National Bike Week is an annual opportunity to promote cycling and show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life.
Demonstrating the social, health and environmental benefits of cycling, the week aims to get people to give cycling a go all over the UK.
Bike Safety Advice
If you haven't ridden your bike for a long time, or know nothing about bike mechanics it is advisable to take your bike to your local cycle shop who will be able to provide a general service and explain what you need to do to keep your bike maintained on a daily basis.
Check your bike
Check that your tyres are pumped up: most people under-inflate their tyres, which makes cycling more difficult and heightens the risk of punctures.
Also check for general wear and tear all over the tyre.
Check your brakes: squeeze each lever in turn and push the bike forwards. The brake and gear cables should both be taut. If the brakes are not effective or the cables are slack, take your bike to a bike shop.
Clean your bike: especially the gears and chain. Oil your chain and any other exposed moving parts after cleaning; this will keep your bike running smoothly.
Check the height of your saddle and handle bars: Your leg should be straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke, with your heel placed on the pedal. if you're not happy starting out without being able to touch the ground, start off lower and raise the saddle gradually as your confidence grows.
Cycling with confidence and with awareness of other road users can make a significant difference to how safe you will be on the road.
If you are new to cycling it is a good idea to:
Your local shop will usually be able to provide useful information and have maps/guides for cycle rides in your area, including details on timings, distances, gradients, places of interest and and where to find food/drink en route.
Following a route that has been professionally selected to meet your ability and provide a safe, attractive experience can be a very enjoyable way to spend your spare time.
You might also find out things you never knew about your local area.
More information about Bike Safety Week