Cycling on the road for the first time

A model cyclist and toy car
A model cyclist learning to cycle in traffic
Riding a bike for a journey, or for leisure is a really valuable thing to do. It's quick, easy, healthy and green and you have a plethora of quiet roads and cycle paths to choose from close to home.

Start somewhere you know but that is as close to traffic-free as possible.

a) Remember to check your bike using the ABCD check:

  • Air - are the tyres pumped up?
  • Brakes - do both brakes work effectively?  Roll your bike along and pull each one in turn to verify
  • Chain - is the chain oiled? Use a light oil, spraying onto the back of the sprockets (or cogs on the back wheel) so it runs smoothly and quietly
  • Drop - pick the bike up by the bars and saddle and drop it upright onto the ground.  Does anything wobble, fall off or sound loose? - if so take it to a bike shop for a check over.

b) Remember to keep your head up - look at where you want to go and you'll go that way

c) Keep out a little way from the kerb.  Remember that you are entitled to use the road and you need a bit of space to steer and keep your balance.

d) If you want to stop when cars appear, this is fine.  Wait for them to go, check it is clear and go again.

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