Cycling is good for your health and the environment, so its important to brush up on cycling safety.
Here are some safety tips:
- Check tyres regularly – replace them if they are showing signs of wear or damage
- Pump up tyres too hard to squeeze. This reduces punctures and makes cycling easier
- Check brakes – they should stop the wheel fully when the lever is only partly pulled
- Check that wheels spin smoothly by turning bicycle upside down and spin the wheels. Any wobbles or a less than perfect spinning circle suggests advice is required
- Oil the chain for smoother gear transaction; if it squeaks or is brown it needs some oil
- Listen for noises. Squeaks, rattles and scraping suggests something needs attention
- Get the seat height right as having it too low will make cycling hard work
- Make sure your gears change smoothly – you may need a professional to help adjust them
- Make sure you meet legal requirements when cycling in the dark. See Nottinghamshire Police website for more information on this
- Keep your bike undercover and store securely – see below for guidance on secure cycle parking
For further general safe cycling guidance see:
- The Highway Code is the go-to document on how to safely use the roads for all road users
- Think! have useful guidance
Cycling safely along tram tracks
One of the main things to consider when cycling in Nottingham, is to know how to cycle along tram routes safely.
- Plan ahead and familiarise yourself with the route before starting your journey
- When cycling alongside the tram track take care and stay clear of the rails
- Avoid cycling on the rails as they can be slippery – especially when wet or icy
- Think ahead and signal early
- Where possible, use the cycle paths and crossing points provided
- Don’t gamble – stop and wait for the way to be clear
Wearing a cycle helmet is not a legal requirement, however they are designed to give protection from a fall or collision with another road user. When worn correctly, they reduce the risk of serious injury while also minimising side effects.
When buying a helmet make sure it fits correctly and that it conforms to a recognised safety standard. DO NOT buy a used helmet as damage is not always obvious. For further information on purchasing and fitting cycle helmets see British Cycling’s guidance here.
Cycling safety courses
If you think you, or your child requires cycle training, there are courses in Nottingham designed to give you more confidence when cycling on the road.
Locking your bike
In addition to road safety, parking your bike also needs to be done securely. We have Cycle Parks across the city where you can lock your bike from just £5.25 a year. These secure bike parks are covered, well lit and monitored via CCTV.
There are five easy steps you can take to make sure your bike is secure:
- Always secure your bike, even at home
- Use two alarmed cable locks or hardened locks such as D locks to at least a Silver secure standard
- Take quick release items with you like wheels, lights, and seat
- Permanently mark your bike for identification, we recommend Cremark
- Immediately – register it on a property database for free – Love it, log it!
Nottinghamshire Police also has some guidance to consider when parking your bike.