Before you cycle anywhere, it's a good habit to check and maintain your bike regularly. If something looks or feels strange while you're cycling, get it checked out. Check that your tyres are pumped and not worn; check your brakes and make sure the height of your saddle is correct.
Once you're happy your bike is ready to ride, it's time to get started. Before you start cycling in traffic, you should familiarise yourself with the Highway Code for up-to-date rules and regulations on cycling.
- Remember it's illegal to cycle on pavements that are not signposted for cycle use, and it's also illegal to cycle through red traffic lights
- If you're not cycling on the road, please be aware of others. Some people won't hear or see you coming, so slow down, ring your bell or, if necessary, stop or dismount
- Cyclists are not allowed to cycle on motorways and in some tunnels
- Get into the habit of looking behind your regularly, and before you carry out a manoeuvre, check all around and give appropriate signals to others
- If you regularly need to carry things when you cycle, consider getting cycle bags or panniers
- Make sure you wear a helmet that's fitted correctly, and make sure that you and your bike can be seen in poor visibility or at night
Cycle Training with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM)
Cycle training will improve your skills and confidence and is useful for beginners, returning cyclists and even old hands.
Halfords cycle2work has partnered with the IAM to provide cycle training, which adheres to the national standards - also known as bikeability.
Every cycle2work customer will have the option to take up the training on completion of a registration form and one-off payment of £49.00. (This normally costs £100)
- Training is delivered by accredited instructors
- Off-road assessment of current ability
- Real-life, on-road training - helping to increase confidence and key skills
- Low-cost, one-off session
- Training can be at your place of work
The training consists of the following 2 levels
Cycle Training Level 1
Level 1 can be delivered by an instructor to a small group of trainees in a secure environment off-road. The instructor will assess the cycling ability of each trainee before embarking upon Level 2.
- Starting and Stopping
- Using gears
- Stopping quickly
- Swerving to avoid objects
- Signalling right and left, and looking behind without being unstable on your bike!
Cycle Training Level 2
Level 2 training is delivered on-road, so that by the end of Level 2, trainees should have sufficient skills and confidence to cycle in an urban environment.
- You're aware of everything around you as you ride, including people behind
- You understand where to ride on the roads that you're using
- You can pass parked or slower moving vehicles
- Swerving to avoid objects
- You can turn right and left into major and minor roads
Our very own Halfords cycle2work girls decided to give the IAM bike training a go and this is what they had to say:
Elle Thompson - cycle2work Account Manager
"Wow - I forgot how much I love cycling - I hadn't been on a bike since I was about 12 and discovered boys and high heels! After today, not only do I feel like I'd like to start cycling again, I also feel that I'd be safe on the roads as well. Thanks for a great day!"
Lucie Davis - cycle2work Assistant Business Manager
"Thank you so much for your time today. As the "office novice", I was a little apprehensive about heading out on the roads, having not done so before. However, the session went at a good pace and I was really surprised how quickly my confidence grew as we went along. Never for a second did I think I'd manage hand signals either! I think it's an invaluable experience for anyone looking to road cycle and I'm very grateful for your patience."