Name: Laura Scott
Current commuting bike: Brompton. In the city space is at a premium. I can take it into the office and don't need to lock it up.
Favourite commuting kit: Aftershokz bone-conduction headphones. It allows you to still hear traffic and other noise whilst still being able to listen. If I’m in a new place I can use the Google Maps cues to guide me around the city.
Also Endura rain trousers. I kept them in the bottom of my bag in London and could chuck them on over anything!
Why do you pick cycling as your transport?: Commuting is the only reason I got into cycling as an adult. I would not be a cyclist without commuting. I love riding from point A to point B as a way of getting to know a city. I bought my first bike as an adult when I was at university when I was poor. When I started cycling around London instead of getting the tube I realised that parts of London were much closer to one another. There’s also this point around not wanting to cycle because you get hot and sweaty but I was getting more hot and sweaty from getting the tube!
I was living in Whitechapel and commuting to Tottenham Court Road and I can tell you the central line is horrible at that point!
What is the most useful cycling tip you have received?: The first few times I commuted I was pretty nervous. People will try to psych you out thinking you're crazy for cycling around London but I think the infrastructure has improved a lot. Checking out the routes through TFL or some of the online resources before you ride is probably the best way to improve your confidence.
It’s also good to do a practice run of your commute on a weekend before you ride as a way of testing out the route!
Why do you think it is important to get women cycling?: A lot of women after a certain age stop participating in sport but the benefit sport can bring to you is massive, from mental health, to physical fitness, to a moment of happiness in your day. I think it’s sad that lots of women drop out of sport as it can bring so much to your life.
What do you think is the biggest barrier to women cycling?: It’s not one we talk about a lot but I think cost is a big barrier for women getting into cycling. It’s a huge amount of money to spend on a bike to get into it. Cycling equipment is very expensive, especially when you might not be convinced that it’s for you. People are always shocked at how much a good bike costs.
It’s also having that network of people you can reach out to who can help you make your way into cycling. I love searching for bikes online so I’m always helping out people I know! It’s hard to sometimes find people to lean on for that support.
Your favourite environmentally friendly habit?: I’m plant based so I’m a big fan of trying to reduce meat consumption. I don't think it’s for everybody and I don't think everybody needs to be vegan but I think trying to reduce meat consumption is a great way of being more environmentally friendly.