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Cycling advice

If you want to know more about cycling or are just interested in thinking about getting on your bike then this is a good place to start.

Cycling is a great way of getting out and about, with the added benefits of improving fitness and getting exercise.

Benefits of cycling

Makes you feel good - cycling in fresh air is invigorating and a good way to help ease stress and depression

Helps you to lose weight - cycling is an activity that will burn up calories and so help you to lose and maintain weight

Easy to fit into your daily routine - no need to set time aside to visit a gym, simply cycle to the shops; to visit a friend or go to work

Saves you money - there are no fuel costs and parking is free

Helps keep illness at bay - just a small amount of cycling can have significant health benefits, helping to guard against heart disease, strokes and diabetes

Kind to the environment - cycling can help you reduce your carbon footprint

Helps children to learn - while cycling with your children you can talk about the things you see, with the freedom to stop to take a closer look.  Children can observe the changing seasons, at the same time as learning to use the road

Easy to be impulsive - you can be flexible and spontaneous, no need to think about finding a parking space; having to rely on lifts or missing the last bus

Less susceptible to air pollution - because you are exercising your lungs and not sitting in a traffic jam you will absorb lower levels of pollutants from traffic fumes than other road users

It is fun - you can cycle to places not accessible by car, help you to get closer to nature and meet new people

Tips for safe cycling

  • When buying a bike make sure it is the correct size to be ridden comfortably.  A bike which is too large or small will cause the rider safety and control problems - your local bike shop will be able to advice you on getting the size and fit right.
  • Ensure that on a children's bike the child's hands are able to operate their brake-levers easily and effectively.
  • Make sure your bike is in roadworthy condition.  Carryout a quick check of the brakes, tyres, wheels, chain and headset before each trip - your local bike shop will be able to advice you on maintaining your bike.
  • Wear clothing that is comfortable and suitable for the weather conditions.
  • Good visibility will improve your safety; wearing something fluorescent in daylight and reflective at night will ensure that you can be seen at three times the distance than without the aid of such materials.
  • It is a legal requirement that you have approved front / rear lights and a red rear reflector fitted to your bike if you plan to cycle at night, or when visibility is poor.
  • Wear a helmet.  60% of those injured in cycle accidents sustain head and/or face injuries.  Make sure the helmet is fitted properly, with no part (except those helmets worn by babies and toddlers) cover the ears.  The helmet should be comfortable and have adequate ventilation.  If it has been dropped, involved in a crash or simply worn regularly for more than three years, the helmet should be replaced as its energy-absorption properties will have been seriously reduced - DO NOT be tempted to buy a second-hand helmet, even if it looks perfect .
  • Be confident when cycling.  Ride about one metre from the kerb to ensure you have plenty of space.  Use arm signals to let other road users know what you intend to do and always look carefully behind you before you manoeuvre.
  • Remember you have as much right to use the road as motor vehicles.
  • Choose cycle paths, lanes or advisory routes wherever possible.  Be observant and keep a constant look out all around you while cycling.
  • Do not use a mobile phone while riding your bike.
  • Remember to follow the rules of the Highway Code - DO NOT jump red lights, ride on pavements or disobey road signs.

Planning a cycle event

When planning an event it is important to consider the safety of participants.  We would advise that you:

  • do a risk assessment however small or big your event is
  • check that no other events are using the same route as yours on the same day

If planning an event using the public highway, it is important that you:

British Cycling and The National Cycling Charity (CTC) produce good guidance on organising cycle events and rides. 

If you have an event planned, please email sports@cravendc.gov.uk so we can promote it on our website and help with your event planning.