Helpful advice for students cycling in Oxford
New student to Oxford planning to cycle? One of our shop managers (Honour Tomkinson) has written a short blog to help you get the most out of your time on two wheels in Oxford.
With the advent of a new academic year in Oxford, the city’s population swells, and the streets are again filled with young cyclists rushing from lecture to social meet.
But rather innocently these new city cyclists can be unaware that they and their new steed are prey to the clutches of the infamous oxford bike thief. Hundreds of bikes are stolen every week so to make sure your wheels aren’t taken from you make sure you invest in a bloody good lock and lock your bike to something immovable, best a bike rack but street furniture can be used in a bind.
What lock should I get? I hear you cry, well don’t trust the reviews on Amazon. This is the danger zone my friend, get yourself down to your local independent bike shop and ask the locals who live, breathe and work in this city. Then guard your two wheels like they are gold dust, popping in the local corner shop, lock it, running in the house quickly, lock it, any second your bike is unattended and unlocked is a second too long, bike thieves are fast and opportunists.
On a lighter note, you might be thinking of the practical side of your chosen mode of transportation. Heavy books, laptops, bottles of vino for that impromptu party are all a pain to carry on a bike unless you are the blessed owner of a bicycle basket. But again, don’t get the cheapest option and hope those flimsy cable ties will hold your possessions in place, visit your local bike shop not only will they advise on the best option they will usually fit it for free.
But most importantly get some bike lights and if that way inclined some hi vis clothing. Lights are not just a legal requirement they are probably the best way of ensuring you make it to graduation unscathed by a road accident. And watch out because every year the police patrol the streets as soon as that clock goes back, they love to fine us cyclists without lights. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, the fuzz are pretty serious on this matter.
But you gotta have a bike for all this stuff to go on first and if you haven’t made that investment before landing on our pretty streets, again get down the local independent bike shop. You will find they are all geared up to welcome you to Oxford and every year stock up on affordable options and many specialise in reconditioned options for those with a lighter budget or a more environmental temperament. Your local bike shop is your new best friend and will reward you for buying from them with help and advice beyond that which you find from a large conglomerate. And contrary to the convenient norm, bikes are not something to buy online, unless you want a badly assembled, badly sized, cheap rust bucket that is.
So those are my suggestions my friend for your new year of cycling in oxford, if you like any of the advice given in this blog come and get some person, we are Walton Street Cycles. We sell new bikes, reconditioned bikes, lots of accessories and we boast one of the best workshops in oxford for the all important maintenance of your vehicle.
We also have a sister company Bainton Bikes that rents bikes at a very reasonable price for short or long term, so don’t be glum and walk everywhere when your chums or family visit, hire them a bike and wiz around the sights instead. You can book at baintonbikes.com.
As well as sales and repairs, we offer a range of other services for cyclists around Oxford.