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Sign up for next week's Cycle to Work Day and you could win a bike

More than 20,000 people pledge to take to two wheels for journey to work next Thursday

This week’s threatened Tube strike may have been averted, but whether you commute in London or elsewhere next Thursday 3rd September gives another incentive to switch to two wheels for your journey, with the third annual Cycle to Work Day.

So far, more than 20,000 people ranging from experienced cycle commuters to first-timers have pledged to ride to work next week, with some of Britain’s biggest employers including Tesco also encouraging staff to get in the saddle.

As an added incentive to sign up to the initiative, anyone pledging to ride to work next Thursday on the website will have a chance of winning prizes – among them three bikes, as well as other cycling-related items – courtesy of Cycle to Work day founders, Cyclescheme.

In the run-up to next Thursday, other spot prizes will be awarded on the website, while there will also be a photography competition on the day itself.

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London-based retailer Cycle Surgery is among the supporters of the initiative, with the company’s Claire McGee saying: “Cycle Surgery are excited to be involved in Cycle to Work Day on 3rd September 2015.

“We’re passionate about cycling; whether you’re an everyday commuter, a hard-core mountain biker or a dedicated road cyclist – we believe cycling is a passion that can be shared by all!”

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Actress and television presenter Denise van Outen, who uses a bike to travel to assignments and has undertaken charity cycle rides in India, Cambodia and Vietnam, is also urging people to switch their mode of travel next week.

She said: “Cycling sets me up for the day with a clear head. When you think about driving time, looking for a parking space and walking to the location, bikes look better.

“Getting on your bike is about three times faster than walking. Please join me and give your bike a go on 3rd September.”

Cyclescheme director Daniel Gillborn has given the following tips for first-time commuters, and if you haven’t ridden a bike to work before, there are also some useful tips from readers here.

1. Choose your route. It is tempting to ride along the same road as your route to work. You are likely to find it more enjoyable on quieter roads, as you can only go as fast as you can pedal, unlike a car which can speed up on faster roads. There may be parks, tree-lined residential streets or cycle paths suitable for your route. Try Google Maps’ specific cycling option.

2. Check your equipment: If you have not ridden your bike for a while, free bike health checks - think MOTs for bikes - are available from hundreds of local bike shops between 24 August - 3 September. For a list of those participating retailers head to

3. The secret to no-sweat cycling: Maintain a uniform speed and avoid the temptation to race other cyclists who overtake you. You can wear normal everyday clothing with a few subtle adjustments. Loosening a shirt or blouse collar helps heat to escape. Leave your suit jacket at your workplace the night before. Avoid synthetic fibres and wear several thin layers, so you can take off a layer or two if you are getting a bit hot. Don’t forget to carry water.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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