Cycle safely

  • You should build up your activity levels gradually - both the amount of time you spend cycling and the intensity. Start off slowly and progress gradually at your own pace - there's no rush and you should listen to your body. (If you feel discomfort or pain when cycling, stop and seek advice from your doctor)
  • Check and maintain your bike regularly; if something looks or feels strange whilst you are cycling, get it checked out (most bike shops are happy to give advice and many run short courses on maintenance) (Download)
  • Get in the habit of looking behind you regularly - before you do a manoeuvre, check all around and, if appropriate, signal to others
  • Carrying heavy bags can make cycling difficult or might even injure your back. So, if you do regularly carry things whilst cycling, you should think about getting cycle bags or panniers
  • Make sure that you and your bike can be seen in poor visibility or at night: use lights and consider wearing hi-visibility clothing or adding reflective material to your bike
  • Take extra care in the rain: Give yourself extra room to manoeuvre or stop
  • Using a mobile phone whilst cycling can distract your attention from the road. Better to stop and take that call
  • Cycle helmets are not mandatory in the UK and it remains at an adult's discretion to choose whether they, or children in their care, should wear helmets. However, if you or your children do wear a helmet make sure it is fitted correctly (
  • If you are not cycling on the road please be aware of others: many people cannot see or hear cyclists approaching so slow down, when possible ring your bell, and if necessary stop or get off
  • Be assertive: you've the same right to use the road as that motor car behind you! Keep a good distance from the kerb and parked cars, make eye contact with drivers who might cross your path, and use hand signals when turning
  • Be aware of the highway code, and put this into practice whilst out on your bike:

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