The first steps Being familiar with riding a bike and being confident enough to cycle on the UK’s congested road network are two different things (and the same can be said for lots of other countries). If you’re not familiar with riding a bike I recommend going to your local park and finding a safe bit of space to practice. Most local bike shops will know of someone locally who can provide lessons and help with gaining confidence both on the bike and in traffic.

submit If you want to ride a bike on the road in the UK here are a few things to think about:

  • What type of bike suits your needs? Avoid getting sold a bike that isn’t suitable for your needs as bike shops are often only interested in the sale.
  • What clothing you might need to suit your riding style and to maximise visibility?
  • Will you be riding at night and if so what lights and reflective clothing to use to maximise visibility and safety?
  • Do you want to wear a helmet (I always wear one but it is not a legal requirement for adults in the UK)?
  • Are you going to leave your bike somewhere and if so how secure will it be? Is there a more secure alternative nearby? What lock might you need? How are you going to carry the lock?
  • Would you know how to repair a puncture if you got one and do you have the necessary kit?
  • What hand signals should you give to tell other road users what you are doing and when?
  • Where should you position your bike in the road? Should it be close to the curb or several feet out from the curb? As a general rule you want to avoid being close to the curb for several reasons:
    • It is dangerous for you to be too close to the curb and you risk catching a pedal
    • It encourages vehicles to think there is enough space to pass you when they should be staying back and waiting for a truly safe place to pass
    • All sorts of road rubbish is shooed into the gutter by passing vehicles making you more likely to get a puncture there
    • It is useful to be able to turn both left and right to avoid potholes and manhole covers. Being further into the road gives you more options
  • Should you wait in the traffic line at traffic lights and other congested points or should you filter through the traffic (which is quite legal on either side of the vehicles)?
  • What mindset do you need to minimise the risk of accidents or collisions with other road users?
  • Should you use bike lanes?
  • How should you ride around other cyclists?
  • Should you wear underwear under your padded cycling shorts? Absolutely not by the way. Padded cycle clothing is designed so there are no seams that can rub in sensitive places. Putting underwear in the way ruins that.
  • Where should/could you store your bike at home? How do you stop oil or oily water making a mess of carpets?
  • What tyres to use?
  • Should you use cleats and if so which ones will suit your riding?
  • If you’re getting knee pain what are the first things you might try to make it better?

service And then there are commuter questions:

  • What type of bag should you use for carrying stuff especially when commuting?
  • How can you manage the logistics of having clean work clothes at work? What should you do with your wet cycle clothing at the office?
  • What are the options for keeping your bike secure at work?

methotrexate cost And maintenance questions:

  • What tyre pressures and how often should you check it (ideally before every ride but as a minimum once a week)?
  • What lubricant should you use on your chain and how much how often?
  • Puncture avoidance tips?
  • How often should you consider getting your bike serviced? This isn’t a complete list but should cover some of the early questions you might want answers to. I will attempt to write posts that answer some or all of these questions in the coming weeks and months. If you’re reading this blog and have a question it will be easier to help you if you message me directly with your question at

resource Keep on rolling.