CLIF®, Cycling UK Offering Commuter Biking Courses to Learn Skills, Build Confidence
Remember those brilliant cycling proficiency courses we all did back in school? They taught us everything from making safe turns across traffic to navigating around big, scary vehicles to keeping our BMXs (and Raleighs and racers) in tip-top condition. Best of all, they gave us the confidence to ride just about anywhere. For us kids, the freedom that came along with those courses was life-changing.
Well, they’re back! Sort of—like you, they’re all grown up now. CLIF, the maker of the plant-based CLIF BAR® energy bar, has partnered with Cycling U.K. to offer free virtual cycling proficiency courses designed explicitly with adult commuters in mind. These interactive classes provide an opportunity for any cyclist, whether beginner or advanced, to brush up on their skills while giving them the confidence to get back into the bike lane.
The timing couldn’t be better. As COVID-19 lockdown measures end across the U.K., it looks as though we’ll be returning to our workplaces in the coming weeks. For many of us, especially those living in larger urban areas, that means making a serious decision about how to get there. After all, the coronavirus is still very much with us.
We’re guessing you’re not looking forward to cramming onto a busy bus or train any time soon. And you’re not alone: Nearly half of U.K. workers say they don’t feel comfortable about using public transport right now, with more than a third worried about not being able to correctly social distance, according to nationwide research conducted by CLIF.*
Turns out this is an excellent time to consider cycling to work. In fact, during the lockdown many cities and towns across the U.K. reallocated road space for dedicated cycle corridors to encourage healthy and active commuting among essential workers. And the effect appears to be lasting: Many councils, especially those in the larger cities and towns such as London, Leeds, Manchester, and Bristol, have committed to ensuring cycling remains a safer and more awesome way to commute. In other words: Bike lanes are popping up everywhere.
Clif Bar & Company knows a thing or two about cycling. Back in 1990, its founder, Gary Erickson, was on a daylong bike ride when he recognized a need for a nutritious and portable snack . Since then, many of CLIF’s recipes have been built around plant-based ingredients like oats and dates while avoiding stuff like high-fructose corn syrup and synthetic colours.
“CLIF was born on a bike, and we are passionate about the benefits of cycling for everyone, whether it’s part of your daily commute or just for fun,” said David Smith, a senior marketing manager at Clif Bar Europe, B.V.
Of course, you don’t need to be on a daylong bike ride to benefit from CLIF’s foods. For example, you can fuel a 60-minute active commute with a classic CLIF BAR® energy bar, which you’d typically eat an hour or so before heading out. Packed with nourishing ingredients such as rolled oats, they provide carbohydrates, protein, and fat, as well as vitamin B12 to contribute to normal energy-yielding metabolism.
For more intense rides, you can turn to simple carbohydrates such as glucose and fructose, which you’ll find in CLIF® BLOKS™ Energy Chews. Bonus: They’re packaged for one-handed removal and can slip easily into a bike jersey—or blazer. Some flavours even contain varying amounts of caffeine —perfect if you missed your morning cuppa (though not recommended for children or pregnant people).
No matter how your commute might look, regular cycling has well-documented physical and mental health benefits. But it can also save you significant time and money: CLIF’s research shows that the average Brit could save 33 hours and £766 a year—a holiday, basically—just by cycling to work instead of his or her usual mode of transport.*
So if you’re getting excited about returning to work on two wheels but are still a bit nervy about how to start, one of CLIF’s two commuter cycling webinars should help. Run by Cycling U.K., the free two-level programme is hosted by experts who’ll also have plenty of time for any questions you might have.
“It’s important to us that as many people as possible are given the skills and confidence to feel the benefits of cycling safely,” Smith said. “We hope that the courses we are offering with Cycling U.K. bring that to people at this pivotal time.”
We recommend the Advanced course for experienced riders looking to master cycling techniques for urban areas such as navigating complex junctions and squeezing through traffic. Meanwhile, there’s a Beginner/Intermediate course that covers the basics of road riding in addition to what equipment you might need and how to set up your bike—ideal for those of us who haven’t really touched a bike since, say, those school cycle proficiency courses back in the day.
Cycling UK info:
Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
* Survey of 2,004 nationally representative U.K. adults, with 1,132 respondents in employment conducted with Censuswide.