The nice thing about Guildford is that nothing is really far away. I live a bit ‘far’ from the main campus – about 25 minutes walking. I really don’t like walking, so I cycle instead; shaving off 10 minutes from travel time!
There are hundreds of people who cycle as their main form of transport here, and it’s a win win. Great for your heart and fitness, better for the environment and spectacular for your pocket.
You can easily get a refurbished bicycle for less than £60, as opposed to paying for the bus, taxi or uber everyday. Some prefer to buy a brand new bike, which would typically go for £100+. If you’ll be traveling on trains or buses quite often, it would be a good idea to invest in a foldable bike (yep, that’s a thing) so you can carry it basically anywhere. There’s also a Bike Shop on campus, that’s run by two graduate students who can help you with repairs, maintenance and purchases.
The most important accessory is a good quality lock, so that you can secure your bike at any of the cycle racks (or unsuspecting lampposts) around campus and town. These aren’t hard to come by, as you’ll find cycle parking is available at almost every building.
Most people have questions about safety on the road. There are cycle lanes on many major roads, and drivers are typically very cautious and considerate toward cyclists otherwise. Stay on the left side and you’ll be absolutely fine. Once your bike is fitted with a front and rear light for nighttime riding, you’ll be visible and free to pedal in the dark. It’s also recommended that you wear a helmet, just in case.
My ‘big bad blue bike’ has a detachable basket that I bought on online, so that I can carry lots of essentials and even use it to do my grocery shopping. For larger parcels, I use a bungee cord to fasten them to the bag rack on the back of the bike.
Once you have the balance, I’d definitely recommend getting a bicycle. It’s even quicker than the bus, and saves you A LOT of money. Not to mention it’s quite therapeutic and calming to sail down the hills of Surrey and breathe in some good, fresh air everyday.