Cycling is a fun, convenient and healthy way to get around - but if you don't follow basic safety guidelines the results could be very serious.
It is important that you are well equipped to cycle safely and aware of the needs of all highway users. The following tips should help you on your way to becoming a safer and more considerate cyclist
- Wear a cycle helmet (with a British standard) - ensure it is a good fit. If you are unsure of how to fit your helmet properly visit your local bicycle shop.
- Wear reflective materials and use a bike light when it is dark to make sure you're seen.... and can be seen!
- Keep your bike well serviced, check brakes, steering and tyres regularly.
When cycling on roads, highways and pavements:
- Always follow the Highway Code. Remember, cyclists are subject to the same traffic laws as motorists and must stop at red traffic lights.
- Be seen - most accidents to cyclists happen at junctions
- Use your bell - Bicycles can be very quiet and can startle pedestrians when they approach from behind. On shared use paths cyclists should slow down when approaching pedestrians, steer a wide birth and ring their bell to warn of their presence. Remember large numbers of people are hard of hearing and or visually impaired.
- Be wary of weather conditions – go more carefully when paths are wet or covered in fallen leaves
- Remember it is illegal to cycle on the pavement, except on shared paths.
When cycling on shared use paths please:
- Give way to pedestrians, leaving them plenty of room
- Keep to your side of any dividing line be prepared to slow down or stop if necessary
- Don't expect to cycle at high speeds
- Be careful at junctions, bends and entrances
- Remember that many people are hard of hearing or visually impaired - don't assume pedestrians can see or hear you
- Carry a bell and use it - don't surprise people
- Give way where there are wheelchair users and horse riders
When cycling in the countryside:
- Follow the Country Code
- Respect other land management activities such as farming or forestry and take litter home
- Keep erosion to a minimum if off road
- Be self-sufficient - in remote areas carry food, repair kit, map and waterproofs
- Try to cycle or use public transport to travel to and from the start and finish of your ride
- Cycle within your capabilities
- Match your speed to the surface and your skills