So you're keen to start cycling? But what do you need to do?
If you're yet to buy a bike, think carefully about which sort you go for - take a look at our top tips to give you a head start.
Think about where you are going to store your bike - what space do you have available? Make sure it's kept somewhere safe and secure and in easy access, so it's ready to ride whenever you need it.
There are a few essential items you will need, too, such as a sturdy bike lock and a bell, as well as lights and reflectors to make sure you can be seen by motorists. It's also handy to have a basic repair kit.
Although you don't have to deck yourself out in head-to-toe Lycra to ride a bike you may want to invest in a cycle helmet if it makes you feel safer, as well as some warm gloves and waterproofs so you are comfy cycling whatever the weather. Also consider wearing light and bright clothes to help make sure you can be seen by other road users.
It's really important to make sure you feel confident riding your bike. If you need a bit of a boost, Bikeability could be the answer. It's the Cycling Proficiency Test for the 21st century, designed to give people the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on today's roads. Take a look at the Bikeability page in this section for more information.
Once you're kitted out and ready to go, have a think about where you are going to cycle, and the route you're going to take. There are lots of route improvements that have taken place as part of the Cycle Colchester project, and lots of quiet roads where there is little traffic. To find out more about local cycle routes, click on the Routes and Maps button.
Most of all you can look forward to enjoying the freedom your bike will give you - less queuing in traffic jams, paying for parking or relying on others to give you a lift.