With Amy Martin of Sustrans

Swindon is a fantastic place to travel around by foot or by bike, and with more than 100km of traffic-free routes there are plenty of opportunities to get up and out into the great outdoors, from your daily commute to a quick trip to the shops, or a fun family outing.

It is wonderful to see that there are many Swindonians enjoying walking and cycling regularly, and this is helping to create a culture of active travel, in which all ages and abilities are doing their journeys the more active way.

However, for some, it can be a nerve-wracking experience to make a change to their journey, especially when it comes to getting back on the saddle.

One of the best ways to get back on your bike is to find a friend or a work colleague who knows the area and can help you to practice cycling and familiarising with the local streets. By buddying up with another cyclist, you can also find out great hints and tips for cycling in Swindon that you might not have known before.

Buddying up with another cyclist doing the same trip can also help you to find the best route for your journey as they will have worked out the best way to get around Swindon using the easiest and quickest paths for cyclists. Local knowledge can be very helpful.

Finding a fellow cyclist can also put any fears at ease about cycling in the darker evenings now that the clocks have gone back, and can give you a friendly companion for your journeys around Swindon.

If you are not sure of anyone who might be cycling the same route as you, why not contact Swindon’s local bike user group (BUG) or cycle club? You can find information about this at www.cycleswindon.org.uk And if you are a confident, keen cyclist, why not consider buddying up with someone who isn’t quite sure where to start when it comes to cycling? You will give them the confidence boost they need to get going and help more people to travel actively around Swindon.

This is just one of the ways that can help to keep the culture of cycling for all abilities thriving in Swindon.

Sustrans is keen to help further build a cycling culture here, and our bike breakfasts have been rewarding existing cyclists and tempting new ones onto their bikes, with free and delicious breakfasts throughout October at Swindon railway station.

With our final bike breakfast coming up tomorrow, we want to encourage even more people to dust off their bikes and cycle along to the station to claim their free breakfast by cycling.

So if you come by bike tomorrow between 7am and 9.30am you will be rewarded with a free cycling gift to celebrate more people getting peddling this autumn!