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Why cycle?

  • It is free – no fuel or parking costs.
  • It keeps you fit as you get from A to B. Regular cyclists are as fit as a person 10 years younger. They also have a lower risk of heart disease or stroke.
  • To save time – it is often the quickest way for shorter journeys.
  • To enjoy the open spaces and countryside.
  • Good for your mental health.
  • Improves connections with your local community, say hello as you cycle past.
  • More likely to stop and support small local shops.

There are many types of cycle to choose from depending on your own needs. Finding the right route for your journey is an important part of your research. We aim to help increase the number of journeys you can cycle.

Cycling skills

Being a confident cyclist comes with experience. Whilst you build your skills think about using quieter routes around the network.

Cycle training is available from Outspoken Training. They deliver Bikeability training through schools. They can also provide private lessons for individuals or families. It is a safe way to build your confidence or get some refresher training.

Cycling UK has lots of advice for new cyclists including tips on road positioning.

Camcycle has produced a useful video which applies to all cyclist, not just in Cambridge.

Top tips:

  • Ride assertively – cycle well out from the kerb so that you are visible to motorists. This will discourage them from overtaking too closely.
  • Watch out for car doors opening and make eye contact with drivers waiting to pull out.
  • Don’t pass lorries or buses on the left at junctions as they have a blind spot, and the driver may not know you are there.
  • Master the backwards look – practice looking back over your right shoulder so you can turn right or overtake without wobbling.
  • Be considerate to pedestrians – they should be given priority on shared paths so slow down and use your bell.
  • Don’t cycle on the pavement unless there are blue signs indicating that they are designated cycle routes.
  • Use lights at night – reflective clothing is also a good idea.
  • Know your traffic signs, when cycling on the road they apply to you too.

What to wear

You can cycle in any weather if you are wearing the right clothes – a good waterproof is essential, and layers are handy.

Make sure clothing is not going to catch in your chain or wheels. This can be as simple as tucking trousers into socks. Chain guards and wheel guards can help to provide extra security.

Gloves in the winter help keep your fingers moving. There are plenty of places to buy specialist clothing, but you can also use any outdoor clothing. Be aware that too much around your head can make it harder for you to turn and see others behind you. In cold or wet weather make sure you can still see hazards in front and behind.

On darker days think about making yourself more visible. This can be brighter clothes, high vis, or reflective items. Also, you must have lights on your cycle in poor lighting.

Visit the Cambridge Cycling Campaign website for more advice on cycle lights.


Keeping your cycle running smoothly helps to make your ride enjoyable. It may seem intimidating, but some simple things can make a difference.

  • Pump up your tyres so they are firm. This makes it easier to cycle and reduces your chance of a puncture.
  • Oil your chain if it starts to look dry or rusty to keep all the parts moving.
  • Check you have two working brakes. Small adjustments can help to keep them effective.

Sustrans has some good advice on how to perform an M check on your cycle.

If you find problems, get them fixed. Find a cycle shop that can help you out if you do not yet have the skills. If you want to do it yourself, try a cycle maintenance course or find some videos online for guidance.

Cycling routes

There are several sites to help find the best route.

We have produced a range of maps covering the County. These are free to download. They include information on local bike shops and other places of interest.

CycleStreets is a journey planning tool. You can change the settings to find the quietest or fastest route.

Sustrans supports the National Cycle Network, which is a UK wide network of routes.

Wherever you cycle you need to SHARE the space you are using and RESPECT other users. Bigger and heavier cycles need to be aware of more vulnerable users. This could be young or inexperienced cyclists. On shared use routes all cyclists need to SHARE with and RESPECT pedestrians and those wheeling. Reduce your speed to reflect the type of route you are using.

Respect logo

If you are looking for a longer group ride, try one of the following cycling groups.

Accessible cycling

There are a wide range of different cycles that help to make cycling accessible to more people. Cycling can be easier than walking for many who are less mobile. Cycles are available in a variety of styles to support different users. Tricycles, tandems, recumbents and hand cycles are a few examples.

Here are 10 adapted cycles reviewed by Cyclescheme.

You Can Bike Too run sessions to with different adapted cycles. You can try them out in Milton Country Park on a Sunday morning.

The Wheels for All programme operate a try out session. These run in Hinchingbrooke Country Park on a Wednesday afternoon.


E bikes can give that extra boost needed to allow you to make longer journeys. They can help with heavier loads of cargo or children. If you want to try one, Voi e-bikes are available for rental to over 18s through the app. You cannot carry passengers on them, and currently only in Cambridge. As the price comes down, more people are buying their own. In Holland, the over 65s are making good use of e-bikes. They are increasing the trip length of independent journeys (Harms and Kansen, 2018).

Charge your e-bike at home, following fire safety advice. You can cycle with or without the electric assist. Having a motor and battery makes e-bikes heavier than other cycles but they can increase how far you can travel. They are more valuable so do make sure you invest in good quality locks.

To be legal as an e-bike it must meet certain criteria. They are classed as an electrically assisted pedal cycle (EPAC). There must be a pedal assist motor with a maximum continuous output of 250 watts. Electric assistance must cut out at 15.5mph/25 kph. The rider must be at least 14 years old.

