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Are you cycling To Work?

Questions To Ask The Office

If you're thinking of cycling to work then it's a good idea to ask your company what provisions they have for employees cycling to work.

Once you start asking around, you'll soon find out what the office attitude is to you biking to work. Although all of this might seem a little daunting turning up in 'lycra on a bicycle', know that in most cases colleagues are respectful of your efforts to keep fit and do good.

By knowing what to expect, you can have a good first week bike commuting: getting to your desk on time with less hassle and worry.

Below is a list of questions you might find useful to ask your place of work, before riding through:

Questions to ask your manager or boss:

1. Ask if there are any rules, regulations or policies you need to abide by.

2. Ask about bike commuting incentives, such as government schemes or cycle-to-work incentives.

3. Check your company intranet for bike clubs/groups and question your boss as to who else might be commuting to work.

Questions to ask Security:

1. Ask where you can lock your bike. You need a secure area, but remember to always use one or two locks to secure your bike too. Take detachable lights or gadgets indoors for safety.

2. Ask about pass restrictions on doors for getting in and out of buildings on weekdays and weekends. Note opening and closing times of buildings.

3. Ask for the security department number - you'll need this if you can't get to your bike, lose your key for a locker, or anything that affects you and your bike.

4. Ask for a locker to put your gear, and ask where the nearest showers are for you when arriving in the morning.

Questions to ask Co-workers:

1. Ask questions about where you could dry your kit if you are not near a heater, or sunny spot in the office.

2. Listen to co-workers as they will probably help you out more than your boss.

3. Ask about the fridge so you can bring milk to have a bowl of cereal or other food before heading home at the end of the day.

4. Think about where and what you could leave at work under your desk. Shoes are great to stay at work which means no more lugging backwards and forwards. Coats are also useful to bring into the office and keep on the coat stand so you don't have to walk around in a half damp cycle jacket at lunchtime!

Once you've asked all these questions (and I'm sure you may have many more of your own) then you can start to think about how you're going to get from the building to your office desk in time to start your work. You need to think of a strategy that takes you from the building to your desk on time.

Now don't feel nervous on your first day riding to work. Things have gone wrong for me on the first day but because everyone knew I was cycling to work, they just smiled when I was a bit late.

A tip here is to set off a little bit earlier on your first day than you might have originally envisaged, to give yourself extra time if you have a problem you didn't anticipate.

Commuting to work is trial and error in the first week, but if you're prepared and let your company know of your intentions, there's no reason not to have a great first week bike commuting - getting to your desk on time and impressing most of your office!

Rebecca Ramsay is a former professional road cyclist who gives free advice to helping all aspects of your cycling.

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