Expect the unexpected - Traffic does not always behave as we expect it to! For example, a vehicle might suddenly turn right in front of you, without warning. It's important for us all as pedestrians to remain vigilant.
"I love getting around on my new bike and feel much more confident after taking advantage of free cycle classes from my local council.
I feel fitter, made new friends and saved a lot of money too!"
More people of all ages are getting on their bikes these days – not only for convenience and as a way of saving money but also as a great way of staying fit and active. Cycling can help with improving co-ordination, mobility and strength as well as increasing our overall wellbeing.
Choose the right bike
It’s important to choose a bike that will suit your needs and the riding you plan to do. Living in a hilly area, an electric assisted bike may be suitable. Visit a good cycle shop to get the best advice.
Always be aware of what’s going on around you. Look out for pedestrians, other vehicles (especially when turning left) and vehicles coming out of side streets and driveways. Lorries have a number of blind spots where cyclists effectively become invisible. It’s really important to remember NOT to cycle up the left-hand side of a lorry which has stopped at a junction and to never stop just in front of a stationary lorry.
It’s important to wear a properly fitted helmet and to wear bright or reflective clothing. It also helps other road users to see you if you add reflective strips to your jacket and any rucksack you might carry. Remember to use lights when it starts to get darker!
Be confident and communicate
You need to be able to look behind without wobbling and should try to cycle assertively. It is recommended to make eye contact with other road users before pulling out or making a manoeuvre – you need to be sure it’s safe to move off. Always signal your intention to other road users. If the road feels too busy you can get off and walk, especially if there is a crossing to help.
Use a good lock such as a D lock when securing your bike and always in well lit, busy areas. The back wheel and frame needs to be secured to a bike rack.
Whether an absolute beginner or taking up cycling again after a long break, it’s important to get professional training before going out on the road. Local Authorities can advise on the availability of any free training courses suitable for adults. It’s also easy to find an approved instructor through the Bikeability website - www.dft.gov.uk/bikeability
Cycle training will cover all of the above and much more so it’s highly recommended.