I am at present a ‘non-cyclist’ due to having a young baby to care for and no way to transport him around using a bike. I am missing riding my bike and have come up with ways that my current inability to cycle doesn’t make it worse for those around me who are still able to. I will hopefully be back on my bike soon enough, but until then…
I plan my journey
- For almost every journey, I choose to walk or take the bus, coach or train instead of driving. I use the Traveline website or app (for use in the UK). One car off the road will make everyone else’s journeys a little bit more pleasant.
If I do feel I ‘need’ to drive…
- I leave plenty of time for my journey to avoid the need to speed and to reduce my stress levels, which could impact my driving skills.
- I drive at 20 mph or less in residential streets.
- I don’t take the scenic route, choosing motorways if possible to leave the country roads for the cyclists.
- I share my journeys with friends, but I could also use websites such as liftshare or blablacar to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
I look after my car
- I clean the windows and ensure that all lights are working correctly, to ensure the safety of others and myself and passengers.
- I get my car serviced regularly to ensure that it isn’t puffing fumes in to the faces of the people I pass.
- I follow advice about eco-driving, such as getting the tires pumped to the correct level and anticipating the road ahead. This will save money by reducing fuel consumption, which will also be a saving in pollution from the exhaust.
- I don’t leave my car idling in traffic. This just creates pollution and noise for the local area.
- When we bought our car, I choose one with an exhaust on the side furthest away from the pavement. Some particulates will settle out on to the road, so even another metre away from people’s lungs will help.
I look after my street
- If I see a pot hole, I report it using Fill That Hole website or app to reduce the risk of injury to anyone on a bike.
- I clear drains and pick up litter outside my house and along my street. Not only does this make it a more pleasant place for everyone travelling, but it also reduces the risk of local flooding.
- I make my front garden attractive. People drive along pleasant streets slower than uncared-for roads. Foliage will reduce the concentration of air pollutants and reduce the noise from passing vehicles.
- I let my councillor know that I am fully supportive of all measures to improve active travel in my city, reduce air pollution, and reduce the requirement for car ownership.
- I am a member of a number of cycling charities.
If anyone has any additional ways that I can help people that cycle whilst I can’t cycle myself, please leave a comment below. Thanks!