Cycling can offer a great fun and affordable mode of transport for the daily commute, as an enjoyable and healthy leisure pastime, or as something to do with friends and family. South Yorkshire has a great mix of on-road and off-road cycle routes, no matter what form of riding you prefer.
All four boroughs have numerous schemes, groups and incentives to get you out on two wheels. Check out the links for further information, including local routes and maps.
If you do intend on using the road network then we suggest a few simple hints and tips to remember while out riding:-
Make eye contact
Always try to make eye contact with other road users, if in any doubt approach with caution and watch for the wheels of the vehicle moving.
Look around you
Look well ahead so that you can take appropriate action in good time, such as for potholes or parked vehicles, try to avoid having to swerve suddenly to avoid them. Always be aware of what’s going on around you, and remember to check behind you before moving your road position.
Make sure you can hear the traffic around you, try not to use headphones while riding. Would you be able to hear an emergency vehicle?
Don’t be floored by doors
Unfortunately not all drivers and passengers are cyclist aware, so always leave plenty of room when passing parked vehicles, just in case a car door suddenly swings open.
Ride on the road, not in the gutter
It’s easy to feel like you have to ride in the gutter, but this can be littered with road debris, potholes, storm drains, and can reduce your visibility to other road users, especially at junctions. Be a thinking rider, is this the best road position for me?
If in any doubt in busy or queuing traffic, stay back, it’s always better to arrive a few minutes later than not at all.
It’s easy as a cyclist to be hidden in a vehicles blind-spot, especially larger vehicles, such as vans, lorries and buses, and they also need more room to manoeuvre. Be prepared for them to swing out if turning and hang-back till it’s safe to pass.
Be Bright, Be Seen
By law, if riding at night you have to have front and rear lights on your bike, which need to be lit. Always carry spare batteries just in case, or make sure they are suitably charged before setting off. We would highly recommend using lights in poor visibility and weather conditions.
Also, think about what you are wearing, a simple brightly coloured helmet or jacket can improve your visibility, remember, fluorescent by day and reflective at night.
Always wear a helmet
While wearing a helmet is not a legal requirement, unlike other two wheeled users, such as scooter and motorbike riders, we would highly recommend wearing a cycle helmet and making sure it fits correctly.
Think about cycle training, local organisations can cater for your individual requirements, whether you’ve never ridden a bicycle before or are an experienced rider looking to improve your confidence on busy road networks. Many of the schemes are free and can also help you with your first bike.
Check out the links on the right-hand side for further information on cycle training, getting started, routes and special offers in Barnsley, Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster.
The Ultimate Guide to Cycling
Check out this fantastic publication for a range of topics and advice on cycling. Enjoy.
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