Pledge 3.

I will cycle for one regular local journey each week

Why should I make the change?

Transport is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland*. Given that half the journeys we make in Scotland are under 5km*, choosing to walk wheel or cycle for local journeys rather than drive, we can all drastically reduce our personal carbon footprints. Choosing to cycle helps to reduce not only greenhouse gases, but also harmful noise and air pollutants too.

More than just helping the environment, cycling regularly has a number of other benefits:

  • Healthy body: you can build in your regular exercise to your everyday journeys, achieving your daily exercise whilst getting to where you need to go.
  • Healthy mind: exercise releases endorphins which have a calming a distressing effect on our brains and helps us distress. Being outside, especially in nature is good for our mental health.
  • A more exciting journey: when cycling you are more connected to the world around you, and are “experiencing” your journey, rather than on auto pilot behind the wheel. You have greater flexibility over your route and get to use your senses to experience the changing seasons. No two journeys are ever the same.
  • Save money: bike kit doesn’t have to be super expensive (buy second hand is cheaper and good for the planet!) and you will spend less on fuel and parking. If you cycle regular, there is no need for an expensive gym membership either!

*www.netzeronation.scot/take-action/active-travel

I will cycle for one regular local journey each week

Getting started

To get going you will need a few essentials

  • A bike. Speak to an expert to make sure you get the right one for you. It doesn’t have to be top of the range or even new, as long as it is well maintained.
  • A helmet.
  • Bright clothing – you need to make sure you are seen on the road.
  • Lights and reflectors – for nigh time riding.
  • A bike lock.

It can be a bit daunting to start cycling on the road, so start with a journey that reflects your skills and build slowly, rather than jumping straight into a long commute. You can even start in a local park until you build the confidence to cycle on the road. Cycling Scotland, Scotland’s national cycling organisation is a good place to look for all the information you need to get started. Cycling UK also offer some good tips for beginners here. Once you are up and running, it is useful to learn how to how to fix a flat tyre (it’s not as hard as you think) and some basic bike maintenance. This will help you to stick with your new cycling habit.

Useful links

Find a bike

A simple internet search will reveal there are plenty of bike shops around Fife, offering new, second-hand and refurbished bikes, as well as repairs and servicing. There is a good, but not exhaustive list on Active Fife’s website.

The Scottish Government offers interest free loans to help with the purchase of new e-bikes.

Cycling Training

Greener Kirkcaldy, Lang Toun Cycles and Transition University of St Andrews offer free cycle and bike maintenance training. There are also paid options available through Fife Cycle Park, Cycling Scotland and Evolution Cycle Training.

Find a route

75% of us live within two miles of The National Cycle Network which has thousands of miles of dedicated cycling routes.

Cycling UK’s Journey Planner is a useful tool and allows you to toggle between fastest, quietest and most balanced routes.

I’ve taken the pledge, what next?

More Travel Based Climate Action

Find out about reducing your travel footprint even further by switching to an electric vehicle.

Tell people that you have taken a Big Five pledge

Share your pledge online using our #BigFiveForFife social media library where you will find readymade tiles for sharing on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Please use the hashtags #BigFiveForFife and #ClimateActionFife on your posts.

Net Zero Nation

Take a look at the Scottish Government’s Net Zero Nation campaign for more ideas on how to take climate action.

Thank you for being a Climate Champion!

 

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