If you meet these criteria the e-bike can use cycle infrastructure and the roads. If your electric bike has higher power or does not have pedal assist it is an electric motorbike. It needs to be registered as a vehicle. Requiring vehicle tax, insurance, and you need a driving licence to use on public roads. They should not use cycle infrastructure or pavements.
For more information on E-bike safety


It is currently illegal to use an e-scooter on public roads or pavements. The only exception for this is the special dispensation to hire Voi scooters. Some Councils have arrangements with other providers. All other e-scooters, segways or Onewheel electric skateboards on the road are currently illegal. They risk a £300 fine and six points on your licence.
For more information on E-scooter safety

Family cycling

As your family grows and changes there are plenty of different options to keep you moving. Cycles can be expensive. If you are using them for only a few years investigate second hand and rental options too.

Bike seat

For small children a bike seat can be the easiest and cheapest option. A child needs to be able to sit with good neck support to manage the bumps of the ride. Ages 9 months to 4 years old tend to work well but can vary for individuals. They can be front or rear mounted. A child in a seat adds extra weight to the cycle and can alter the balance and steering. This is more noticeable as they get heavier.

Bike seat


A trailer towed by your cycle enables you to carry more as well as your child. It offers some protection from the weather for the child. It is more effort to tow a trailer than carry a child seat. Removing from a cycle to transfer to another cycle makes them more adaptable. They can be handy for collecting the shopping or other larger items. The handling of a cycle isn’t altered very much by towing a trailer.

Cargo bike

These useful cargo bikes are growing in popularity. Although a substantial investment, they can replace a family’s need for a car. They then become an affordable set of wheels. There are a variety of styles with two or three wheels, boxes at the front or back. All with lots of carrying capacity. It is worth trying different types before you make any investment. They can carry a heavy load and can carry babies supported in car seats so definitely have a longer range of use.

In Cambridge The School Run Centre and Outspoken Cycles can arrange trials, hire and sales of cargo bikes. 

Outspoken Cycles are operating a try before you buy scheme for cargo bikes on behalf of the Council. There are bikes for families and businesses to try.

In Ely, Spoke and Motor have electric bikes including electric cargo bikes.

Tag along

When children are gaining the skills to cycle themselves a tagalong can be a good option. This can be a frame that supports the child’s own cycle behind the adult cycle. Helping them on difficult bits and allowing them to cycle unaided where appropriate. 


Some tagalongs are not able to operate as a separate cycle. They consist of a seat, pedals, handlebars, and a single wheel that tow behind an adult cycle. They are a good way for children to start to get the feel of cycling on the road.


Tandems are easier to pedal and more manoeuvrable than trailers or cargo bikes. There are tandems where the adult sits at the front or at the rear. Some tandems have an extra seat for more passengers. They are a good option to help experience cycling on the road with young people who can pedal.

Independent cycling

When they are ready to cycle on their own with the confidence and skills for the road it is time for cycling as a family. Keep younger cyclists in front of you so you can keep an eye on them and shield them from behind with a wide position. Think about your route, take time to discuss hazards you encounter and how best to deal with them. Family cycle training is available from Outspoken Training.

Keep your cycle safe

If you’ve ever had your cycle stolen, you’ll know how upsetting it can be. These practical tips can help keep your cycle safe and out of the hands of thieves. There are tips on how to get it back if the worst happens.

The most important thing to remember is, double lock your cycle and register the frame number.

For more information on E-bike and E-scooter safety

Cycle security

Ten ways to protect your wheels

Follow these ten tips to ensure your cycle remains safe, secure and not a statistic.

Using two locks slows thieves down and makes your cycle less of a target. Use two quality locks, at least one of which is a D-lock. Thieves are less likely to carry lots of tools, so use two different types of lock if possible.

Lock the frame and both wheels to a secure cycle stand.

Secure your cycle as close to the stand as possible to give any thieves little or no room to manoeuvre.

Take parts that are easy to remove with you, such as wheels, lights, baskets, or the saddle. Or use locking skewers or nuts which can secure the cycle’s components to the frame.

Lock your cycle at recognised secure cycle parking. It should be well lit and covered by CCTV.

Register your frame number on a national cycle registration database. Secured by Design has a list of approved sites. The frame number is usually found underneath the cycle. Look between the pedals or where the back wheel slots in. If your cycle is ever stolen and recovered by the police, they can trace it back to you.

Get your cycle security marked. It is an effective, visible deterrent to thieves. Anyone found with a cycle that is on a cycle register and listed as stolen can face prosecution. Security marking products are available at Bike Register, the national Cycle Database.

Take the same care to lock your cycle at home as you would on the street. Avoid advertising that you have a cycle at home. Removing car roof racks. Creating ‘privacy zones’ on apps like Strava to avoid disclosing your location.

Ask for proof of ownership when buying a cycle. Check the cycle frame number on national bike registration databases. Use registers approved by Secured by Design.

If your cycle is missing, contact the police as soon as possible by calling 101 or reporting online. Give your frame number, cycle database number, a photo, and any other details. Make sure you update the status on the cycle database where you registered it. The sooner you report it missing, the sooner action can happen, which might stop someone selling it on.

What to do if your cycle is stolen

There are various courses of action open to you if your cycle goes missing. Whichever you take, make sure you do it as soon as possible. Time really is of the essence. This is in addition to reporting to the police as described above.

Adverts are usually placed within 24 hours of the theft. But do keep looking as they sometimes take a few months to pop up.

It might also be worth visiting and posting on the following forums:

Check if your home insurance policy covers your cycle. It is often worth taking out separate insurance for expensive cycles. To make a claim you will need some important details. Keep a copy of your receipt, photograph of your cycle and a record of the frame number.