Yes, it’s that time of year again! Whether you’re a fresher or a final year student, the thought of a new year at university can be exciting and terrifying at the same time! One of the best ways to help take the stress out of heading back to uni is to get properly organised before you go. You should (hopefully!) know what you’ll be studying and where you’ll be living, but what about transport?

Cycling can be a fantastic (and cheap!) option for getting around as a student. If you’re planning on taking your bike with you to uni, then we’ve put together some great tips on what to think about before you go – read on to find out more!

Why cycle to uni?

Where to start! There are loads of reasons cycling can make a lot of sense at uni – here are just a few:

  • It’s cheaper – No need to worry about shelling out for bus passes or petrol. We all know how quickly that student loan can evaporate!
  • It’s healthier – If you’re adopting a ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude then late nights and surviving on takeaway pizza isn’t always ideal health-wise. Regularly cycling to uni can keep you fit – and saves you from having to pay for a gym membership!
  • It can be quicker – Busy lecture to attend? Avoid having to stand on a packed bus which slowly crawls through traffic by taking your bike instead.
  • It’s easy – There’s no need to wait for a bus/taxi/friend to pick you up – just grab your bike and go!
  • It’s fun! – University isn’t just about lectures and tutorials! Take a well-deserved break at the weekend and head out for a ride with friends, or check out your university or local cycling clubs to meet new people.
Image by Tejvan Pettingery, licensed under CC BY

What should I take with me?

You’ll probably want to spend as little money as possible whilst you’re away at uni, so it can be a good idea to stock up on accessories and cycling clothing before you go.

Take a look at our quick checklist of what to take with you if you’re planning on cycling to uni:

  • Helmet – Protect your head by wearing a helmet – just make sure it fits properly!
  • A quality bike lock – Spend around 10% of the value of your bike on a lock to deter thieves. Remember to take a look at the security rating of the lock, which is a rough indicator of its strength.
  • Bike lights – Legally your bike is required to have a front and rear light, together with a rear reflector and pedal reflectors.
  • A puncture repair kit – Don’t let a flat stop you from getting to that all-important lecture! Carry a puncture repair kit with you at all times just in case, and don’t forget a pump.
  • A waterproof jacket – Avoid the drowned rat look by wearing a waterproof jacket (make sure it’s also breathable to stop you getting sweaty!).
  • A rucksack & phone holder – Easily carry your books on your back, and keep your phone dry whilst you’re out and about.

You might also want to take a bike cover to protect your pride and joy when it’s being kept at your halls or house – just remember to lock it, too!

Keeping things secure

As well as using a quality bike lock, there are a few other security precautions you can take, such as only ever leaving your bike in a public place which is well-lit, and locking it to something which can’t be moved. Register your bike on the Immobilise website (which is a UK-wide property register used by the police), and take a photo of your bike and its frame number.

So, those are our tips for using your bike whilst you’re away! Are you heading off to uni this September? Check out our ‘back to uni’ shop here to find everything you need for this year!

Header image taken by Tejvan Pettingery, licensed under CC BY

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