioning smoothly from lecture hall to student bar. They are also small-batch produced and crafted to last so they will handle the daily life of being on and off the bike. They come with patented pannier hooks which attach securely to the bike, plus a one year guarantee.

A decent lock will make sure the bike doesn’t get nicked. D-Locks are the best as they are the hardest to break open and some brands like Kryptonite offer a key guarantee so you don’t need to worry about the key going walkabout. If the key is lost they will replace it – just make sure it’s registered first.

Encouraging your young person to cycle and feel confident on a bike is a gift they will carry with them into adulthood and they will reap the benefits for many, many years to come.

ABOUT HILL & ELLIS

Hill & Ellis produces a range of high quality, stylish cycle bags. Each bag, designed in the UK, is created to transition perfectly from home to bike to boardroom to bar. They are functional, fashionable, and hard wearing. There’s plenty of space inside for a laptop and other essentials, and each bag comes with patented pannier clips that fit almost any bike, allowing you to clip the bag on and off quickly and easily.

Web: www.hillandellis.com

Twitter: @hillandellis

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HillEllis/ 

Instagram: @hillandellis

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