Some of us are seasoned cyclists, others are not quite as adept on two wheels. However, HSBC wants us all to get on our bikes this summer and is holding a free and fun community cycling event ‘Let’s Ride Jersey’ on 19th August to help us do just that.
The event at Les Jardins de la Mer 9.30am – 5.00pm is for everyone, whatever your age or ability. During the day there will be a number of activities, including leisurely ride-outs along the sea front and sprints for the sporty (places must be booked in advance www.letsride.co.uk/events/jersey). The event hub, at Les Jardins de la Mer will host trial bike displays, bike maintenance, a children’s obstacle course, food stalls and local cycle shop and club stalls.
The bank wants people to get on their bikes more often because it has so many benefits. We know that cycling keeps you healthy, it’s cheaper than driving, reduces pollution and, of course, traffic for those who cannot cycle.
HSBC is one of many businesses locally which has a number of keen cyclists under its roof and here’s a selection to tell us why they enjoy getting in the saddle…
Claire Lilley – Head of Communications, HSBC:
I’m definitely a leisure cyclist and enjoy being outdoors, getting some exercise.
Since becoming a mum, I bought a cargo bike to go on adventures with my son (Edward, pictured) – we call it our ‘ice cream bike’. It’s a tricycle with a box on the front that has bench seats, storage, and electric assist.
We regularly pile all our beach things in, plus Edward, and pop over to Green Island. Sometimes, we even fit his little bike in the box with him so he can cycle in safe areas.
Helen Child – Product Manager, HSBC:
My parents ride a tandem bike because my mum is partially sighted. When they upgraded and asked if we would like it, we were very quickly converted!
You get some great quality time with the other person, in my case that’s my husband Martin. It gives you time to chat and builds trust when you’re going down a hill at 40mph!
Last month we took it to Granville, France, and did our first 100km ride. It was very hilly but the crepes and cider made it worthwhile.
Joseph Hanford – Regulatory Compliance Manager, HSBC:
When I was a teenager, cycling enabled me to get my first job as a paper boy – a weekly wage of £10.
Now, I find cycling really beneficial for my physical and mental wellbeing. You can see friends while exercising and it reduces stress.
My favourite cycling trips have been to Majorca, France and the Lake District. In September, I’m cycling from Venice to Rome to raise funds for charity – I can’t wait.
Joe Igoe Business Support Manager, HSBC:
As well as the obvious health aspects, the social side is most important to me. I’ve made numerous friends through cycling and we meet on a regular basis to take on new challenges…often with a beer involved.
Challenges I’ve completed include London to Brussels in three days, ‘Coast 2 Coast’ across the north of the UK, and cycling around the Isle of Wight and the New Forest, to name a few.
THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL BIKES OF JERSEY
The ‘recumbent bike’:
One of the more unusual bikes out there, it places the rider in a lying down position. This is both ergonomically more comfortable for some people as it spreads the riders weight more evenly, supporting the back and bottom more than a ‘normal’ bicycle, but it is also a lot speedier due to its reduced height. The reason for using a recumbent bike is clearly personal to the rider, but either way it seems like a win-win.
The stand-up bike:
Also known as an elliptical bike, it combines running, cycling and the elliptical trainer in the gym, all whilst getting to your destination. Although it sounds like an exhausting combination of three forms of exercise, it is actually quite low impact and easy on the joints as well as giving riders a great core workout. If you have been behind one of these elliptical bikes, you will know it looks a bit unusual, but the rider thinks otherwise – they have much better visibility than those on traditional bikes and, apparently, feel like they are walking on air. Well, in that case…
The cargo bike:
“Have kids, can’t cycle?” – that’s no excuse. Although cargo bikes take a number of forms, here we refer to the ones with kids in the front, often with smug parents beaming as they pedal their angels to school or nursery. A very European, romantic vision of transporting children and shopping around the island, they actually make a lot of sense. The children love it, it skips traffic, and gives the parent their daily dose of exercise and some serious brownie points from their little ones. However, we do wonder how they deal with a junction – can you get mirrors at the front?
Everyday cycling hacks
Wear sunglasses, sunny or not – nobody likes flies in the eyes.
When cycling at night, don’t wear dark clothes or go without lights.
For the hair conscious, wear a plastic shower cap under your helmet to fight the frizz and the rain. Better still, it doubles as a seat cover when you park up.
For the non-hair conscious – still take a shower cap to protect your seat from the rain.
To protect your smartphone, put it in a zip-lock bag, even if your coat is apparently water-proof. You can still use the touch screen through the plastic but do reuse the bag- we don’t want any more plastic pollution.
Select pants carefully. Ill placed seams can cause some serious saddle-sores.
In cold weather, wear a nice head bandana to keep your forehead and ears warm.
For the more competitive, when using ‘clip in’ pedals for the first time, don’t try to tackle those hills!
Jersey’s cycle network is improving. Forget the traffic and use the cycle paths – try the track around La Collette and Havre des Pas instead of the tunnel, the St. Peter’s Valley cycle track, and the path from Corbiere to town via St. Aubin.
Tuck trousers into your socks, especially on the inside of the ankle. You don’t want any oil stains or chain tangles.
Be mindful – cycling doubles up as an opportunity for ‘mindfulness’, proven to energise and destress. Simply listen to what’s around you like the birdsong; feel the pedals under your feet, the terrain under your wheels and the breeze on your cheeks; and ensure steady breathing.