Top 10 tips for cycling at university

Cycling at university can be a great way to save some money; use our top tips to start cycling today
As students prepare to return to university, Cycling UK’s communications officer Christina Bengston shares her top advice to help you make the most of navigating your campus by bike

Starting university is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful and expensive.

Depending on where you are studying, making the decision to cycle can save you a fair bit of money on transport costs which over time can really add up

Cycling is also an easy way to get in your daily exercise which can have enormous physical and mental health benefits, increasing your cardiovascular fitness, reducing stress and increasing concentration.

To help you get ready for cycling at university we’ve put together 10 top tips to help you stay safe and happy while on your bike.

1. Get kitted out

Check out our top picks for stylish and practical buys for students. From backpacks and cup holders to bikes and helmets, you’ll find everything you need to start cycling.

2. Consider second hand

If you don’t already own a bike, consider looking for something second hand. This can obviously save you some money (that can be spent on those expensive textbooks, or perhaps a few nights out) but will also be less attractive to thieves.

Cycling UK has some great tips on how to find your perfect second-hand bike.

3. Protect your bike from theft

It’s every cycling student’s nightmare to come out of a lecture and find that your beloved bike has been stolen. Thousands of cycles are stolen every year as thieves believe that bicycle theft is a low-risk, high-reward crime.

Cycling UK has some simple easy tips for you to reduce the risk of your bike being taken and ways to ensure that you’re financially covered if the worst does happen.

4. Register your bike with BikeRegister

If the worst does happen, by making sure your bike is registered with the UK’s national cycle database, BikeRegister, you increase your chances of being reunited with your bike.

BikeRegister is used by every UK Police Force and is the preferred bike marking system of the Metropolitan Police Service and British Transport Police. BikeRegister offers a range of three different marking kits, and if you are a Cycling UK member you can receive 15% off all BikeRegister products.

5. If you don’t own, rent

If you don’t own a bike but you want to ride while studying at university many towns and cities operate bike hire schemes. Some universities also offer discounts on short- and long-term bike rentals. Check your university website to see what is on offer.

6. Connect with like-minded cycling students

Most universities have cycling clubs that you can join to ride with like-minded people. Whether you are into racing, road or mountain biking or if just want to meet other people with whom to explore your new area, joining a cycling club is a great way to find your tribe. Check your university’s clubs and societies website or visit the freshers’ fair to see what’s on offer.

If you’d rather cycle with people outside the university, Cycling UK has cycling groups all over the UK you can join.

7. Increase your cycle confidence

If you’ve not cycled on the roads before or if you’re unsure about cycling in a new city then Cycling UK has lots of advice and support to help build your confidence.

8. Encourage your university to become more cycle friendly

Are there enough places around campus to lock your bike? Does the university support students to cycle more by offering discounted bike maintenance sessions or training for beginners?

Why not ask your university to sign up to become accredited as a Cycle Friendly Employer? Cycling UK can advise the university on simple changes they can make to create a more cycle friendly environment.

9. Become a member of Cycling UK

All students in full-time education, or if you are undertaking an apprenticeship, can join Cycling UK from just £2 per month!

By joining Cycling UK you will receive third-party insurance cover which means you’re covered for any claims made against you for damage or injury. Cycling UK members are automatically covered up to £10 million by this policy and there is no excess to pay.

You’ll also be sent our popular bi-monthly Cycle magazine which includes reviews of bicycles and cycling equipment, inspiring stories about cyclists and their travels, plus information about the work we are doing as a charity and so much more.

By joining as a member you will also enable us to have a louder voice to lobby government, campaign for improved rights and inspire millions more people to cycle. You’ll receive great cycling benefits like the ones above plus other discounts, expert advice and information. Join us to share the love of cycling and our vision for a better world by bike.

10. Take advantage of the discounts

We all know how expensive university life can be, so make sure you’re not paying over the odds. Cycling UK membership comes with many discounts for you to take advantage of, from £75 of free accessories at Raleigh to 20% discounts on Muc Off products. Check how much you could save.